Spottings & Jottings Special - 30th April 2014

Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Current archives from October 2002

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This special edition records the recent RT Running Day on London's 22 route. The buses operated between Piccadilly Circus and Homerton with short workings from Shoreditch.

The next full edition of the OCBP will be in two weeks time and will include the latest on local happenings. We will also record the days of the Tube strike in London when extra buses were provided on many routes, including the 11, 38 and 211.

Any pictures of these Tube strike days would be appreciated.

Running Days

Amersham & District Motorbus Society

Nearly eleven years ago and on 5 October 2003, RLH48 takes a happy group of enthusiasts on a run to Berkhamsted - Malcolm Crowe.

From: Peter Cartwright, Running Days Organiser, Amersham & District Motorbus Society

I note that your last bus page in Feb included our 2013 Running Days - NOT the 2014 Running Days details of which are attached (see end of e-mail). Programmes can be purchased in advance through our website or from the Tourist Information Centre in High Wycombe Library at the Eden Centre where they cost £6 ( £7 on the day). (Sorry about the incorrect information. Ed.)

As a group, we organise 5 Running Days per year, Watford, Slough, Uxbridge, Hemel Hempstead and AmershamWe also attend various events and rallies during the year.  Take a look at our Dates to Remember section to see where we are going.

At each Running Day we have a commemorative model bus for sale for the particular event.  These are a real collectors item and beautifully manufactured.  The models are usually of vehicles relative to that area or services run from that area.

The programmes from our Running Days are also collectors items.  They have interesting articles about vehicles running and historical items of past routes, services and vehicles running around the area as well as full time tables for the day.  The programme is full of photographs of vehicles found both in the past and those running the routes on the day.  Programmes usually run into 30 to 40 pages.  

You can buy your programmes about 1 month before the event click here for ordering information - ordering now available online!! 

If you are a vehicle owner and would like to get involved in one of our events please e-mail us for further details.  Owners receive a commemorative plaque to celebrate the occasion.


Oxfordshire Bus Enthusiasts Society 

The Oxfordshire Bus Enthusiasts Society was formed in June 2010 and aims to provide an informal monthly social meeting in  Oxford for those with an interest in buses. Meetings are normally held on the 3rd Tuesday of each month and normally take the form of a picture  show with local and guest speakers.  A small charge is made to cover the cost of hiring the function room and this is usually around £1 for members per meeting depending on numbers.  For non-members a charge of £2 per head is made.

20th May - Pictures from the John Law collection

Meetings are held in the upstairs function room at:

The Folly Bridge Inn

38 Abingdon Road



Some limited parking at the back of the pub, also close to bus stops (frequent X3/X13 or 35 routes stop outside)

or a short walk from Oxford City Centre - For directions click HERE 


All meetings start at 19.30pm although you are welcome to come along beforehand for food in the bar.

A detailed programme of meetings can be found at the following link and we hope many of you will attend future meetings.


When readers take copies of pictures from the OCBP site 


Some of the contributors to this site have noticed that their pictures are appearing on e-bay sites selling such things.


Needless to say this is a theft of copyright and one which I deplore!


I would not wish to have to watermark photographs, thereby making them unsalable as such but if this practice continues I shall be left with no alternative. I am sure this would detract from the pleasure so many of you get from the OCBP.


May I please ask readers to do two things?


1/ If you see any photos on sale please let me know and where they are appearing.


2/ If you are someone who has copied and sold photos please desist as this is theft and I will have to take legal action against anyone found doing so.


The site is free to all readers and I pay a price to publish the pages which is not passed on.


Please respect those freedoms and I hope I may not have to mention this matter again.


The level of contribution to this page by readers, as ever, remains excellent! Thank you all. 

Malcolm Crowe - Editor - OCBP - 30th April 2014

RT Running Day 12th April 2014 by Gavin Francis

Transport for London have designated 2014 The Year of the Bus and one of the first events to be held was a running day using buses from the RT family on Route 22.

This route had for many years run between Putney and Homerton but along with many long cross London routes was cut in half with the western end running from Putney to Piccadilly Circus retaining the 22 number with the eastern section from Tottenham Court Road to Homerton becoming Route 242.

For the running day, Route 22 ran from Piccadilly Circus to Homerton with some short workings terminating at St. Paul's and Shoreditch Church and also some trips ran on to Ash Grove Garage where there was a display buses both old and new.

Your editor Malcolm Crowe and I used The Oxford Tube from Lewknor to Victoria and then the chance to ride on a New Bus for London to get us to St. Paul's which is just around the corner from Cheapside where we were to board our first bus.

The timetable showed that there was due to be a bus every 10mins from about 10.30am through to 16.30. As always in London keeping to a timetable is very difficult with the amount of traffic congestion and large gaps soon started to appear with buses sometimes running in pairs. However in general most buses carried good loads picking up both enthusiasts and the normal travelling public. There were no fares charged but there was a chance to make a donation towards the upkeep of the bus. The only fare charged was to ride on RT1 which was 10 pounds per journey.

15 buses were used in total covering most of the RT family variations. There were both A.E.C. and Leylands, central area red, country area green and Green Line versions, different body builders represented with buses from Park Royal, Metro-Cammell, Weymann, Saunders and Cravens and also both 7ft 6ins and 8ft wide versions.

Our first bus was RT3491 which took us to Shoreditch Church where it terminated. Malcolm wanted to ride on RT1 which was due to arrive from Homerton so we decided to split up. He went west back to Piccadilly Circus whilst I headed east to Homerton. This enabled us to get a wider range of pictures.

We met up later in the afternoon at Ash Grove Garage where the display of buses showed buses of the RT family through to New Buses for London waiting to enter service on Route 38.

We were lucky enough to get a lift back to Central London on RT1784 now owned by John and Gill Hinson. It brought back many memories for me having owned it over 40 years ago and great to see it out and about.

It was then back on The Oxford Tube back to Lewknor which ended a very enjoyable unique day out.


RT 1 (EYK 396).

Star performer of the day was RT1. A mere 75 years after it first entered service in August 1939
 it was back doing a day’s work on the streets of London.
After being sold by London Transport in 1978 it ended up in the U.S.A. where it almost met its end in a scrapyard.
 In the 1980s it returned to the UK where it was given a thorough restoration
and is pictured here in Shoreditch High Street bound for Piccadilly Circus.


Some more pictures taken by Malcolm Crowe who rode on RT1,
They are taken in Shaftsbury Avenue and reflect 75 years since this wonderful bus entered service.

RT 1396 (KXW 495).
This bus has a Saunders body which is different from other body builders by having the offside route number set further back.
Again it is in Shoreditch High Street.

RT 1431 (JXC 194).
A small batch of RTs were bodied by Cravens on Anglesey. Their design varied from the other body builders.
This picture shows the 5 bay lower deck windows as opposed to other builders using 4. Shoreditch High Street is the location.

RT 1700 (KYY 527).
 This Park Royal bodied example was new to London Transport in 1950.
Now regularly used on the Epping - Ongar shuttle bus it is pictured approaching its Homerton destination.

RT 3028 (NLE 918).
 The final few streets approaching the terminus at Homerton are twisty and narrow.
Here Weymann bodied RT 3028 threads its way to its final destination.

RT 3062 (KXW 171).
 Another Saunders bodied example this time waits at the Shoreditch Church terminal for its next trip.

RT 3238 (KYY 967).
A small number of RTs were painted in Green Line livery normally to be used as duplicates on busy summer weekends.
 RT 3238 is seen heading south towards Liverpool Street Station. Picture: Clive King.

RT 3491 (LYR 910).
Another Green Line liveried example is seen leaving Shoreditch Church bound for Piccadilly Circus.

RT 3871 (LLU 670).
 Although in red livery now this Weymann bodied bus was green when delivered in 1950.
It worked from both Swanley and Watford garages before entering Aldenham for overhaul in 1959 and emerging red and sent to work from Leyton Garage.
 A regular performer on the last day Routemaster routes it is seen approaching its destination at Shoreditch Church.

RT 4421 (NXP 775).
 This bus is one of many buses in the Ensign Heritage fleet and therefore carries their fleet name.
It is pictured in Cheapside bound for Piccadilly Circus. 

RTL 139 (KGK 803).
Delivered new in 1949 this bus initially operated from Riverside Garage and continued to work in London until withdrawal in 1967.
It was then sold to a museum in Holland where it stayed until it closed in 1998,
thereafter being purchased by an individual who donated it to The London Bus Museum.
It is pictured in Shoreditch High Street on its way through East London to Homerton.

RTL 453 (KLB 648).
Delivered new in December 1949 it first entered service on Route 53 at Plumstead before moving on to Riverside Garage.
Following overhaul it was one of a very few Leylands to gain a roof box body.
Originally sold to Ceylon as part of a large batch a broken spring meant it had to be replaced by another RTL.
Instead it was acquired for preservation and is now owned by Ensignbus. It is often used on The Wartime London Tour.
It is seen here passing Shoreditch Church.

RTL 1076 (LUC 253).
In 1967 this became the first bus to be bought by Abegweit Tours of Charlettown, Prince Edward Island Canada.
Subsequently 10 more London Buses were bought with the purchase of more RTLs, RTs and RMs.
In 2010 The London Bus Company bought the fleet and had them shipped back to England.
Here RTL 1076 is pictured in Shoreditch High Street en route to Homerton.

 RTW 75 (KGK 575).
Entered service at Shepherds Bush Garage in 1950 on Route 105,
it was one of the buses used to test the suitability of 8ft wide buses in Central London
and ended its life as a trainer due to its width being the same as the RMs being introduced.
Sold in 1970 to Ted Brakell dealer and is now another bus from The London Bus Company.
It is seen turning into Ash Grove Garage.

RTW 467 (LLU (957).
New into service in November 1950 at Battersea Garage and was used on Routes 31 and 39.
It was sold straight into preservation in March 1967 and is seen in Shoreditch High Street.

Ash Grove Garage

In conjunction with the 22 route there was a display of London Buses both past and new at Ash Grove Garage on Cambridge Heath Road.

Most of the buses on view were of the RT family although New Buses for London

were being stored ready for the full conversion of Route 38 to this type. Picture: Malcolm Crowe

LT 4 was one of the original batch of 8 originally trialled on the 38 route. The route is due to be fully converted to NBFL in the next few weeks.

Newly delivered LT 180 and LT 181 await entry into service.

Apart from RT 1 the oldest bodied RT on show was RT 1784. Built in 1947 it was one of the first post war RTs.

It has a band beneath the engine compartment canopy and the route number is a stencil rather than a roller blind. This distinguishes it from later roof box RTs.

RLH 48 represented a class which once operated locally on Route 178.

Very few RTs were sold new to operators other than London Transport as they were regarded as too complex,
 However 67 was one of 40 bought by St. Helens.
It was new in 1950 and was bought for preservation in 1971 after it had spent the latter part of its life with Hull Corporation.
It had come all the way down from Lathalmond, Scotland for the event!

Malcolm took some more pictures of the St Helens RT. 


Parked all day at the Homerton end of Route 22 was RT 2775.
Delivered in January 1952 it went with 2 other members of the RT family on a 12000 mile tour of North America.
Throughout its working life it retained its original body complete with GB plate on the back,
however upon overhaul in 1964 the body was placed on the chassis of RT 734 from 1948 which it retains today.
Withdrawn in May 1977 it was one of the last RTs in service.

Alongside the terminus at Homerton is a park and there I found Hackney Playbus B663CET which was originally with Yorkshire Traction.
It is a Leyland Olympian with Eastern Coachworks body built in 1984. It has also been with The Coachmasters (Rochdale).

Overall a very well organised day which was greatly enjoyed by both enthusiasts and the general public alike.

All the pictures are by the author unless otherwise  stated. 

I was delighted to join Gavin on this day out and as I had wanted to ride on RT1 for many years, indeed ever since I saw it in Amersham depot what must have been some 30 years ago!

It is a credit to the preservation movement that so many of these wonderful buses are still around.

I must look out some pictures I took of the RTs on Prince Edward Island, Canada back in 1994.


Links & Publications

Mike Penn's interesting web site for pictures

You might be interested to know that I have now uploaded 268 photos taken in Beds, Bucks and Herts in the year 2000 to my website -

One of the major events of the year was the purchase by Arriva the Shires of the City of Oxford operation in High Wycombe on December 13th. Two days later, as can be seen from the photographs, vehicles had received Arriva The Shires fleet names and legal lettering but retained their Oxford fleet numbers.

The other major event was the enforced sale of the Lutonian operation by Arriva the Shires.

Both Arriva The Shires and Arriva East Herts & Essex continued to repaint vehicles into Arriva livery though there were still many in previous liveries.

Elsewhere in the region M K Metro continued their policy of purchasing various interesting secondhand vehicles. Some of these came from Border Buses – the company in Lancashire that M K Metro had bought.

Buffalo Travel continued to run but Seamarks were taken over by Dunn-Line early in the year.

Many other independents are also represented. 

Mike Penn

Todays buses - Oxfordshire

This review covers the September 2010 video by Robin Clare Transport. The issue costs £10 and is well worth this small cost for over one hour of buses and coaches in our area.

The most surprising thing are the changes one can see in only just over 18 months and as such viewers will enjoy a pleasant hour or so bringing back memories.

Click on the link above to order your copy now. Oh and do quote the OCBP when doing so.


Thames Valley - final part now available




ORDER NOW FOR £20+ £3 p&p

This final installment of the 4-volume 800-page history of the Thames Valley Traction Co. Ltd. brings the story to its conclusion on the last day of 1971.

All route developments and changes to the fleet are fully detailed, along with special appendices for the service vehicle fleet, garages and out-stations, a route map, garage allocations and working arrangements.

Profusely illustrated with 548 monochrome half-tone illustrations and a full-colour section of 45 photos, this provides a very comprehensive history of this interesting decade, including the numerous secondhand vehicles acquired during those years. Demand will be high, so

order now from: Paul Lacey, 17 Sparrow Close

Woosehill, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG41 3HT

If you are local and wish to collect please call me on 0118 979 4097 and arrange a suitable time, but no casual callers please!


Newbury & District History now available

Paul Lacey has now released his long awaited history of Newbury & District.

The book covers the whole history of this fascinating company which although based in Newbury was seen in Oxford, Harwell and many surrounding areas.

A Guy Arab on the Oxford service and seen at Gloucester Green.

Its coaches were often hired by South Midland who ran between Oxford & London and there was quite a lot of interchange between the fleets, when both owned by Red & White.

The company ran from 1932 until 1951 but its memory lingers on within Newbury and recent changes there reflect this.

The book is exceptionally well researched and contains many photographs plus memories and fleet lists of the company and its constituents.

One of the constituent companies was Denham's.

Apart from the archaic Leylands, the company ran some AEC Regals after the war.
These were rebodied with ECOC/ECW bodies purchased from North Western Road Car, Stockport via dealers.
They had been new in 1936 on Bristol Jo5G chassis which were rebodied with Brush bodies in 1946 to a similar design.
Your Editor must have travelled on one of these buses, when in NWRCC service, as a small boy.
They would have doubtless run on service to Highclere, now well known as the house is featured in Downton Abbey.

The cover price is £25.00 but you can get the publication at a special price of £12.50 + £3.00 post and packing for OCBP readers.

Just mention OCBP when ordering from:

Paul Lacey,
17 Sparrow Close
Berkshire RG41 3HT.