This page created 12th July 2005

Regent Vs in London

Regent Vs were not native to London. Ranks there had been filled with Routemasters, and however much the Country Area might have preferred Renowns to RMLs, RMLs were what they got. However, not far away, East Kent and Eastbourne were major customers for the Regent V, and several came to the London area either secondhand or on hire.

The BEA Regent V, CXK220

BEA Regent V sketch One Regent V that did come new to London was one bought on behalf of BEA in December 1961, to work the Cromwell Road Air Terminal to Heathrow service. It had the lower deck modified, with the rear half built as a large luggage compartment. Doors were in the forward position, with an emergency exit behind the driver. So it seated only 17 downstairs, instead of the usual 31, with the normal complement of 38 upstairs. It had several liveries during its time with BEA, working alongside RMF1254 (which had a trailer), and later the RMA Routemasters.

Subsequently it was bought by Upminster & District, who had it converted to full bus status, with seats and windows at the lower reaar in place of the luggage compartment.

The Eastbourne Regent Vs hires by London Country

Eastbourne Regent V sketch Late in 1975 London Country was having bus availability problems: their RTs were coming to the ends of their lives, the Merlins and Swifts were having reliability problems, and there were not enough Routemasters (RMCs, RCLs and RMLs) to go round. Several routes were staffed by hired buses from a variety of sources. One such was Eastbourne Corporation, who lent up to three Regent Vs at a time between December 1975 and the start of their summer season in June 1976. Altogether five Regent Vs were involved, dating from 1956 to 1963: Eastbourne 49, 60, 65, 67, and 68. They stood in for three RMCs at Swanley garage, releasing them for use elsewhere. The pale cream buses, with dark blue trim, were used on the 477 (Chelsfield - Orpington - Swanley - Wilmington - Dartford Station). On Sundays this also involved an associated turn on the 493 (Orpington Station - Ramsden Estate. The buses used LT blinds.

67 at Eastbourne Stn, July 2006 67 at Eastbourne Stn, July 2006

67 at Eastbourne Station during the July 2007 Running Day, wearing the traditional Eastbourne blue and yellow livery.

The ex-Devon General open-toppers.

ex-Devon General Regent V sketch Prince Marshal bought in 1979 two open-top thirty-foot Willowbrook-bodied Regent Vs from Devon General, 507 and 508 RUO, for his London Obsolete Fleet operations. He put them to work on the 74Z route between Baker Street Station and the London Zoo in Regents Park. They retained at first their distinctive orange and milk livery, and their Devon General names: appropriately "Prince Regent" and "Regency Princess". Later 507 was repainted in LT red livery with a white bullseye, number DR01, and a permanent front stuck-on display for the 74Z.

By 1982 both Regents were sold, back to Devon at the home of the West of England Transport Collection at Winkleigh Airfield. No.508 was then exported to the USA for Big Red Tours of San Luis Obispo, California. It then went into private ownership in California.

507RUO now runs for Chepstow Classic Buses.

The Obsolete Fleet & London Buses AEC Regent V, DR3, RV1

ex-East Kent DR3 sketch GJG 750D started with East Kent in 1966, an AEC Regent V with good-looking Park Royal bodywork. After service with East Kent it went to the West of England Transport Museum in early 1981. From there it was obtained in July 1981 by Prince Marshal for his Obsolete Fleet business in London. So, as DR3, it worked alongside the ex-Midland Red open-top D9s on the Round London Sightseeing Tour during 1981 and 1982, wearing London red with white bullseyes. It then went to Wealden PSV.

RV1, Cobham, Sunday 6th April 2008 RV1, Cobham, Sunday 6th April 2008

RV1 made an appearance in the snow at the Cobham Museum Open Day at Wisley Airfield on Sunday 6th April 2008.
In 1991 it was bought by the Leaside Travel unit of London Buses for contract work and training, and was painted in London Buses livery. The Regent V thus found itself on schools contracts and rail replacement work. On occasions it was sent out on fare-carrying operations in London, such as special services to Lea Valley events, and also on the 38 when tube replacements were provided by extras on the route. It was privatised to Cowie Leaside, and continued into Arriva ownership. It was finally sold to Ensign in December 2005, and passed on into private preservation.

RV1, Cobham, Sunday 6th April 2008

The Luton trainer AEC Regent V, PFN852

PFN852 was also an East Kent Regent V, with a full-fronted forward entrance body. After East Kent it went to Derby City Transport, where it was used as a trainer in powder blue and white. In 1991 it came south to Luton & District as trainer 1027.

The Big Bus Regent V, PFN853

ex-East Kent Regent V sketch PFN853 was also from East Kent, with a full-front Park Royal body. It had been retired into preservation in 1981 after 22 years with East Kent, latterly open-top. It was maintained in PSV status, and was seen round and about on occasions. Its open-top condition made it a natural for trips to The Derby at Epsom.

In 1981 it was bought as one of the first buses for the Big Bus Co. sightseeing operation in London, where it served actively for about ten years before taking on a more sedate role as a mobile ticket office, often at Victoria or Charing Cross. Once retired, it has been maintained in renewed preservation.

Ian's Bus Stop RV text. RV history photo refs RX text.