Hertford Running Days
Saturday 2nd, Sunday 3rd June 2012
Prepared by Ian Smith, 6th June 2012.
331A: Hertford to Buntingford: RF633RF146, restored as a "modernised" GreenLine RF, since demoted to bus duties and given the Canary Yellow waist band with London Transport fleetnames, was the first RF to arrive. However, it was not the bus fior the Route Recreation, and soon departed for the group's bed& breakfast location.
It was followed in by the first bus of the afternoon, RF633, restored into fairly early condition as a conductor-worked Country bus (except for the OMO-style drivers door/window, which has been retained).
The blinds on the RF were changed, from the 386 to Great Wymondeley that it had worn on arrival, to today's route, the 386A from Hertford to Buntingford. The participants gathered, and club membership cards were issued, as well as programmes for the afternoon. RF281, another "modernised" Green Liner, pulled up behind in London Road. The programme for the afternoon was explained, and some information about the 386A, 331A routes, which were routes from Hertford garage to and from the 386 at Buntingford. The 386A was the longer, more roundabout route via Much Hadham, while the 331A was the more direct route. We were to use the 331A out to Buntingford, and the 386A back.
We set off, round the roundabout and eastwards towards Ware. Other buses passed: Centrebus Solo 365 passed by on the 341 to Hatfield via Essendon, shortly followd by sister 322 on the 333 to Molewood via Bengeo.
We passed Fairfax Road, erstwhile home of Hertford Garage, and then the old Police headquarters. There we passed Arriva The Shires' 3876 heading into Hertford on the 310. Going on, we ran alongside the New River, part of London's water supply. Parallel to this ran the railway line, with a train bound for Liverpool Street running in off the double-track section from Hertford onto the single line over Ware Crossing and through the station.
We turned over the crossing behind the train, following an Arriva Solo - probably 2486 on the 395. We wound our way through Ware, and headed north for Wade's Mill, up the old A10 Roman Road. We met the current A10 near the turn for Standon, crossed it by roundabout, and headed up through Puckeridge. At the top we wiggled round the modern layout onto the road continuing north past Braughing Station.
Just by the old station the crew found a safe place to stop, lose the tail of traffic, and let us all take a few pictures. The roads were remarkably quiet: perhaps everyone was in London or glued to the television.
We continued north through Dassels to Hare Street, and turned west along the road to Buntingford. Another pull-in by a farm entrance on Hare Street Road provided a further photo opportunity.
Now it was not far to Buntingford. We dropped down towards the village, and pulled up at an actual bus stop at the terminus - The Jolly Sailors. The blinds were changed ready for the return journey.
386A: Buntingford to Hertford: RF633
The return journey, on the 386A, started off straight down the main road, all the way to Puckeridge. But there instead of continuing down the Roman Road to Ware, the bus turned off to head for Standon Station. Nothing unusual there. But then it turned left, over the site of the level crossing and the River Stort, and turned right up into Standon Village, stopping at the bus stop by the Post Office. Picturesque. Even a red phone box and a flowering horse chestnut.
THe arrival of the RF sparked much interest, and a family asked if they could have a lift home - a few hundred metres along Hadham Road. They climbed aboard, and enjoyed the ride up the lane. Fortunately there was a lack of parked cars today (unlike on Google Streetview). We dropped them off at Treetops.
Some of us took the opportunity to walk on up the lane, to watch the RF come round the bend.
We continued up the lane, avoiding the fork right into Bromley Lane, to reach Wellpond Green. We called at the Nags Head (now the Kick & Dicky). It appears to still have a 386 bus service.
Then it was on, still eastwards, to reach the main road from Bishops Stortford at Hadham Ford. There we turned south, to run down to Much Hadham, where we paused again at the Old Red Lion.
Then it was off to Hertford: down the main road to Widford, where we forked right for Wareside and then Ware. We wiggled round past Ware, and back along the main road into Hertford, to reach our terminus at London Road. We pulled up behind RW3...
Photos by Ian Smith. Click on any of them for a larger picture.