RF: the Cobham Running Day

26th October 1997

Prepared by Ian Smith,

This page created on 15th November 1997.

The RF running day was run in conjunction with Cobham Bus Museum, where there was an open day. Photos of other types, such as RTs and STLs have been posted on the appropriate pages, together with some on the London Bus Preservation Trust's own vehicle pages.

RF530 at Cobham It was a beautiful day. An early frost had given way to autumn sunshine, and the trees near Cobham were shedding leaves like gentle rain. The RFs ran a service 462, frequently between Cobham (Redhill Road) and Cobham/Stoke d'Abernon Station, and less often between the latter and Leatherhead. The rallying point was the Stoke d'Abernon station carpark, where a collection of RFs and other types gathered.

I caught RF 530 from the Museum to Stoke d'Abernon.
RF530 at Stoke d'Abernon

The carpark at Stoke d'Abernon held a number of RF buses, some red, some green. The Green Line RF contingent were conspicuous by their absence, although RP90 made an appearance on the 462 run during the afternoon. The mix of buses on parade changed as some went on duty and others came off.

RF626 at Stoke d'Abernon Green Country Area RF 626 at Stoke d'Abernon (above), and Private Hire Fleet RF4 (below right).

RF4 towbus at Stoke d'Abernon
Another RF there was the Museum tow-bus, 337W, with its rear end cut away to form a towing platform.

RF280 RF 280 was once a GreenLine coach, before demotion to bus work. External evidence can be seen in the series of plugged holes where the roof-boards were once fitted.
(Well, you CAN see it on my original scan: if you want it, e-mail me.)

RF315 On the other hand RF 315 was a Central Area bus before being converted to Country Area specification with the addition of doors.

RF486 RF 486, after its appearance at Showbus 97, also turned up here. During a long career in the Kingston area it unusually acquired a second, offside, spotlamp.

RF534 Cobham's RF 534 is another with two spotlights, fitted for training drivers for AEC Swifts. Having started life with the Country Area, this bus became one of the Central Area's late Kingston survivors (because Leyland Nationals wouldn't fit the facilities at Kingston garage). Thus it sports the late livery with white trim and a white bullseye in place of the traditional fleetname.

RF366 RF 366 sweeps into the station yard. This was an original Central Area bus, originally allocated to Bromley (TB) to replace LT Scooters on the 227 route. Later it was fitted with doors as an OMO bus, and became the LT Sports Association transport, thus being retained in LT service longer than any other.
It is also fitted with frightening semaphore trafficators, as a few RFs were for a trial period: drivers have to be careful not to decapitate cyclists or waiting bus queues. The slot for it can be seen behind the entrance door.

I travelled on RF 366 to Leatherhead, and back to Stoke d'Abernon. Inside it has a genuine but unique livery: during its days as the Sports Association bus the below the window colour was changed from brown to red, and the seat cushions were renewed with RM moquette.

RF626 interior RF633 rear

RF 626, however, has a well-preserved standard interior, as I saw on my way back to Cobham. (above_left)
On the right is RF 633.

RF10 on the ramp Back at Cobham, Private Hire fleet RF 10 is up on the ramp for underneath inspection.

Another RF that I saw on the day, but did not manage to photograph, was RF 672.

Thanks to all those who made it possible, by preparing and driving vehicles, acting as controllers or inspectors, or working away behind the scenes in support. Thanks! It was great!.

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