MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: Marked In (Dublin, 1981)

AllAboutBuses invites you to banish the Monday morning back-to-work blues with a spot of time travel . .

This week we jump back in time to 1981 in Dublin . ..


Off all of the changes of livery on the Dublin bus scene over the years, possibly one of the slowest was the move away from the blue & cream livery for double-deckers, and into allover tan, fleetwide.  The first new buses in tan (orange) arrived in late 1974 (the VanHool AN68 Atlanteans) and by early 1975 repaints of the 602 earlier PDR1 Atlanteans had started.

But the repainting, which coincided with BMS full body overhauls at Inchicore Railway Works, was very slow paced, unlike today, when the entire fleet is repainted on a three-year cycle. By the time that the last D in Dublin was repainted into tan, there were already hundreds of KD-class Bombardiers on the road in the new two-tone green livery, so the tan never wholly ruled the roost. There were blue & cream halfcabs (PD3s) on the road until April 1982, and the last handful of Ds in the old livery lasted a few months beyond that in Dublin (and even longer in provincial cities).

D568 was one of the last to wear the old livery in Dublin, and is seen here in 1981, about a year before it finally got an overhaul and repaint.

At this point, the bus was 7 years old, but the blue & cream was very effective at hiding wear and tear and everyday scuffs (whereas the new tan livery tended to age quickly and look tired after a short period). As one off the final batch of PDR1s, this bus was delivered in the final version of the blue & cream, without the between decks stripe (new buses from D555 onwards did not have it, and many earlier buses lost it on repaint if they were lucky enough to have a blue & cream overhaul/repaint before the dreadful tan became standard).

Throughout this time, D568 spent pretty much all of its time on the 22 route, and it can be seen that 7 years marked in on the same route has faded the destination blinds to the point that they are almost unreadable.

The intermediate blind is correctly set for BAILE PHIB / CARNAN and as this blind served both directions, it was the most faded of the lot, as the ultimate destinations were at least only displayed 505 of the time, while the journeys would also alternate between 22 and 22A frequently, helping preserve the number blind.  If this bus had been visiting any other route on the day of this picture, the blinds would probably have been crisp and white!


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