Hertford Running Days
Saturday 7th, Sunday 8th June 2014
Prepared by Ian Smith, 23rd June 2014.
372/381A: Hertford to Coopersale Common: RF633I 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.
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.
Only RF633 would be needed for the afternoon: the other buses were going on elsewhere ready for the morrow.
372: Hertford to Tylers Cross: RF633RF633 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.
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.
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.
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.
381A: Tylers Cross to Coopersale Street: RF633The 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.
We set off again towards Epping Church. We passed Trustybus EnviroDart EDS23 working north on the 541 from Loughton.
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: RF633We completed the stiff little climb up into he fringes of Epping Forest at Coopersale Common, and paused opposite The Garnon Bushes.
We still had to visit Toot Hill before the return trip..
Photos by Ian Smith. Click on any of them for a larger picture.