RT3254 on 801, Stevenage White Lion

Stevenage Running Days

Saturday 8th, Sunday 9th June 2013

Prepared by Ian Smith, 14th June 2013.

An afternoon with RF633

801: Stevenage (White Lion) to Bus Station, RT3254

I was back at the White Lion stop by the Farmers' Market before 1.15, in time to catch the 801 south to the bus station once more. I had just taken my seat behind the bonnet when we stopped at the zebra crossing, as the Landmark Dart, X508WRG, came up the street on the 391 for Baldock, using part of the 807 route that we would use shortly..

RT3254 on 801, Stevenage Old Town X508WRG on 391, Stevenage Old Town

We pulled up at stop K, outside the site of the old bus garage, just before the arrival of RF633, the bus for the afternoon's route recreations.

RT3254 on 801, Stevenage StopK RF633 arrives, Stevenage StopK

The RF did not stay long: it was off to take the crews to check in at their motel, before returning.

807: Stevenage to Weston, RF633

Once again RT3254 was at the stop when RF633 returned. Then Green Line DAF 4069 arrived with a terminating 797.

RF633 arrives, Stevenage StopK 3808, 4069, Stevenage StopK

RF633, DAF 4069, Stevenage StopK

Various buses of Arriva the Shires came and went, as did a pair of Centrebus Solos, 275 on Town Service 10, and 224 on longer-distance 44 from Luton. These provoked a discussion as to whether these would be running in preservation in thirty years' time.

Centrebus Solo 275 on 10 Centrebus Solo 224 on 44

Then it was time for both RT and RF to depart, the RT having completed its duties, and the RF heading for Weston as SV22 on route 807.

RT3254, RF633, Stevenage StopK

The RT passed round the bus station first, and wearing Private blinds passed us as we started our circulation. We headed up the inner by-pass past the station towards the Old Town, and met the Landmark SLF arriving on the 391, running rather early.

RT3254 departs X508WRG on 391

We passed through the Old Town, and circulated the roundabout at the north end to head up the Great North Road. A good lookout was maintained to spot our turn-off on the right: Rectory Lane. By St.Nicholas' Church we wiggled onto Weston Road. This is no longer a through road at its northern end, so we had to turn right up St.Albans Link to the new estate surrounding Great Ashby Way. This transmogrified back into Weston Road a little further on, but again we had to watch for the left turn into Orwell Avenue to continue on Weston Road. A right turn onto Back Lane set us in the right course for Weston, and we pottered through the countryside to reach the village. Turning round the triangle via Post Office Row was difficult due to parked cars at both ends, and Peter Aves received a round of applause when he accomplished it. We stopped by the bus shelter.

A Morgan and a Mini, both in green, appeared round the corner and zoomed past. We changed the blinds for the next journey, and inspected the timetables in the shelter. It seems that Weston still gets a respectable service.

RF633 at Weston on 807 RF633 at Weston on 383

383: Weston to Hitchin, RF633

We set off again, round the little triangle by Weston Green, and out along the Hitchin Road, over the rolling Hertfordshire countryside. We passed over Lannock Hill, and descended to meet the Great North Road (now the B197). We were not on it for long, as it meets the A505 dual carriageway almost alongside the current A1. We crossed over the latter, and turned left into Baldock Lane, to run along to the Fox at Willian, where we paused.

RF633 at Willian (Fox) on 383 RF633 at Willian (Fox) on 383

We went on through Willian and Walsworth, and up into Hitchin, passing under the East Coast Main Line near the station, and forking left to reach St.Mary's Square. A Dart SLF of Redline, Aylesbury, was waiting on the stop, between duties on the 88 to Hitchin, the successor route to the 364. We passed on, past the old Hitchin garage, and up the cutting to the roundabout in order to turn the bus. We came back down and parked behind the Dart.

SN53LWR at St.Marys Sq. RF633 at St.Marys Sq. on 383

SN53LWR at St.Marys Sq. on 88 SN53LWR at St.Marys Sq. on 88

The blinds were set up for the 364 to Breachwood Green, and several of us made use of Hitchin's public facilities. Then it was back to the bus for the 364...

Part 3: More Saturday Afternoon

Ian's Bus-stop part 1 part 2 part 3 part 4 part 5