I had calculated that I did not have time to go into Loughton Station on RF429. So I alighted at Loughton Garage, and crossed the road to the northbound stop. RF429 headed off for Loughton Station.
There used to be two London Transport garages here. The original London Transport garage still has parts recognisable in the store by the northbound stop. but the newer garage on the southbound side has completely disappeared under a housing development.
RF28 came chuckling past on a 720 bound for Woodford, shortly followed by T1101 on the 20A to Woodford Wells.
A modern incumbent of the 20 route, Arriva's DLA300, also made a southbound stop before lumbering away towards Loughton station.
We set off round the corner into Station Road, and met RF308 heading west on its afternoon foray to Roydon. The 250 did not serve the station, but turned off before reaching it, into Centre Drive, and we did likewise. We dropped down Centre Drive, providing a parallel service to the 381 on Bower Hill. At the foot we turned right into Ivy Chimneys Road, to run along the valley side just above the M25, to Theydon Road, where we turned left, down across the motorway and on to Theydon Bois, where we made a stop.
From Theydon Bois we continued across the Roding Valley to Abridge, where the 250 route almost made contact with the 167A (which stops just short of the junction). We made another photo-stop.
We rumbled on to Passingford Bridge - now a large roundabout on the south side of the river bridge. We rolled round the roundabout, and headed back towards Abridge. The Passingford Bridge bus stops are on the south side of the roundabout, and traffic on the A113 was not conducive to casual stops.
We made our right turn in Abridge, and crossed the valley to Theydon Bois, where we made a stop.
From Theydon Bois we heasded back for Epping Forest, across the M25 and up the hill. We remembered the right turn into Ivy Chimneys Road, and the turn up Central Drive to reach Station Road. In Epping we headed to turn on the large triangle again, and met RML2330 coming in off the 339, and bound for Loughton Station. After the turn we dribbled back along Epping High Street towards the Church stop, and met RT3228 heading home after its final run.
It was quiet in the bus station. Most buses had already set off for home, although some would remain for the evening run. Two of the London Bus Company RTs were there: Saunders-bodied RT3062 plus RT3871.
I sought out a few people to say thank you, and headed for the Tube Station.
Many thanks to the Country Bus Rallies team for organising the event, and to private preservationists and the London Bus Company for providing buses and crews. Loughton and Epping may be a small event (with the number of buses limited by the Councils), but it provides plenty of interest. Thank You.
Buses (there may have been others that I missed):
All photos by Ian Smith. Click on most of them for a larger picture.
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