Corgi OM44709 Plaxton Pointer-bodied Dennis Dart SLF
- Arriva South London
Released July 2007

Review by Tony Price

PDL27, registration number X527 GGO is one of a batch of 10.7m Plaxton Pointer 2-bodied Dennis Darts SLFs delivered new to Arriva South London in December 2000 for use on south London route 289. It shows the CN code for Beddington Farm Garage in north-east Croydon, which is situated just half a mile from the line of the route that passes through the major super-store complex on Croydon’s Purley Way. This shoppers-paradise is just north of what is still known locally today as Croydon Airport. With the growth of Gatwick and London’s Heathrow (named after the village of Heath Row that it engulfed) Croydon Airport closed on 30th September 1959. For most of the 1980s, "Croydon Airport" was the evening and Saturday terminus of the 289, which otherwise went further south to Purley.

In 2005 the route was re-awarded to Arriva, and the bus was refurbished, losing it’s trademark Arriva cow-horns and becoming all-over red with the mandatory white roof and roof descriptor.

For almost its entire life the 289 has been the main-stay of the busy commuter corridor between Addiscombe and central Croydon. Over the years it has strayed east of Addiscombe to Elmers End and beyond to Beckenham, and south of Croydon to Waddon, Croydon Airport and Purley town centre. The PDLs worked between Elmers End and Purley from the time of their introduction, and although now allocated to Arriva’s Thornton Heath Garage and supplemented by double deck ALX400 and Wright Gemini workings, they still do stalwart service.

The Pointer SLF-bodied Dennis Dart has been a popular casting from Corgi. First introduced to us in Hong Kong City Bus livery in the autumn of 1999 there have been around eighteen general releases prior to this one, of which, surprisingly, only five have been London related in any way (six, if you’re broadminded enough to include the last release in the striking Uno livery!).

OM44709 shows that the original moulds are still turning out crisp castings. The tampo printing is excellent, though my naked eye refused to be able to read the perfect legal lettering for Arriva South London’s South Croydon Bus Garage offices. The model depicts the vehicle on its way to Elmers End Green via West Croydon and Purley Way having been allocated CN’s running number 109. The ‘Arriva serving London’ logos are nicely produced and correctly positioned, and the mirrors very near-scale though have been modelled hung downwards rather than held upwards. The roof identifier is crisply printed onto the reflective white roof.

The rear wheels on the model in my possession are slightly proud of the casting, which is the only spoiling factor, and may not be general – it might equally be that they could be eased back into line on the axle if the model were unscrewed from its plinth, something I am extremely loath to do as I find such models a nightmare to screw back on again! The new style Original Omnibus boxes, green with red coach-lines, display the model attractively on retailers’ shelves, though need a modicum of care when handling, and, especially, opening - get that ruler out!

Certificated to a limit of 2,460 pieces, this is a very pleasing model depicted on a London route not seen before in 1:76, and a release that should appeal to the Arriva collector as much as the London collector.


The  opinions offered in the reviews on this page remain those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the of views of The Model Bus Website.

Return to top of page