A Tees Valley business park is to play a significant role in bringing a piece of local history back to life.
Lingfield Point is the new home of a 1970s bus that’s being restored ahead of its 50th anniversary next year, providing the vital winter protection it needs to allow bodywork repairs to take place.
Darlington Fleetline No. 50 was taken out of service in 1994 after transporting the people of the town for almost 20 years.
Repairs of the 1972 model ex-Darlington Corporation Daimler Fleetline were halted after it lost its storage space, and it suffered additional mould and discolouration. Now under cover, the bus can continue to be fully restored following the move to Lingfield Point.
The warehouse is part of the 86-acre Darlington business park which provides over 1.3 million sq.ft. of commercial floorspace to occupiers such as DWP, NHS, Student Loans Company, Capita and Wood Group. This summer, site owner Frogmore launched a fully refurbished 26,000 sq. ft Grade A office space known as Baldwin, following a £2.5m investment.
The park’s Estates Manager Mick Anderson said: “It’s a privilege to be part of the amazing story of this bus, which is a real draw at events and rallies as people are so keen to share their memories of seeing it around Darlington.
“When we heard how much effort had already gone into its repair, we thought it would be such a shame if any further damage was done purely because it needed some protection from the elements.”
The bus, which has undergone major mechanical repairs in the last year or so, was temporarily being stored under tarpaulin at a local industrial estate.
Paul Jackson of Darlington Bus 50 group said: “It’s brilliant to have certainty over the winter for this beloved vehicle, and to have such support from Lingfield Point.
“The local community has really rallied round to help us preserve part of the town’s history, and we hope to show it in all its glory in 2022, when it will be 50 years old.”
To find out more about the bus and the team’s plans for its ongoing restoration, visit darlingtonbus50group.yolasite.com. And to find out more about Lingfield Point, call 01325 486486, or visit lingfieldpoint.co.uk.