After acquiring some lunch I returned to Slough bus station via the subway. Against the back wall RF406 was still waiting for its trip to Staines on the 460, but now behind it stood RTL139, taking a break from its exertions on the 457 between Windsor and Uxbridge. RM1859, still in Reading Mainline livery, lurked behind it.
I joined the crew on RLH48, which had been prepared for a 353 trip to Chalfont St.Giles.
We made a circuit to reach our designated stop in the bus station. We went out to the roundabout, where Rt624 pulled round in front of us, coming in from a 460 duty. While we waited behind it at the alighting stop we saw Blackpool-liveried RM1989 coming down the other side of the dual carriageway. After it had negotiated the roundabout it followed us into the relative gloom of the bus station.
We loaded up. I took a front nearside seat, that gives probably the best view forward on an RLH (except the driver's, of course!). We turned right round the roundabout and headed north up the B416 towards Stoke Poges. We were quickly out into countryside. It felt quite rural as we squeezed round out the estate wall of Stoke Place. Stoke Poges was a return to suburbia, then Stoke Common was one of several woodland areas as we headed north.
We passed under the M40 and into Gerrards Cross. There is a bus turning circle in the village, still protected by original London Transport signs. I wonder if they still own it? We pulled in, and stopped for photos.
We went on, through the suburbia of Gerrards Cross and Chalfont St Peter, then joined the A413 towards Amersham for a couple of miles, to reach Chalfont St.Giles. At the crossroads we turned left down the hill towards the old village centre, where we terminated.
Now the bus had to be turned. Mike Sheppey, the conductor saw the bus back into a side-opening, then Richard Proctor turned the RLH in the road, then set it back into the bus stance. Easier said than done!
Running down into Slough we passed the Blackpool-liveried RM1989 heading for Burnham Beeches, then let RF281 pass across our front to the bus station. We made our trip through the cavern, passed across the roundabout again, and headed for Windsor. RTL139 came the other way on another northbound 457 together with green RML2440 on a 484 to Britwell.
RLH48 had made a visit to Eton in the morning, but now we turned onto the by-pass. Tiny rabbits on the verge totally ignored the big green monster, recognising it as no threat to them. A heron lazily flapped past as we headed for the Thames bridge. We pulled off the by-pass and descended into Windsor, passing under the tall railway bridge and running alongside the River briefly.
We turned up towards the Castle, and wound up the deliberately winding street below the menace of its walls (yes - that is what it was built like this for). Traffic was jammed up in the narrow street, as always. We passed the White Bus Services Bedford, itself twenty one years old and still in service.
A little further along the road we met RT3254 heading for Slough on another 417. We headed for the old bus garage, meeting RML2394 on a northbound 457 on the way.
We reached the end of the line: Windsor Bus Station. I alighted here, and watched while the blinds were reset for the next long haul: to Amersham. But that would have to wait for another day. I waved the bus off, and waited to see what would arrive next...
All photos by Ian Smith. Click on most of them for a larger picture.
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