The London Bus Page In Exile

Sunday 10 December 2006

One year on.

Filed under: Routemaster, Special Events, Vehicles — londonbuspageinexile @ 12:22 am

Preserved AEC Routemaster RML 2730 (SMK 730F) in the Brixton Road, 09/12/06 Preserved Routemaster coach RMC 4 (SLT 59) at Brixton, 09/12/06 Open-top AEC Routemaster RM 1403 (403 CLT) in the Brixton Road, 09/12/06 Preserved AEC Routemaster RML 2544 (JJD 544D) at Piccadilly Circus, 09/12/06 Preserved AEC Routemaster RML 2278 (CUV 278C) in Regent Street, 09/12/06
The first anniversary of 9th December 2005 was remembered on Saturday with the procession of several Routemasters down their final normal route, the 159. From Baker Street to Thornton Heath (remembering the extremities of the route before its final service changes rendered it Marble Arch-Streatham Station), it was once again like the old days. Including those buses that gathered after night fell in central London for a tour round the Christmas lights, present at one time or another during the day were nine RMs (29, 291, 719, 1033, 1224, 1397, 1403, 1804 and 2097), ten RMLs (2278, 2372, 2394, 2440, 2472, 2508, 2515, 2544, 2708 and 2730) and RMC 4. Two of those had been active on the last day itself (RM 29 and RML 2730). Meanwhile, at St Paul’s Cathedral six more Routemasters, led by London United’s RML 880, were in attendance to carry the guests of Lucy Davis (Dawn from The Office) to her wedding. And an RT even got in on its descendants’ anniversary, with RT 2043 seen taking its own guests on another Christmas lights tour.

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8 Comments »

  1. Hi Matt
    Firstly, great to see you back.

    The idea of commemorating the 1st anniversary of the RM’s demise was great, what a pity though that the run was not well publicised nor available to the general public.

    Something that was brought home to me having attended one of the special days (the 36), and viewed the reports on the others was that we not only saw the demise of a classic bus but also the loss of the traditional open platform, front engine bus, on mainstream operation not only in London but over the whole of Great Britain.
    If this was to turn into an annual event, it would really be fitting to include earlier buses (STL, G, RT family) as on the special last days, and if those of us who are not ‘invited guests’ could ride these fine machines what a happy christmas!

    Comment by Doug Ely — Thursday 14 December 2006 @ 1:16 pm

  2. Hi Doug,

    I’d like to see it turned into what the 62’s RT running days were; perhaps based on a focal point including a static rally and stalls (Streatham Garage sidecourt, perhaps, with permission from TfL and the go-kart track that now occupies the site?).
    The Barking running days lasted for 25 years after the end of the RT, and I think the turnout of Routemasters on Saturday was strong enough to make it an ongoing theme that would fill the winter gap in the rally calendar.

    Comment by londonbuspageinexile — Thursday 14 December 2006 @ 9:31 pm

  3. I was in London for the weekend but had other engagements so only caught a glimpse of a small part of the 159 run. It was a pleasure to see more than the usual Heritage Routemasters travelling about Central London once more, albeit just for one day.
    Well done to all concerned and here’s hoping that it could become an annual event, like many of the rallies that take place.

    Comment by The Irish RM! — Friday 15 December 2006 @ 3:26 pm

  4. dear matthew. so good to see your updated website ! we are two ex londoners in aus mad routemaster fanatics very sad about the demise.good luck with the site ! cheers tim and mick.

    Comment by tim and mick — Sunday 17 December 2006 @ 11:18 pm

  5. What was so sad about Saturday and what stands out is the fact that every RM is EMPTY on every photo
    There seems to be not a lot of will on the part of the organisers to try and fill them.
    I went and rode a full 9H instead of these busses which both looked and were blinded out of service

    Comment by RM Fan — Tuesday 19 December 2006 @ 5:23 pm

  6. Don’t forget that a lot of the buses aren’t Class 6 and that a LOT of red tape has to be negotiated before things like this can get off the ground – I didn’t mention that buses weren’t allowed to traverse Oxford Street (I’m not sure I’m too displeased about that, since it takes so long to battle through the OPO traffic… didn’t I warn everyone that this thoroughfare would stuff up completely?) so went via Park Lane instead.
    In times to come I hope I can provide enough advance notice of such events, and/or direct readers to the relevant forums where they can speak to organisers with more knowledge than myself.

    Comment by londonbuspageinexile — Tuesday 19 December 2006 @ 8:35 pm

  7. What glorious weather we were blessed with on the day, in defence of the organisers of this event it was possible for interested parties to travel on these buses “by arrangement”. The event was publisised through the Routemaster Owners website. I do agree that it would be great to make this a regular event on or around the anniversary of the event but we must remember that it will become increasingly difficult to operate pre Euro emission vehicles in and around Central London!

    Comment by Dave — Wednesday 20 December 2006 @ 3:54 pm

  8. Hi Matt. Haven’t dropped by your site in a while. Nice to see the update and the comments added too.

    Hard to believe it’s over a year since RM ops ceased in London. The city isn’t the same since.

    One senior ‘official’ at TFL said that he didn’t understand why people would want to save what was “just an old bus” as opposed to easy access buses.
    What he failed to understand is that the RM isn’t just an old bus, but a tradition, interwoven into London life. They have done untold damage by removing it.

    I try and ride the heritage routes when I’m in London, but even find it sad having to wait 15 minutes or more for an RM. The buses are in lovely nick it has to be said.

    The 1st ann run in Dec was a nice idea, but sadly I got to see very few of the buses on the day.
    Much better was the special running day in september. This was terrific. Will there be anymore..?

    Finally Matt, do you know what happened to all the RM’s kept at Tolworth after withdrawal..? I’ve heard rumours that TFL even gave some away to parties in various countries..

    Comment by bill — Sunday 21 January 2007 @ 8:54 pm


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