Hertford Running Day
Sunday September 10th 2000
Prepared by Ian Smith, 17th September 2000
Part 1: ArrivalsThis 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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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:
RTL1256 was a Leyland version, representing the members of the class allocated to Hatfield briefly;
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);
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...
All photos by Ian Smith. Click on them for a larger picture.