Trident 17938 arrived on the 96, and Arriva Medway Town's Volvo /Alexander 6404 arrived on a 701. Then the growl of a Leyland engine was heard, and out of the darkness came a half-cab Leyland wearing livery much the same as the pre-war Leyland TDs wore in these parts: two-tone green. It was the Leeds Corporation PD3/5: 5280NW.
I climbed aboard and we roared off into the dark, eastwards along the road to Gravesend. We passed RM45 on the way. This time in Gravesend we made the halt at the Tilbury Ferry Landing. How could I take photos of the bus in the dark in an unlit road? Car headlights from passing traffic seemed to be the answer.
I climbed back aboard, and we rolled up past the clocktower and into the town. I alighted again in the pedestrians and buses only section, and went to find a toilet, while the Leyland rumbled off into the darkness, back towards Grays.
I found what I was looking for, and returned to the bus stops to wait for the next X80. Several other buses came along while I waited. Indeed I was surprised at the frequency on some routes.. The collection included Scania 3253 on the 480. The Christmas Lights are above the street, by the way, not on the bus.
There wasn't anyone upstairs, so I went up to sit on the long seats tucked up into the domed ceiling. At least I could spread out a bit, to avoid "RLH neck". We passed RT4421 in Northfleet, and were soon passing Ebbsfleet and approaching Bluewater. There we met RT1499 again, and followed it up the curling ramps until it turned off for Northfleet while we continued ahead to Greenhithe. There I said goodbye and alighted to catch the London train.
Many thanks to Ensignbus for once (twice) again operating the Vintage Bus Service on the X80.
Back to Ian's Bus-stop Part 1 Part 2 Part 3