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updated 23rd April 2002.
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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.
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.
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.
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).
RFs (Regal Fours) were also used on bus work in the Central Area. Visiting at Brooklands were RF421 and RF489.
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.
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!
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