RT3254 on 801, Stevenage White Lion

Stevenage Running Days

Saturday 8th, Sunday 9th June 2013

Prepared by Ian Smith, 18th June 2013.

Saturday afternoon with RF633, continued

364: Hitchin to Breachwood Green: RF633

The RF was set up for a short working to Breachwood Green - the full 364 workings going on to Luton and then Kensworth, as on the Luton route recreations in September 2012. Hitchin garage and duty plates: HN7, were added.

RF633 at Hitchin RF633 at Hitchin

Meanwhile a pair of Centrebus VDL/Plaxton Primos, 608 and 608, were resting further back on the stand.

608 at Hitchin 606 at Hitchin

Arriva's 3886 bustled past, Luton-bound by the main road route 101.

Centrebus Solo 364 arrived from St.Albans with another old LT route, the 304.

608 at Hitchin 606 at Hitchin

Then we were invited aboard the RF, and were away, circling left round into the town. We could not head south along the traditional exit, up the High Street, as that is pedestrianised, so turned up Brand Street to reach the A505. That, and the A602, took us round the town to the roundabout, where we headed south for Preston. We squeezed through the narrow cross-roads at The Bull.

Preston was as charming as ever in the spring sunshine. We paused for photos - not just of the bus but of the charming scene, with the Green, trees, pub, covered pump, telephone box and post box.

The Bull on Preston Road Preston, pump

Preston Red Lion RF633 at Preston, pump

After Preston the lanes narrowed appreciably - but they still run full-width 8ft3in buses along them. We wound our way down to Cox Green, for a short way to the junction following two young ladies on horseback. We chose the narrow fork leading to Ley Green, and climbed the hill to the Post Office. We turned right at the bus shelter, and headed along to the eastern edge of Kings Walden, past the junction where the Kings Walden short workings from Luton turned.

Kings Walden is largely hidden, an exclusive village with narrow lanes. The passing places are necessary. We descended through the village, crossed a little valley and climbed up onto The Heath, where we turned left into Breachwood Green. We passed the Red Lion, and continued round a large square of roads through the village to arrive back at the bus shelter opposite the Red Lion.

Church Road, Kings Walden RF633 at Breachwood Green

RF633 at Breachwood Green Red Lion, Breachwood Green

364: Breachwood Green to Tea Green: RF633

Whilst we were stopped at Breachwood Green the service bus (the 88 to Luton) came up behind. It was RedLine's Dart SLF SN53LWR. The driver was not going to go round us, so we rejoined the RF for the short extension trip to Tea Green. We headed back along the ridge road to rejoin the "main" road, and hurried along to the triangular junction for Tea Green. There we turned right, up the exceedingly narrow lane to the hamlet of Tea Green. The red Dart followed, and finally swept past on the south side of the Tea Green triangle as we pulled up the east side to the pub.

SN53LWR on 88 at Breachwood Green Lane to Tea Green

We turned by the pub, and paused for photos before the return. Even this short pause occasioned a pair of cars to have to go rouund the triangle rather than past the bus.

RF633, Tea Green RF633, Tea Green

364: Tea Green to Hitchin: RF633

We headed back for Hitchin. We missed out the double run to Breachwood Green, turning towards Kings Walden along the rolling road. We met a contemporary local product, 1950 Bedford 5-tonner EHJ578, toiling up one of the hills towards Luton. We squeezed past, then paused at a wider spot for "mid-country" photos.

EHJ578 RF633 on 364

We continued on, up through pretty Kings Walden, then on along the narrow lane to Ley Green Post Office.

Kings Walden Ley Green

We turned down past the Post Office, and paused at the foot of the hill, at Cox Green. There was much dashing about as people tried to get the pond and the RF both in picture.

RF633, Cox Green RF633, Cox Green

We climbed back up into Preston, and choggled along north through Gosmore to Hitchin, where we rolled down the cutting to the old garage, then on along to the bus stands at St.Mary's Square.

386: Hitchin to Stevenage: RF633

Peter Aves re-dressed the bus for the 386: Stevenage garage blinds for the short journey to Stevenage. Then he changed his mind and put up Hertford garage plates: HG48. To go with these he rewound the front blind to Buntingford, as worked by the Hertford buses. The 386 fare chart replaced that for the 364 too.

RF633 on 386, Hitchin RF633 on 386, Hitchin

We set off, turning right up the hill to the high part of the town, then swooping down under the ECML and into Great Wymondeley. There we turned right again, crossing over the main line again , and then over the main Stevenage-Hitchin road to reach Titmore Green. We worked eastwards into Stevenage, passing the original garage at Fishers Green and recrossing the main railway for the third time at the site of the old station. We trundled down through the Old Town, and round past the modern station to reach the site of the more recent LT garage in Danestrete.

There we alighted, and changed centuries: I walked up through the bus station, where Dart 3806, with digital display, was waiting between turns on SB2.

RF633 on 386, Stevenage 3806 on SB2, Stevenage

I went on over the footbridge to the station, for a train to Cambridge.

Part 4: Sunday Morning in Stevenage Old Town

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