22/07/2014

Routemaster 60 at Finsbury Park photo special - part 1

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the iconic London Routemaster and to celebrate their Diamond Jubilee a special event attended by over 130 examples of the type was held at Finsbury Park on the weekend of 12th/13th July, our regular correspondent David Bell was at the event on the Sunday and has kindly sent us a wide selection of photos showing some of the more interesting Routemaster examples present - this bumper special feature will be spread across three parts.

RM1 SLT 56 at Routemaster60  (c) David Bell
RM1 SLT 56 - The first public RM prototype unveiled at the Commercial Motor Show in 1954, it eventually entered service on route 2 between Crystal Palace and Golders Green in 1956. It entered preservation in 1986 © David Bell.

RML3 SLT 58 at Routemaster60 (c) David Bell
RML3 SLT 58 - The Weymann/Leyland prototype, new in 1957 and later sold to the London Bus Preservation Group in 1974 - it was fitted with a replica of it's original front (as pictured) in 2004 and has since been a regular at special events © David Bell.

RM6 WLT 6 at Routemaster60 (c) David Bell
RM6 VLT 6 - New in 1959, it was repainted gold in 2002 for the Queen's Golden Jubilee, it remains in that livery and is part of Arriva's heritage fleet, like many RM's it is a regular rally attendee © David Bell.

KGJ 601D at Routemaster60 (c) David Bell
RMA28 KGJ 601D - New to British European Airways at Heathrow in 1966, it entered service complete with luggage trailer, it is now in preservation with a private owner © David Bell.

RCL2233 CUV 233C at Routemaster60 (c) David Bell RM2208 CUV 208C at Routemaster60 (c) David Bell
click images to view larger size.

Above Left: RCL 2233 CUV 233C - Routemaster coach new for country routes in 1965, it was purchased by London Transport in 1977 and three years later in 1980 became a standard red bus, after two years in service on route 149 it was withdrawn and eventually entered preservation in 1984 where it was restored to it's original condition © David Bell.

Above Right: RM2208 CUV 208C - New in 1965, it later operated in Scotland and then for Black Prince of Morley, the bus entered preservation in 1993 and was painted in the 'omnibus' shillibeer livery © David Bell.

RML 2663 at Routemaster60 (c) David Bell
RML2663 NE.001 H (originally SMK 663F - New in 1967 and withdrawn from service in 2004, it was brought by a private owner and exported to Germany in 2005 from where the bus was visiting the RM 60th event, as the photo shows this vehicle is now a convertible open topper © David Bell.

Many thanks to David for the photographs and to Ian's Bus Stop for the vehicle histories used in the feature, look out for the second part - coming soon!