RF28 at Bengeo

Hertford Running Day

Sunday September 10th 2000

Prepared by Ian Smith, 17th September 2000

CIG1701 at Sevenoaks

Part 1: Arrivals

This was NOT a nostalgia trip for me. Coming from Bromley, I had seldom ventured far north of the river, and cannot recall ever catching a Northern Division 300-series bus. So Hertford was an adventure, new territory...

My first public transport of the day was almost as old as the Routemasters, and still in front-line service. 4-CIG 1701 took me aboard as the 0712 from Sevenoaks, for the brisk run to London Bridge.
VC34 on London Bridge T658 in the City I crossed the Thames, and walked up through the City, very quiet on this Sunday morning, with the occasional bus rumbling past: Volvos on the 133, a Titan on the 47, Metrobuses on the 149.
I walked up to Liverpool Street, where I was in plenty of time to grab some breakfast and catch the 0835 to Hertford, formed of unit 315850. As we approached Hertford in the sunshine, a RMC rolled over the viaduct, and I knew that I had come to the right place.
315850 at Hertford East

The train terminated at Hertford East, and a goodly number of folk alighted. Quite a few LOOKED like bus enthusiasts, if you know what I mean, and seemed to know where they were going, so I tagged along.

A green RT and a red RM sailed past as we went, heading for the "garage", and then we were there: Hertford Bus Station. Not the broad expanse of empty concrete slabs dotted with bus stands and occasional buses, as seen in the books, but the modern version: compact, tight, efficient. But it had toilets, a cafe, - and buses.
RMC1477 at Hertford Bus Stn

There was still nearly half an hour before kickoff, but the visiting buses were cycling through the bus station and on to the carpark in the town that was acting as "garage" for the day. So there was plenty to see in the twenty minutes before the first departure. (As well as visiting the cafe).

First on the scene for me was that RMC that I had seen earlier. It pulled in, dressed for the 715. During the day it would be doing 715 shorts to Wormley, but for the interim it wore its Guildford blinds.
Next along were a pair in London Country NBC green and white: Leyland National SNB312 and Routemaster coach RMC1476.

RMC1477 at Hertford Bus Stn SNB312 at Hertford Bus Stn

Then came another GreenLine coach. But not a 1960s variety. Normal Sunday services were still operating to the bus station, which had been borrowed (with permission) for the day, and Arriva's 724 (Heathrow Airport - Harlow) would be buzzing in an out at frequent intervals, operated with long DAF buses.

DAF R203VPU at Hertford Bus Stn RF48 at Hertford Bus Stn

RF48 followed it in, representing the late sixties image of GreenLine services, with the RF in "modernised" format. Bus station director-of-the day Peter Gomm gave the crew directions to the "garage".

M988 at Hertford Bus Stn Another service bus called, this time a RED bus. Arriva East Herts & Essex give some of their buses the red version of the ice-cream scoop livery, including those working the 310 and 311. This one was MCW Metrobus M988. Bystanders commented about "modern boxes", but these buses have already put in over sixteen years of service, and look set for more to come, despite their ousting from much of Central London by new low-floor jobs.

Then it was time for the RT family to call: six came in in quick succession, all different:
RT3148 was in Country area green and cream; RT3228 showed the attractive Green Line livery;

RT3148 at Hertford Bus Stn RT3228 at Hertford Bus Stn

RTL1256 was a Leyland version, representing the members of the class allocated to Hatfield briefly;
RT604 was (correctly) in NBC green and off-white, as it was before withdrawal.

RTL1256 at Hertford Bus Stn RT604 at Hertford Bus Stn

RT113 demonstrated the wartime appearance of the war-built 2RT2 class (and it should be remembered that one red RT2 operated from Hertford Garage alongside the green magnificent seven in later years);
RT2177 was in the late LT livery of red with flake grey.

RT113 at Hertford Bus Stn RT113 and RT2177 at Hertford Bus Stn

This influx marked the start of the day's jollities - a half-hour had flown past - and I had to decide which ride to go on first...

Part 2: Morning Meanders

All photos by Ian Smith. Click on them for a larger picture.

Ian's Bus-stop Part 2: Morning Meanders Part 3: Afternoon Ambulations