X81: Ensignbus Running Day
Saturday 1st December 2012
Prepared by Ian Smith, 6th December 2012.
X81: Greenhithe to Lakeside: M1It was M1 that turned up ten minutes later for the trip acroos to Lakeside. I went upstairs, but it was so steamed up that I returned to the saloon. The orange seat moquette, although it may have caused visual problems for the coach-fitters at Aldenham, is a cheery sight on a cold winter's evening.
Cub C4Back at Lakeside I was pleased to see that Leyland Cub C4 was in the bus station. On its first outing since restoration was completed, short rides were being offered around Lakeside. I joined the queue. I missed getting a seat by one. Never mind, I'm sure there will be plenty of future opportunities.
X81: Lakeside to Gravesend: RT3251It was getting dark. I decided to head for home. Just coming in was RT3251, heading for Gravesend, and I climbed aboard, taking the warm seat behind the bonnet, where the flywheel housing keeps your feet warm.
I enjoyed the dusk ride over the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge, with the lights twinkling and the dark obliterating the worse aspects of the view.
Beyond the toll booths we turned back towards the water. The bridge was a spectacular sight, with the headlamps of the cars coming down from the sky. We continued to Greenhithe Station, then down into the Bluewater pit. There herds of LED reindeer stood betweenn the LED-draped trees. A for effort.
After calling at the bus station RT3251 headed on east, climbing up into Northfleet and running along the high road, with excellent views of the river. I alighted at Gravesend station, where I missed a train by the time it took to buy at ticket to Greenhithe. Never mind, there was another half an hour later, and a station cafe.
Many thanks to the folk at Ensignbus, not just for an entertaining day, but also for the continuing restoration of so many wonderful buses for their vintage fleet. Thanks.
Vintage buses that I saw:
RT8, RT191, RT1499, RT3232, RT3251, RT4421
RTL453, RTL1014, RTW467
EN331, LCT 5280NW, LU167
Photos by Ian Smith. Click on any of them for a larger picture.