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

Part Two: the Post-War Generation

RT1499 at Cobham Museum RT1431 at Brooklands It isn't often that you get to see two Cravens RTs in one day. But RT1499 was in the yard at Cobham Museum, while RT1431 was at Brooklands. RT1499 was dressed in the 1950 livery of red with cream band, while RT1431 wore the first post-war livery with cream surrounds to the upper windows. Very nice they both looked, too. You can see why they were snapped up by independents and corporation fleets when London Transport sold them off prematurely.
RT227 at Brooklands RT593 at Brooklands Other roofbox RTs were represented by two early RTs, preserved in green: RT227, preserved by the 1702 Group, and RT593, preserved at Cobham.

The standard RT8 bodies were seen on RT1798 and RT2293, both in 1950's red and cream livery, with immaculate period advertisements.

There was also one of Ensignbus' RTs, gloriously repainted in red, that I saw in the distance but never got in range of my camera.
RT1798 at Brooklands RT2293 at Brooklands

Showing the flag for Leyland were RTL139, with 7ft 6in (2.25m) wide body, plus RTW29 and RTW185 with the 8ft (2.40m) wider version. Open-topped was RT2494, alias Guernseybus 14, returned to the mainland after new owners declared it redundant. RTL139 and RTW29 at Brooklands RTW185 at Brooklands RT2494 at Brooklands

Contemporary with the first post-war RTs, pending the arrival of the RFs, were the Leyland Tiger TDs and the AEC post-war Regal Ts. TD95 and T792 - the latter wearing Norbiton blinds for the 206 as a reminder of the period when they were on loan to Central Area - were on display at Cobham Museum in a selection of single-deckers.

TD95 at Cobham Museum T792 at Cobham Museum

GreenLine RFs came on-stream in 1951. RF269 shows the lustrous Lincol green with pale green lining that was the post-war standard Green-Line livery. Many were refurbished in 1966-7, including RF213, which shows the external difference that can be made by double headlights, aluminium strip and a new paint-job. (Inside they received a new light grey interior and new lighting too).

RF213 at Brooklands RF269 at Brooklands

RFs (Regal Fours) were also used on bus work in the Central Area. Visiting at Brooklands were RF421 and RF489. RF421 at Brooklands RF489 at Brooklands

Two red RFs were in the display at the bus museum: RF319 in later condition with doors added for one-person operation, and RF366 restored to original doorless condition. The Country Area also had more than a hundred green RFs, typified by RF672 in the museum collection on show at Brooklands.

RF319 at Cobham RF366 at Cobham RF672 at Brooklands

Small saloons in the Country Area were all replaced by 26-seater Guy Specials. Whilst one person operation was illegal on bigger buses they had an economic place, but once opo on RFs was introduced they lost almost all of their business. Bus economics of the day said that you always used the largest bus that would fit - and except for a few niches the RF could go anywhere the GS could. (Besides, with preselector gearbox, more power, and that lovely solid ride the RF was really a much nicer vehicle to work on). But an extraordinary number survived. Out of the eighty strong class there were six at the Cobham Open Day: GS1, GS2 (in Southern Motorways red/maroon), GS13, GS34, GS62 and GS76. Good show!

GS2, GS1 at Brooklands GS13, GS62 at Brooklands

GS76 at Brooklands GS34 at Brooklands GS34 at Brooklands

TXV909 at Brooklands London Transport also operated Regal IVs for British European Airways. MLL740 has been restored to original livery, and graced the line at Brooklands.

Also reaching for the sky, but in a rather different way, were the tower wagons that London Transport bought to speed the dismantling of the trolleybus system. AEC Mercury TXV909 went on to a further career with trolleybus system dewiring after its days with London were over, but made a trip to Brooklands for the Open Day. They were contemporary with the Routemasters, which leads us on to Part Three: the Routemaster Years.

Ian's Bus Stop Part One. Part Two. Part Three.