Reserve Collection at Covent Garden

Saturday 5th December 1998: Part 2

Prepared on Notepad by Ian Smith,
Best on Netscape Navigator, screen size 640*480
(But it should work on other browsers and resolutions, even if the page layout suffers slightly).

created 4th January 1999.

After looking round London during the day, I made my way back to Covent Garden just before 3pm, having arranged with friends to meet them there at 3.30 in order to watch the departures (scheduled for 4pm onwards). We thought they might run early again....and they did.

I was in the shop at 3.10pm when I heard the S-type starting to move. I left my not-yet-purchases and dashed out in time to see it ease its way out through the crowd, followed closely by the Greenline T219. What a beautiful sound that engine makes! (we'll have to e-mail the LT Museum and ask them to put some .wav files up!). The Breakdown tender 830 J also departed at this point.

Their departure left some gaps in the ranks, allowing some views of the remaining buses that had not been possible earlier in the day: ST821 and STL469 could be seen side on:

STL469 leaning back ST 821
STL469 from this angle really showed why this sub-class was known as the "leaning back" STL, while ST821 exhibited the classic lines of the 1930's Regent.

ST821 STl469 departing The afternoon quickly faded, and the evening lights of Covent Garden reflected from the wet cobbles. Soon the two Regents were switched on, and ticked over mellifluously, before easing their way out of the Piazza, headlights blazing in the dusk.

GS64 This left the younger classes still to leave. The GS filled up with passengers, and the quiet roar of the Perkins diesel was soon to be heard. Behind it the Fleetline, DMS1, fired up, and filled the Piazza with a dense cloud of smoke. No, it wasn't re-enacting a seventies engine fire, but just having problems with long under-used injectors! The driver of the GS in front was laughing fit to burst.

These two left, with RF537, leaving just RT4712 and RCL2229 in the corner of the piazza. These two left just on 4pm, and we made our way down onto the Strand and along to Charing Cross, wondering if we would see them pass. Much to our delight it was the original Routemaster, RM1, that hurried past just as we reached Charing Cross.

It had been a good day. Thanks to the LT Museum for putting it on.
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