Hertford Running Days
Saturday 7th, Sunday 8th June 2014
Prepared by Ian Smith, 1st July 2014.
384: Stevenage to Hertford: RF633The railway delivered me efficiently to Stevenage on Sunday morning, and I walked over the bridge to the Bus Station. The usual collection of Arriva buses was meandering about , but it was not long before RF633 arrived for the early service to Hertford via Dane End. A small band of enthusiasts joined me for this rare trip, and we climbed aboard, greeting Peter Aves. and Les.
We headed out of Stevenage via the Old Town. The broad dual carriageways of the New Town abruptly gave way at a roundabout to the narrow leafy lane to Walkern. We picked a careful way along its twists and turns, slowed further by cyclists that were almost impossible to overtake along this lane.
The twisting wooded lane gave way to a twisting lane over cultivated countryside, down into Walkern. We passed along through the village to a T-junction, where we turned right. The old wooden bus shelter has been replaced by a modern one. Twisting lanes continued as we went south, forking left for Benington.
Suddenly we were at Benington Green, a charming spot, with a triangle convenient for turning buses, so a natural short-working terminus. We stopped for photographs.
We pressed on through Benington Village - more prosaic and workaday than the Green. At Whempstead we made the tight turn into narrow Whempstead Lane to head for Dane End. How did London Country get wider, longer Nationals and TD Tigers along here? We made the acute turn at Dane End, and paused for a moment.
The road south through Sacombe was much wider - enough for two RFs to pass, as we haved proved before. We bowled along, coming up to the T-junction with the direct road from Whempstead. We turned left towards Hertford. We forked off the main road to pass through Tonwell, then rejoined it to drop down into Ware.
We circled round past the station to join the main road to Hertford. It was closed! We edged up close the man on the barrier, who waved us through, explaining that they could not stop buses. Actually the work being done was tarring and chipping the road surface, so we trundled west towards Hertford, passing Dart/Alexander LX51FGN on the Sunday 311 to Waltham Cross.
We pulled in to Bircherley Green bus station, which was beginning to thrum with activity as buses arrived. RF308 was already there.
Olympian Coaches' Dart SLF Y971TGH was there, presumably on a 311. It was not there a few minutes later, when RT604 rolled up with the long feeder service from West Croydon, running from Victoria as a 715.
RF518 rolled up, ready for a foray to Chapmore End on the 333.
Timebus' silver-liveried Routemaster, SRM7 (RM1871) arrived from St.Albans, and went off to park at London Road.
I grabbed some breakfast from the excellent cafe at the bus station (Bagelettés), although I did not have time to finish my tea before the next excursion....
Photos by Ian Smith. Click on any of them for a larger picture.