A car was blocking the bus turning circle (a not infrequent occurrence), so the big RML needed two bites at it to swing round and head away up the ramp.
I climbed aboard to talk to the crew. I noted the unusual interior: although RF308 is restored as a London Country bus, it had much earlier been a bus, and then converted to a GreenLine coach, so had conversion pattern luggage racks and a seat layout unique to the conversions.
Ken Eveleigh took the bus down to the station stop, and we loaded up for the 381 to Roydon. From the station we climbed the hill into Epping, where our visit to the High Street was brief: we crossed over by the church to take a back-streets route round through the Beaconsfield Estate on the west side of the town. Beyond the town limits we headed north-west along a winding country lane - the B181 - through Epping Upland and Epping Green. There were some excellent views back down the valley. It was all very rural: a typical GS route. We crossed over the 393 routes to Broxbourne and Harlow at Tylers Cross, where in some years the 381 turned aside for Harlow. But today we continued northwards to Roydon, where we followed the B181 left down the High Street past the White Hart towards the railway station.
At Roydon we clumped over the level crossing, and reversed into the old station yard. This is now the forecourt for a restaurant which occupies the old station building.
The level crossing sirens started to wail, and the barriers came down. National Express East Anglia's 317688 came in to stop at the staggered platform with a train for Kings Cross. A pity it wasn't a Cravens diesel multiple unit, or a B1 with train of blood and custards. But then there would be no wires, no half-barrier crossing, and the 381 did not terminate then at the station anyway (So I am told). There are limits to reconstructions of the past!
We climbed back aboard, and retraced our route back to Epping - taking a slightly different route through the Beaconsfield Estate.
We returned to Epping Station, and all alighted: it was time for the crew to take a break after a busy morning.
The Arriva Solo, 2488, that I had seen earlier in Loughton on the 541 appeared again, heading back to Loughton from Harlow. The long Solo also only just made it round the turning circle. Sister bus 2454 arrived a few minutes later and came to rest outside the station. Its destination display turned off when the engine was switched off, of course.
Now, where was RT3228 on the 339?...
All photos by Ian Smith. Click on most of them for a larger picture.
Back to Ian's Bus-stop Part 1: Loughton Part 3: 339: Epping and Ongar