Then RML898 turned the corner, arriving back from Brooklands wearing route 11 blinds, followed by RF326, coming back from Woking on the 420.
RMC1461 returned from the far end of Redhill Road, and pulled up for a crew change, before heading off once more on the 497 to Brooklands.
RML898 came back too, now wearing route 12 blinds to match its Elmers End garage plates.
RF326 came as far as the dolly stop. I went to talk to the crew while they took a break prior to the next 420 working.
I joined RF326 and we set off westwards, continuing west at the roundabout through Byfleet and over the motorway into West Byfleet. There we joined the traditional 420 route for a while, turning right to cross the South-Western main line. But we did not turn left for the suburban route through Sheerwater, instead continuing onto the Common and turning left along through the glorious autumn woods to Six Cross Ways, and on into Woking. We pulled up at the station stop, nowadays some way short of the station entrance, and alighted to take pictures.
We climbed back aboard for the return trip. Our driver pulled the hook switch for the starter - and nothing happened. It tried, but did not turn enough for the diesel engine to fire up. Flat battery. The bus had been running - or standing - all day with all the lights on, and the battery had drained. Thank goodness for mobile phones. Cobham was contacted, and they sent out both a service van and a substitute bus.
The service van arrived first, and the battery was given a charge. The bus started first pull. RMA1 had arrived too, so we had a choice of return transport. The chance of a ride on an RMA was too much to pass up (I never had before). So I said my thanks to the RF crew, and claimed a seat upstairs at the front of the RMA. The only problem with this was the spatter of rain-drops across the windows. Whilst not preventing photograhy, they were horrific for picture quality!
We wound round the Woking one-way system (presumably missing seeing RLH32 in the process), and retraced our outward journey: out to Six Cross Ways, then through the trees along the A245 back to West Byfleet, through Byfleet and out to the Cobham Museum in Redhill Road. There the RF retired into the compound.
I left the RMA there and crossed the road in search of more Routemasters...
All photos by Ian Smith. Click on most of them for a larger picture.
Back to Ian's Bus-stop Part 1 Part 3: More Routemasters