14/12/2014

Ensignbus Vintage Running Day 2014 - part 2

Last Saturday (6th December) saw the popular annual Ensignbus Vintage Bus Running Day take place in Essex, as in previous years our regular correspondent David Bell went along to observe vehicles working on the three special routes and has kindly sent us a stunning selection of photographs taken in the autumnal sunshine around Lakeside on the day, this post has been split into two parts - enjoy!

Ensignbus RTL453 KLB 648
First up in this part is the very smart Leyland built RTL453 KLB 648, this bus was new to London Transport's Plumstead garage in 1949, it was later one of only a handful of Leyland built RTs to gain a roofbox body upon overhaul, the Ensign website give an interesting insight into it's later life - "Originally earmarked to be sold with the many of the class to Ceylon, a broken spring meant she missed the convoy to the docks and was replaced by another RTL. This stroke of luck saw her fate changed and she was acquired for preservation directly by the RTL453 group, who would own and keep her in great shape for the next 40 years, until she was kindly donated to the Ensignbus heritage collection for use within the heritage fleet. (c) David Bell.

Ensignbus RT1431 JXC 194
Another RT seen at the event was Cravens bodied AEC Regent III RT1431 JXC 194, this well travelled bus was new to Nunhead garage in 1949 but only worked in London until its early withdrawal in 1955, it then passed to Kerr and Linney of the Ayrshire A1 Service co-operative and ran with them in for ten years. Its rarity led it to become one of the earlier buses bought for preservation in 1966 by the London Omnibus Traction Society, it has since has numerous changes of ownership including a spell in Orkney before eventually joining the Ensign fleet (c) David Bell.

Ensignbus RCL226 CUV 226C
The penultimate photo in this part shows long wheelbase Routemaster coach RCL226 CUV 226C, which was new in 1965 working from Green area garages including Romford, Hertford and later Godstone. This bus was withdrawn in 1978 however it's time on the scrapheap was only short when it along with numerous other former London Country buses were purchased by London Transport to cover a severe lack of buses. It then returned to the capital, had doors removed, was reseated and converted to Central area specification and was painted red in September 1980 before taking up duties at Edmonton on the 149. It was once again withdrawn in 1984 and was sold a year later when it was converted to be an on location catering vehicle - a role which it carried out for some twenty before being acquired for preservation by Ensign in 2006 (c) David Bell.

London Bus Musuem RP90 JPA 190K
We finish off this enjoyable two part feature with a single decker - RP90 JPA 190K which is owned by the London Bus Museum. This Park Royal bodied AEC Reliance was one of ninety of the class brought by London Country and was new to Guildford garage in April 1972, replacing Routemaster coaches on Green Line routes 715/715A. It remained there for it's whole (rather short) London Country life until withdrawal in April 1979. It then passed to Smith’s of Reading before entering preservation in 1983 (c) David Bell.

Many thanks to David for the excellent photographs included in this feature, to find out more about the wonderful Ensignbus Vintage Fleet click here to visit their website.