RW3, Bengeo

Hertford Running Days

Saturday 2nd, Sunday 3rd June 2012

Prepared by Ian Smith, 7th June 2012.

RW3 Launch

333: Hertford to Bengeo and back: RW3

On arrival back at Hertford (London Road) in RF633, we pulled up behind RW3. The newly restored bus was making its debut in passenger service today. After a two and a half year restoration from almost scrap condition, the immaculate AEC Reliance had appeared at Wisley for the Cobham Spring Gathering (late in the day), and had been to Brighton on the HCVS run. But now it was making its first advertised appearance. We gathered round it, and the RF pulled away.

RW3 showing 333, 2nd June 2012 RF633 and RW3

We spent a while admiring it and photographing it before climbing aboard. I never saw any of the three in the three years that they spent with London Transport in the early 1960's, so this was something totally new to me. I was well gratified that owner and prime mover in the restoration John Huxford posted up pages from my web-site about the history of the class with LT.


We set off for the short run to Bengeo. As Bircherley Green bus station is hardly the same as the old bus station there that RW3 would have used in service, we ignored it and headed round the town along Gascoyne Way, turning north along Mill Bridge to cross the River Lea. We followed a Centrebus Solo (323), modern succesor to the RW, through the town. We turned up the hill towards Bengeo, crossing the old railway bridge and climbing up from the town. The little engine of the Reliance worked hard, producing a much sharper sound than the big-engined RFs.

Inside RW3, London Road Centrebus 323 on H3, Hertford

Near the top of the hill we made the right turn off Bengeo Street into New Road, and turned left into Parker Avenue. John carefully manoevred past the parked cars, the extra six-inch width of this bus compared with an RF very apparent in these estate roads, then pulled up in a gap for a photo stop.

RW3 on 333 at Bengeo, 2nd June 2012 RW3 on 333 at Bengeo, 2nd June 2012 RW3 on 333 at Bengeo, 2nd June 2012

We climbed back aboard, and went round the block, back to the main road, and back down to Hertford. We returned to London Road, and changed the blinds to those for the 390. There was discussion about how far to go - Watton Station or Stevenage - and it was concluded that there was not a lot of point in following the main road into Stevenage.

390: Hertford to Watton Station and back: RW3

We headed for Bircherley Green bus station. All the stands were occupied at just after five on a Saturday afternoon. John turned the bus at the north end, beside the river, and pulled up on the east side. Centrebus Solo 322 passed by on the 333.

Inside RW3, London Road Centrebus 323 on H4, 322 on 333, RW3 on 390, Hertford

We headed west out of Hertford, past Hertford North Station and out along the road towards Stevenage. We passed through Waterford and Stapleford, then turned into Watton village. We growled up the incline through the village, and turned up the bank to reach Watton Station. The bus was turned there. Several people noted that the field opposite, that last time we were here was a field full of poppies, is now full of small houses, conveniently close to the station.

RW3, Watton Station RW3, Watton Station

We reboarded, and set off back towards Hertford. On the way we paused at Stapleford for a photo stop.

RW3 on 390 at Stapleford, 2nd June 2012

We returned to London Road in Hertford. After thanks, it was off to Hertford East Station, where I just missed a train. Never mind, just half an hour until the next one. 317891 took me to Broxbourne, where I made up the half-hour on a late-running connection to Cambridge that I should have missed.

Hertford East Station 317891, Broxbourne Station

More tomorrow..

Part Four: Sunday morning

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

Ian's Bus-stop 1 2 3 4 5 6 7