V3 at South Mimms

St Albans Running Days

Saturday & Sunday January 12th-13th 2008

Prepared by Ian Smith, 28th January 2008.

321 to Harpenden & Garston

RT3254, in proper Green Line livery, came up through the traffic on St.Peters Street to pull up at the stop. It was on a through journey from Garston to Harpenden, and would be going back again, a journey I hadn't yet done. As I walked down to meet the bus I couldn't help looking up at the front dome, to see whether the dent from Stevenage last June was still there. It was. What's more, my quick, almost involuntary glance had been spotted by owner-driver Chris Wills. He was riding the cushions for the next stint, and we climbed aboard together to sit on the long seats at the back and exchange news.

We were away past St.Albans Garage and north along the Luton road. Once out of St.Albans the road followed the undulations of the Hertfordshire countryside. Approaching Harpenden we reached a roundabout, where we turned off the main road to descend under the Midland Railway to reach Bowling Alley, where we turned left, back under the railway, to enter Harpenden. We negotiated our way through the town, past the large green, to reach the terminus at Harpenden Church, where we met RT3183.

RT3254 in St Peters St on 321. RT3254,RT3183 at Harpenden.

Crowds milled around the two buses. Some photographers deliberately stood in the way of passing motorists. Others did so accidentally, totally missing the approach of a huge East European articulated lorry. Fortunately it stopped in time!

RT3254,RT3183 at Harpenden. RT3254,RT3183 at Harpenden.

I took another picture of RT3183, and climbed back aboard RT3254 for the return trip. I managed a front seat this time.

By one of those strange coincidences, the service bus on the 321 that we passed on the way back was number 3182!

RT3254,RT3183 at Harpenden. Dart 3182 on 321.

It was RF time at St.Albans Garage as we passed, with RF28 in the nearside layby, and RF308 ahead of SNB449 on the offside, where the garage used to be.

RF28 at St.Albans Garage. RF308 at St.Albans Garage.

As we approached the roundabout in St.Peters Street we met GS17 heading out towards the garage.

Traffic inhibited any useful photography as we passed through St.Albans. We were soon heading down Holywell Hill to St.Albans Abbey Station, and up the other side of the valley to St.Stephens. There we took the right fork for Chiswell Green, along the B-road. We passed the Three Hammers and descended the hill to the roundabout where we rejoined the main road that had by-passed the village. Dual carriageaway took us to the M25 crossing, and on towards Watford. We pulled off the trunk road to reach Garston Garage, where we pulled up behind red DAF/Wright 6030, which was waiting to depart on a 258 working.

GS17 at St.Albans. 6030 at Garston Garage.

We all had to alight at Garston Garage, for the bus to run light to turn round. This gave us an excellent view as it pulled out to round the DAF.

RT3254 at Garston. 6030 at Garston Garage.

We had three minutes to cross the road and reach the north-bound bus-stop - actually not an easy task in the time. We passed the front of Garston garage, with its Sunday rows of unused buses. Several interesting things lurked within, but there was no time to investigate. Here came a 321. No. Not ours: wrong shape and colour. Dart 3183 called at the stop, and left disappointed (or relieved?).

Garston Garage. 3183 at Garston Garage.

RT3254 reappeared, and stopped to pick us up. We climbed aboard, and settled downfor the uneventful ride back to St.Albans.

RT3254 at Garston. RT3254 at Garston.

But as we topped Holywell Hill and started along St.Peters Street I saw Ailsa V3 coming on an 84...

Part Seven: 84 to South Mimms and back

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

Back to Ian's Bus-stop Part One Part Five Part Seven: 84 to South Mimms and back