Riding with the vintage buses

As mentioned earlier this week, today a collection of buses plied their trade around North London offering free rides to anyone after a dose of nostalgia.

Although there were routemasters taking people from central London to the area, I decided to take a ride from Edgware to the RAF museum in a single-decker bus.

Once at Edgware, there was a little difficulty in finding a local bus stop map to locate “Stop A” where the bus would pick us up from though – and I could see quite a few other people wandering round with event guides and looking a bit lost.

Incidentally, another reason not to trust the bus maps is that someone decided to put up a map of local shops selling bus tickets – but evidently didn’t understand that Edgware Station in Edgware is not at all close to Edgware Road Station in central London.

Not a sight you see that often

Anyhow, two vintage buses arrived one after the other, and after one person tried to get on thinking it was a normal bus, the rest of us were able to embark for a more interesting trip to the museum.

Like all bad school kids, I chose to sit at the back of the bus.

All aboard

Fortunately, this was a swift route without the tedious stopping every few minutes at bus stops and we made our way over to the RAF Museum which was acting as the hub for most of the bus routes.

Another nice change was the lack of smell of McDonalds or the sound of mobile phones being used as portable jukeboxes by idiots who think everyone shares their taste in music. The seats were also spotlessly clean.

However, as with many vintage events, the greatest pleasure comes from sitting on the bus (or train etc) and seeing the looks of surprise in the bystanders. This time it seemed that the children delivered the greatest smiles along the route, although the occasional adult seemed to realise bus was a bit different and looked up in surprise.

I really should try saving the pennies for a trip on one of the steam trains that travel around London and see if that has the same “bystander effect”.

Arrival

At the RAF Museum, the buses were turning around their routes and some were stopping for a while as the drivers nipped off to use the loo and drink coffee.

All in a row

The day was organised by Red-RF, who seem to do these events every few years.

One arrival, two waiting.

A few more photos over at my usual Flickr account

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2 Comments

  1. Tim

    What a super day out – thanks again for the tip-off Ian. Like you i had similar problems at Edgeware, which meant I missed the lovely old RTW. Oh well.
    And also likewise I loved watching people’s faces, and when i was sat near the back was able to hear the old excited conversation from people asking the conductor about it. Lovely!

    And you know what, although i still get the odd RM on routes 9 or 15, it’s always a pleasant surprise when i sit down how much comfier and just nicer to be on there are than modern doubles. Oh well!

  2. They’re gorgeous aren’t they – I remember the Finsbury Park event years ago where there were loads and loads of Routemasters lined up. I was in heaven.

    I’m definitely going to get to the museum this month – I nearly made it this Bank Holiday weekend but I was thwarted by my partner who needed to shop at Westfield instead :(

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