T792, Cole Green

Hertford Running Days

Saturday 7th, Sunday 8th June 2014

Prepared by Ian Smith, 23rd June 2014.

372/381A: Hertford to Coopersale Common: RF633

I travelled from home to Hertford North by train: after a splendid run down the main line for two hours, covering well over two hundred miles, there was a very long wait at Stevenage for a connection. Most electric main-line trains were stopping at Peterborough or here while the new Canal Junction at Kings Cross was wired up, and the suburban services to Moorgate or Finsbury Park by either route were severely affected too. Eventually I climbed off the grubby Class 313 set at Hertford North. Presumably these will be sent to service us grateful recipients in the North, once the new franchise gets new trains, and the North's few decent trains are sent south.

I descended to ground level, and crossed the road to the bus stop. There was an indicator of buses due. Nothing until a 724 in nearly half an hour. I set off to walk into Hertford town centre. A hundred metres down the road the previous 724 roared past. Thinking black thoughts I walked on into Hertford.

Arriva's Cadet 4521 came the other way as I crossed the junction for the road to Bengeo.

313047 leaves Hertford North 4521 in Hertford

I walked through the town centre towards London Road, where we usually start these route recreation days. I was aware that I did not know what time we were meeting, although I suspected two o'clock. I spotted RF627, and went to meet Ken Eveleigh. He did not know the start time either. But after a couple of minutes the familiar green shapes of RT3148, RF633 and RF679 appeared, and folk began to gather for the club outing on RF633.

RF627 at Hertford RT3148, RF633, RF679 in Hertford

Only RF633 would be needed for the afternoon: the other buses were going on elsewhere ready for the morrow.

RT3148 in Hertford RF679 at Hertford

372: Hertford to Tylers Cross: RF633

RF633 was set up as an Epping bus on the short-lived 372 from Hertford to Coopersale Common.

We set off from London Road, round the large roundabout at Hertford East and off towards Ware. Near the old LT garage in Fairfax Road we passed TGM Essex' Citaro 3893 on the 724 bound for Heathrow.

RF633 ready for 372 3893 on 724 at Hertford

We headed on for Ware, which we by-passed alongside the New River, the aqueduct created to take fresh Hertford spring-water into London. Volvo B7RLE / Wright Eclipse Urban 3881 of Arriva The Shires was rolling stock on the Saturday 310 service.

New River at Ware 3881 on 310 at Ware

We turned east at Amwell Crossroads for St.Margarets, where we crossed the railway (Hertford branch). We passed through the village and turned south.

We came to a halt at Roydon Station, where the lights flasshed red and the barriers came down just as we approached. We had a lengthy wait for trains to cross before the barriers lifted again.

RF633 on 372 at Roydon Station RF633 on 372 at Roydon Station

We paused again at Tylers Cross. Here was one of the connection points on the network, where the Epping - St.Margarets buses met with the Harlow - Broxbourne service - and waited to actually make connections. In latter years, as Harlow New Town developed, the 381 from Epping turned aside here into the fledgeling New Town.

RF633 on 372 at Tylers Cross RF633 on 381A at Tylers Cross

381A: Tylers Cross to Coopersale Street: RF633

The blinds on RF633 were changed over to those for the longer-lived 381A to Coopersale Common.

We trundled on southwards over the rolling Hertfordshire countryside, through Epping Green and Epping Upland. Epping itself appeared on the horizon. Approaching the town, we did not make the turn into the Beaconsfield Estate, which these days is more clogged up with parked cars than in days of yore. Instead we continued along the the north end of Epping and turned south to stop in the High Street.

We paused for photos. Townlink's Dart SLF Y293FJN passed us, heading towards Harlow.

RF633 on 381A at Epping Townlink Y293FJN, Epping

We set off again towards Epping Church. We passed Trustybus EnviroDart EDS23 working north on the 541 from Loughton.

RF633 on 381A at Epping Trustybus BX58BEY on 541, Epping

We turned down towards Epping Station. One of The London Bus Company's Routemasters came toiling up the hill, providing an Epping-Ongar Railway route 339 journey to North Weald and Ongar. A pot-hole spoiled my photo, by bouncing me at the crucial moment.

We did not visit the station, as these routes did not, but continued over the railway and down into the valley. We trundled along to The Merry Fiddlers, and turned uphill to Coopersale Street. We paused at the triangular green there (a short-working terminus) and turned the blinds back to 372.

372: Coopersale Street to Coopersale Common: RF633

We completed the stiff little climb up into he fringes of Epping Forest at Coopersale Common, and paused opposite The Garnon Bushes.

RF633 on 381A at Coopersale Street RF633 on 372 at Coopersale Common

We still had to visit Toot Hill before the return trip..

Part Two: Route Recreation 381: Toothill and St.Margarets.

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

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