Bus stop header

Prepared in Notepad by Ian Smith, updated 23rd April 2002.
Best on Netscape Navigator, screen size 800*600.

COBHAM OPEN DAY, 7th April 2002

SMS369 at Brooklands

Part Four: more-modern buses

London Transport caught the continental fashion for single-deckers for its RT replacements - the Swifts and Merlins. They were not a great success in London service, and most met their end before the last of the RTs. SMS369 is one of the preserved survivors.

As the next attempt to replace the RT London Buses plumped for the Daimler Fleetline, while London Country went for the Leyland Atlantean (ie the other way round from the trials). Representing this period at Cobham were DM1052 and AN121, both with Park Royal bodies, although that on DM1052 was the London Transport angular version. Both have been preserved for some time.
DM1052 at Brooklands AN121 at Brooklands

Greenline under London Country had problems with the good-looking AEC Reliance dual-purpose coaches. RP90 seems to work happily enough for the Museum, albeit on a rather less punishing schedule than in London Country days.

For its private hire work London Country wisely chose coaches with proper coach bodies, including P3. Cobham Museum used it as a PSV trainer, but have given it a repaint to its later GreenLine livery.

RP90 at Brooklands P3 at Brooklands

LS98 in Redhill Road For single decker work London Transport used narrow Bristol LHs, but then introduced the Leyland National as a general purpose suburban bus. LS98, seen in service in Redhill Road, is a typical example.

London Country became the largest user of Leyland Nationals, using them for bus work and Greenline (the latter with predictable customer reaction). SNB250 and SNB 312 were both visitors at Brooklands.
SNB250 at Brooklands SNB312 at Brooklands

T883 at Brooklands T6 at Brooklands The Leyland Titan introduced a new era of semi-bespoke London Buses. Drivers and customers liked them. They were, and are, a civilized bus. They have disappeared from daily passenger service in London, although the odd trainer / special duties buses survive. But they are still going strong all around the country with those companies, large and small, that originally eschewed them as too complicated.
T883 is with Emsworth & District, near Chichester.
T6, one of the first and one of the last with East London - and always a Romford / East End bus, retired into preservation in September 2001.
T1129 is one of the last survivors with London Central. New to West Midlands with a single doorway, service in London has always been "special": as a trainer; on the 177 Express; as the Tate Art Bus; in the special events fleet.
T1030 has been immaculately repainted since retiring from Bromley last September.
T1129 at Brooklands T1030 at Brooklands

Gold- or goldish Titans were also in evidence:
T172 is in London Central's special events fleet, and Queen's Jubilee overall pale gold;
T523 is with Legg's Travel (Weybridge), in a goldy-yellow-orange livery;
T747 is in the restored London Transport Jubilee livery as T1985, with Sullivan Bus of Potters Bar.

T172 in Redhill Road T523 at Brooklands T747 in Redhill Road

T614 has been active with Nu-Venture in the Maidstone area for some time.
After Leyland discontinued Titan production London followed on with the Leyland Olympians. These too are now entering preservation: L55 was at Brooklands.

T614 at Brooklands L55 at Brooklands

Metrobuses were contemporary with the Titan in London. Although a cruder bus than the Titan they were built in enormous numbers for companies all over England. Now they too are on their way out of London service:
M67 has been in preservation for several years now, and has been restored to early condition;
M617 is still with Arriva London at Edmonton.

M67 at Brooklands M617 at Brooklands

Tottenham's M1309 looks as though it is still with Arriva, but has been in preservation since last June. But London United still has M1022, albeit in the dedicated trainer fleet with a large yellow semicircle on the side. It buzzed up and down Redhill Road while I was there, ignoring the bus-flighting system in operation to avoid jams past the parked cars outside the Golf Club.

M1309 at Brooklands M1022 in Redhill Road

Carousel Buses of High Wycombe was present with Metrobuses in two liveries. M1386 was in the newest: simple red with a white band and a white version of the flying polo logo, while M1432 was in red and white with gold lining.

M1386 in Redhill Road M1386 in Redhill Road M1022 at Brooklands

After the Titans and Metrobuses came the midibus era in London - but if there were any of them at Cobham Open Day I didn't see them. As similar concept buses to the GS, and of a similar size, one might have expected a lot in preservation - but there again, perhaps no-one actually liked them! (I suppose that those which worked still do, for other operators, while those that didn't, don't!)

Part Five: New Buses

Ian's Bus Stop Part Three. Part Four. Part Five.