RT1705 at Potters Bar

Potters Bar Running Day

Sunday 20th May 2007

Prepared by Ian Smith, 4th June 2007.

Kingston to Potters Bar (STL2377)

During the week before the Potters Bar Running Day I had an e-mail suggesting that I should be at Kingston (Clarence Street) at 8.00am. So I looked up the address on Google Maps, and found out how to get to Kingston by 0745 by train. Well, the train was late, leaving me just six minutes to get from the station. As I scurried along I saw a red RF whoosh past towards the rendezvous. But I made it. And standing there with RF486 was STL2377, shining in the morning sunshine.

STL2377 in Clarence Street. STL2377 in Clarence Street.

The STL wore blinds for the 27, which used to run to Kew Green, so that was to be the first port of call. RF486, waiting in the shadows behind, still wore the 80A blinds that it had used for Carshalton Running Day a month earlier. Meanwhile Kingston went about its quiet early Sundaymorning business. A Transdev (ex-London United) Volvo President, VP126, rumbled past on its way west towards Heathrow on the 111.

RF486 in Clarence Street. VP126 in Clarence Street.

I greeted the crew and climbed aboard the STL, ensconcing myself on the seat behind the bonnet. A Transdev Dart SLF, DPS562, eased round the corner on a 285, also heading for the Airport.

Inside STL2377, Kingston. DPS562 in Clarence Street.

Peter climbed into the cab and the engine rumbled into life. We were away, RF pursuing, and quickly escaped Kingston along the Richmond Road. This turned out to be a tree-lined delight, although the speed bumps shook the old bus alarmingly despite our moderate speed. We passed a Transdev Trident (TA231) heading for Kingston on the 65. RF486 trundled along behind, following a course it must have taken many times as a Norbiton - Chiswick staff bus. We passed the foot of Richmond Hill and wended our way through Richmond.

TA231, Petersham. RF486, Richmond.

In Richmond the vagaries of traffic light sequences separated us from the RF, and we found ourselves pursued by one of London's most modern buses, from one of London's newest operators. ADL11 is one of this year's Alexander Dennis E200 Darts, with the less-environmentally-damaging engine and the latest styling, operated by NCP Challenger (no longer part of National Car Parks). This made a considerable contrast to the wooden-framed 1930s-built vehicle I was travelling on.

ADL11, Richmond. Inside STL2377, Richmond.

Kew Green

At Kew Green Peter pulled off the main road and turned round the circle outside the Garden Gates. He pulled up there for photos, before going forward to the old stand nearer the main road.

STL2377, Kew Green. STL2377, Kew Green.

After plenty of picture-taking (and restoration of the traffic cones) we pulled back out onto the main road, where RF486 was waiting, and followed the RF over Kew Bridge.

STL2377, Kew Green. STL2377, Kew Green. RF486, Kew Green.

North Circular

North of the river we trundled up to the Chiswick roundabout, then followed the North Circular northwards. I was surprised how green and tree-lined the route was.

RF486, Chiswick. RF486, North Circular.

We caught up with the RF at the landed flying saucer of Hanger Lane Station, but trailed again as we soared into the sky over the Neasden flyover.

RF486, Hanger Lane Stn. RF486, Neasden flyover.

Then we were back into the trees along a dual carriageway. I moved upstairs, and sat for a while as the North Circular rolled past.

North Circular. Upstairs, STL2377.

We turned off the North Circular and climbed through Finchley, a route I can not remember ever having travelled before.

RF486. Upstairs, STL2377.


We stopped at Whetstone, where the blinds were changed over to an appropriate set for the 135.

STL2377, Whetstone. STL2377, Whetstone.

STL2377, Whetstone. STL2377, Whetstone.

We set off again, climbing up the Great North Road into High Barnet. We squeezed through Barnet, past the Church, and continued on up the Great North Road to Hadley Highstone.

RF486, Barnet.

Then suddenly we had passed under the M25 and were turning left into Potters Bar. A right turn into Darkes Lane took us to the station, and just beyond we turned up into an industrial estate where the operational base for the day was located. We had arrived..

Part Two: Arrivals at Potters Bar

Photos by Ian Smith. Click on any of them for a larger picture.

Back to Ian's Bus-stop Part Two: Arrivals at Potters Bar