Then there was RF633, then East Kent Reliance WFN513, which had worked a last-minute feeder service up from Swanley. The 1961 Reliance, with 41-seater Park Royal dual purpose bodywork, was now working on local routes during the day, and was about to go up to Stevenage on the 390. It seemed good to me. With permission, I climbed aboard.
We rolled round to Bircherley Green to form the 1425 bus to Stevenage, and took on a full load. WE wound our way out of Hertford and along the inner by-pass, and out up the familiar road through Hertford North and Stapleford. Due to the tightness of the schedule the crew decided to miss out Watton, and continued up the by-pass and on along towards Stevenage. We worked our way in along the main road network, to arrive just about on time. There was a large crowd waiting for us, and even after some of ours had disembarked we did not have room for everyone. I sneaked off to get a picture.
Fully loaded again we headed south, down the main road to the roundabout north of Watton, then into the village for a photo stop at The Bull.
We set off again towards Hertford. The weather was closing in and the light was going. Spots of rain ominously appeared. We were just a few minutes late into Hertford Bus Station, pulling in between the Centrebus staff vehicle and one of their service buses. On the other side RF489 was loading for the day's scheduled trip to Great Munden, the 384A.
I was undecided what to do. I fancied a trip to Hatfield, but I had missed the 1537 departure, and the next was not until 1637. And it rained. I walked over to Old London Road again, where I found RF489 set up for the 380, presumably for an evening trip, and RF406 set up for the last round trip to Benington Green on the 384B.
RM1699 was still there, and RT2083 was resting from earlier labours on the 715.
I walked back over to the bus station through the shower. On the way I was overtaken by RML2323, coming in from Ware with a 395, and by GS2, returning again from Chapmore End.
RF146 came in on a through working of the 351 from Bishops Stortford to Essendon. Even that did not properly register on my tired brain. I began to realise that my blood sugar was low and I needed to visit the cafe again.
Then GS64 squeezed past, going out on a 308A to Little Berkhamsted, and RML2323 was loading up, I think for its return to Epping Station to judge by the blinds!
As for me: I retired to the bus station cafe for a toasted teacake and a mug of tea...
Part Nine: RT to Hatfield
Photos by Ian Smith. Click on any of them for a larger picture.
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