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This repaint is based on a Cowie Leaside Northern Counties Palatine 2/DAF DB250RS. In 1995 Leaside Buses, now part of the Cowie Group, were awarded the contract for the 263 (Archway Station - Barnet General Hospital), to start in February 1996. For this they ordered thirteen DAF DB250RS with single-doorway Palatine II bodies, presumably because Hughes DAF was part of the Cowie empire. It was the start of a long history of DAF DB250s with Cowie companies in London and the still-to-emerge Arriva organisation, although most would be the later low-floor version.
The buses arrived from stock during 1995, so were used for contracts, and in January 1996 the 221, until the 263 was ready for takeover. The new buses displaced MTL's Scanias, which went north to Fareway in Liverpool.