UFX852S was new to Hants & Dorset (fleet no 3711) in 1977. It then passed to Solent Blue Line (fleet no 252 then 417) in 1987 who disposed of it a few years later to Trent Buses (fleet no 546) in Derbyshire in 1994. It remained with Trent until March 2001 when it was acquired by Konect Coaches of Saham Toney.
In 2001 Konect owned several other Leyland Nationals including 152 UFX852S. Konect co-founder and director Julian Patterson drove 152 on schools. JP recalls being at Wayland High School in UFX852S and sister vehicle UFX854S was also there with Eastern Counties - of course it was a Leyland National Greenway at that time.
152 was later put on Wymondham Circular routes 805/806 and Dave Gilbert was its regular driver. By June 2005 152 was the only remaining Leyland National in the fleet after 105 (ACH505T) and 120 (DAR120T) were sold for preservation. Over the next 18 months the other step entrance buses (Optare Deltas) were sold and replaced with low-floor easy-access buses. 152 then became a backup bus, only going out in emergencies. A surprise acquisition in 2007 was another Leyland National from Arriva Midlands/Chase Bus (109 TRN809V) which became another backup bus along with 152. 109 was disposed of in 2009 after donating its engine to 152.
In 2009 konectbus celebrated 10 years of operation and to celebrate 152 was treated to an overhaul consisting of repaint, reupholstered seats and a replacement engine. Since then she goes out occasionally to cover market day services and school runs.
October 2013 saw Konect co-founders Julian Patterson and Andy Warnes buy 152 from the company. For the next few months 152 remained in the konectbus fleet (on loan).
On the 14th May 2014 152 performed its final day of service on the 13D/13C (Narborough-Swaffham-Easton College) with driver Richard Cook. Later that day it was stood down from the fleet and is now parked up at a barn in Norfolk with a collection of other classic buses.
In September 2014 Exclusive First Editions released a model of 152. The model is 1:76 scale and is available from Norwich Bus Station for £27 (inc. VAT) - while stocks last!
Thanks tofor providing exact dates on 152's early history.