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Prepared in Notepad by Ian Smith, updated 23rd April 2002.
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COBHAM OPEN DAY, 7th April 2002


LBPT line-up at Brooklands: RM1037, RTL139, RTW29, GS34, RF672, RTW185, RF531, P3, RF489, RF269

For once it was a brilliantly sunny day for the Cobham Open Day. Cold but bright. Two centres were being used, at the London Bus Preservation Trust's Cobham Museum and on a part of Brooklands Runway. The Open Day now has to share the runway with a permanent go-kart track and a regular Sunday market, leaving the display with much less space. So many of the buses were necessarily parked facing north, with the brilliant sun behind them.

At the Museum there was a display of the development of single-decker large saloons with London Transport, from the 1T1 to the 2RF5.

In between ran a frequent service of Routemasters, Metrobuses, Titans - and a bendibus. Even with the number of buses used there were queues. But the sun shone.

This report is unashamedly about London Buses - although there were plenty of other companies represented. It is divided into parts, according to the age of the buses:

  1. The Pre-War Buses
  2. The Post-war Generation
  3. The Routemaster Years
  4. Newer Types

Part One: the Pre-War Buses

D142 at Brooklands RT1431 in Redhill Road

Lioness at Brooklands The oldest London Transport type at the show was the Trust's Dennis open-topper, D142. I met it at Brooklands, then saw it again later when it trundled along to the Museum in Redhill Road.

But for me the star of the show was the magnificently aggressive normal-control 1920's Leyland Lioness. It takes a lot to make me stop and look at anything that isn't LT, M&D or Southdown, but the raw power projected by that magnificent bonnet and radiator just stopped me in my tracks. Majestic!

Thirties styling was also obvious on plebeian but elegant T31, restored to original rear-entrance bus style. Q83, enjoying a spell in London Transport red livery displayed the ingenuity of that pre-war age, when tucking the engine out of the way was being explored.
T31 at Cobham Museum Q83 at Cobham Museum

STL2377 looked even better this year wearing adverts to match its age. Meanwhile, at the Museum, Greenline T504 looks at home among its postwar brethren, TD95 and T792.

STL2377 at Brooklands T504, TD95, T792 at Cobham Museum

Part1. Part2. Part3. Part4. Part5.

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