RF633 arrived bang on time at 1130, wearing blinds for the 388 to Mardley Hill. The RF had arrived into the first turn on Azalea Drive, so turned round and came back to the northbound stop.
The three of us who had gathered climbed aboard and the RF choggled round to Swanley Garage, where we stopped for more photos.
After that we were away onto the M25, to dive under the Thames and climb up into Essex. The M11 followed after the M25, for a short way until we reached the A414. We skirted along the east side of Harlow, seeing very few of the multicoloured array of buses that now inhabit the town, and headed for Sawbridgeworth.
Then we set off for Hertford, along the road to High Wych, then on through Gilston. The road dipped down to rejoin the main A414 at a roundabout just north of Harlow Town Station. An orange and white Cenrebus Dart headed for Harlow round the opposite side of the roundabout. We turned off the dual carriageway for Eastwick, and were immediately followed by First Essex' Solo 53114 on the 347 on one of its six visits each day. We stopped and let the service bus pass, and took photos there and again in the village, where the RF aroused considerable interest.
We completed the loop back onto the main road, where perforce we had to turn east. We went right along to the roundabout, as traffic was heavy, and turned back westwards. Another Solo, this one from Centrebus, came battling along, by-passing Eastwick.
We made the turn-off from the A414 for Stanstead Abbotts and St.Margarets. Heading on towards Ware we met Trident 5445 heading south on the 310, these days truncated to Waltham Cross. We met sister 5442 further on, between Ware and Hertford, also working the 310.
As we rolled into Hertford past the old garage site at Fairfax Road we met yet another Trident heading east, although 5424 was not in service. We parked up in Old London Road, and went to check in at various hotels and guest houses, ready to meet up for the afternoon's Route Recreations...
Part Two: Route Recreation 388
Photos by Ian Smith. Click on any of them for a larger picture.
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