Pat`s Schoolhouse Leyland Olympian
Singapore Bus Service (SBS) had placed a further order of 200 non-air-conditioned Leyland Olympian which was bodied by Walter Alexander, spotting the familiar R-type design that was already in used on the Mercedes-Benz O305 and Leyland Atlantean double-deckers. They were subsequently registered and delivered between 19 November 1986 and 1 March 1988.
By the end of 2003, most of them has reached its statutory lifespan and were gradually being retired from revenue service. However, two of such buses were preserved. SBS6907X was converted into “The Red Bus” on 15 May 2003 which was owned by the National Youth Council Academy and preserved at Youth Park as a static exhibit till this day.
Meanwhile, SBS7196Z was re-registered as YL8508R on 30 December 2003 and acquired by the Singapore Sports Council to become Singapore’s first mobile children’s Gym Bus, nicknamed “Bobbie the GymBus”. It aims to promote sports development for the child in a fun, entertaining and educational way. Targeting the kindergartens and the lower primary students, the bus made its rounds through various schools and institutions, allowing the students to play and interact with gym equipment such as cushioned ramps, fireman ladder, and hand swings that were up-cycled from old hand grips. The bus was also parked at various places such as the Padang, National Stadium and Singapore Expo as part of organised events.
Since 9 March 2008, the bus was decommissioned and was acquired by the management of Pat’s Schoolhouse, a private preschool institution. It was preserved at Jubilee Park, one of their many centres across the island and continues to function as a children’s play area for the students.
The big move to Katong
After a decade of being a static display at Jubilee Park, the day has finally come as the lease for the centre runs out and has to be shut eventually. It was decided that the bus is to be moved to Pat’s Schoolhouse at Katong which has ample space to accommodate it. The management has arranged for the bus to be towed to the Katong Centre at 26 Still Road South on 21 March 2020. We are grateful that our team was invited to witness and document the move.
WATCH: Video during the process of re-positioning the bus for static display
|Date Registered||1 March 1988|
|Date Retired||30 December 2003|
|Bodywork||Alexander R Type|
|Engine & Transmission|
|Transmission||Leyland Fully Charged Semi-Automatic Hydraulic|
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