RF486 at Buckhurst Hill

Loughton Classic Bus Running Day

Sunday 9th September 2007

Prepared by Ian Smith, 21st September 2007

Part Two: Loughton

Loughton Transport Interchange was heaving with people. Colin Rivers had planned this as a small first-time event, with enthusiasts divided between this and the simultaneous event at the Royal Forest Hotel, Chingford. But the crowds had rolled in. Fortunately thee were plenty of spare buses and crews, and very quickly there was a wall-chart with additional services on display. Epping Forest District Council Chairman, Councillor Caroline Pond was there to officially open the event in front of RF503. She then showed great interest in the process of equipping the red RF with blinds for the event, tried out the driver's cab, and went off for a ride (NOT driving).

RF281 at Loughton Station Mayor opens the event Mayor on the steps

GreenLine RF281, looking immaculate, had arrived from Bishops Stortford and Harlow with a 720 GreenLine service. Now empty, Peter Beeson took it round the turn in front of the Underground Station and away to park.

RF281 at Loughton Station RF281 at Loughton Station

Modern buses too were busy at the Interchange (which meant that we could not park buses there). Typical was Regal Busway's smart little Optare Solo, 202, on the present-day 250. A bit different from a TD!

202 at Loughton Station 202 at Loughton Station

One of the "extra" buses was London Transport Museum's BN61, which called at the bus station to arrange its extra runnings (of which more anon). Then it too scuttled off to park.

BN61 at Loughton Station BN61 at Loughton Station

RT1206 arrived, still wearing 414 blinds from its forays at Dorking the week before. RML2419, looking good back in Lincoln Green, paid a visit on a Greenline shuttle to Jim Blake's event at Chingford.

RT1206 at Loughton Station RML2419 at Loughton Station

A flurry of modern buses illustrated why our use of the interchange was limited. New Dart/MCV Evolution ED19 of Docklands Minibuses, new in May, squeezed past on the 167 to Ilford, followed by a pair of Arriva's DAFs on long-standing route 20, DLA369 heading south to Walthamstow Central and DLA301 north to Debden.

ED19 at Loughton Station DLA369 at Loughton Station DLA301 at Loughton Station

A lull in activity gave me a few moments to appreciate my surroundings: in particular Loughton Station, a classic of 1930's design excellence (by John Murray Easton if you want to know).

Steve Woods arrived in RM1699 (a 1950s design classic), blinded for the 179 for the connecting service to Chingford.

Loughton Station RM1699 at Loughton Station

Checking that the RM was heading for the bus park, I climbed aboard for the short ride. We negotiated the U-turn in front of the station - difficult for buses of this generation - and headed for Old Station Road.

RT3871 slipped out of Station Road into the station approach to take up a journey on the 167A to Chigwell Station, followed by RF433 with Gill Hinson at the wheel for a turn on the 254. This RF, one of only two in preservation never to have had doors, was making a welcome return to the 254, where it had worked between 1957 and 1961.

RT3871 enters Loughton Station RF433 enters Loughton Station

We continued up past the roadworks in Old Station Road, north-east along the High Road, then sharply back into Station Road, where the buses were being parked during the event (by agreement with the Council). I suppose this was my second ride of the day on a 179. We found a place in the queue of buses, and I alighted. Just over the road was RM158, all set up for the 179.

RM1699 in Station Road RM158 in Station Road

I headed back towards the station. RF433 was just leaving on the 254.

RF433 on 254 RF433 on 254

There too was RML899, heading out on the 167A to Chigwell Station with Paul and George...

Part 3: 167A to Chigwell Station, and return

All photos by Ian Smith unless otherwise indicated. Click on any of them for a larger picture.

Back to Ian's Bus-stop Part 1 Part 3: 167A to Chigwell Station