RF633, Eastwick

Hertford & Stevenage

Saturday 4th, Sunday 5th June 2011

Prepared by Ian Smith, 12th June 2010.

333: Hertford, Chapmore End and Bengeo: GS2

John Huxford drove us out of Bircherley Green bus station in GS2, and round the inner by-pass to re-enter the town past the wonderful brick frontage of the Green Dragon Hotel.

Inside GS2 Green Dragon, Hertford

We stopped at the bus-stop on Mill Bridge, above the River Lea, then forked right to begin the climb up through Bengeo. We went past the turn for Parker Avenue (the short-working), and continued to the top of the town, where we forked right at the roundabout onto Wades Mill Road.

GS2 on Mill Bridge, Hertford Top of Bengeo

Wades Mill Road, the B158, was a good quality Main Road. But the lane up to Chapmore End was a different kettle of fish. Just wide enough for the bus, we would not want to have met anything, even at the "passing places".

Wades Mill Road Chapmore End Lane

We turned the corner at the top of the lane, and wended a careful way through the village, past "The Woodman" and several groups of walkers and cyclists enjoying the rural idyll.

The end of the line was a little triangular junction of lanes, surmounted by a village sign. John made the reverse turn on the triangle, into the narrow lane to Stney Hills, and drew ahead to beside the sign so as not to block the junction (not that there was any traffic at this time of day).

GS2 at Chapmore End Chapmore End

GS2 at Chapmore End GS2 at Chapmore End

Then John moved the bus along to stand next to the pond, which had its own inhabitants.

GS2 at Chapmore End GS2 at Chapmore End

GS2 at Chapmore End ducks at Chapmore End

Next we moved along to the Woodman pub - for photos, not a pint (it was only 10.30 in the morning!).

GS2 at Woodman, Chapmore End Woodman at Chapmore End

Then it was back onto the bus, and back along the narrow lane out of the village. We just hoped not to meet a crazt 4x4 driver round a blind bend. John made good use of the horn at the tightest bend. We turned down the long lane to the main road and pulled in to a drive entrance to let a car pass us. Nigel and I alighted and walked down the lane for some pictures of the bus coming down towards us.

bend, Chapmore End GS2 in Chapmore End Lane

We reboarded, and continued down the lane, at the bottom passing a police car that was waiting for us to pass. We headed back west to Bengeo, and turned in to New Road, and then Parker Avenue, where we pulled up where the stop used to be, (Nowadays the buses do an anticlockwise loop through the estate, stopping in Parker Avenue on the way up.) The bus aroused considerable interest among the local people. After a few minutes we were on our way again, down to the foot of the avenue for a reverse turn, and back up onto New Road.

GS2, Parker Avenue, Bengeo GS2, Parker Avenue, Bengeo

We descended into Hertford, and wound our way back round the town to the bus station. We did not qualify to use Centrebus' rest bus, DRL60, on station for their crews during a day on which the cafe does not operate - although of course it was doing a roaring trade all day today.

GS2, Bircherley Green DRL60, Bircherley Green

Next bus in was RF281 on a 350A to Potters Bar. Seems good to me...

Part Six: Potters Bar

Photos by Ian Smith. Click on any of them for a larger picture.

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