Our RF interlude     (short diversion)

We had heard that RF351 was being offered for sale by a Scout Group in Windsor and on 24th September 1983 made a visit to view the vehicle and have a test drive. We thought that we could stop using RT2688 for a while and carry out some repairs and renovations whilst we still had a vintage bus to drive to rallies and use for outings.

We bought it on 11th December 1983 and initially stored it near to the RT. Later on, we relocated it to an alternative open-air storage behind a garage and service station at Cole Green near Hertford, where it was kept in the open, alongside some lorries and caravans.

We used the RF to attend some bus rallies including the open day at Cobham where we covered 22 miles on the free bus service. We made a large number of other journeys including works outings, trips with friends and transport for Scout and Boys Brigade groups to a wide range of events.

We had to rebuild the front step of the bus as it had collapsed one day under the weight of the spare wheel as it was being rolled out of the bus. This was followed by a very quick, but much needed, external repaint over the Easter break between 20th and 28th of April 1984.


A list of the events that we attended with the bus is shown below: 


06/02/84   Aldwych (11th Southgate Scouts)

13/02/84   Southern 50 Event

02/03/84   Royal Albert Hall (National Youth Band Finals)

03/03/84   Clapham (Boys Brigade)

14/03/84   Plough at Great Munden from Potters Bar

18/03/84   Tottenham Court Road from Southgate

15/04/84   Haywards Heath (14th Southgate Scouts)

15/04/84   Cobham Bus Museum Open Day and Gathering

16/04/84   Frylands Wood (14th Southgate Scouts)

12/05/84   Royal Albert Hall (Boys Brigade)

20/05/84   Bushey (11th Southgate Cubs)

26/05/84 to 28/05/84   Enfield Pageant of Motoring

06/06/84   Derby Day at Epsom Racecourse (BT Factory, Enfield)

25/06/84   Shepherds Bush (QPR) from Enfield (Boys Brigade)

30/06/84   Thorpe Park from Welwyn Garden City

07/07/84   Aldershot from Borehamwood

14/07/84   Thorpe Park from Potters Bar

26/07/84   Tottenham from Oakwood

27/07/84   Earls Court (11th Southgate Scouts)

29/07/84   Knebworth Bus Rally

31/07/84   Goose Green from Enfield

05/08/84   Chiswick Open Day

18/08/84   Westminster Pier (Finchley and Southgate Operatic)

02/09/84   Showbus Rally at Woburn Abbey

08/09/84   Lorry Driver of the Year Event (2 days)

15/09/84   Maidenhead from Essendon

23/09/84   Muswell Hill RM Bus Rally (with RF501)

28/09/84   Duxford from Tottenham

15/10/84   Trafalgar Square (11th Southgate Scouts)

03/11/84   Guildford (11th Southgate Scouts)

22/12/84   Well End from Enfield


01/02/85   Baileys, Watford from Enfield

16/02/85   Royal Albert Hall (British Youth Band Finals)

21/02/85   Southern 50 Event

26/02/85   Camden Lock from Grange Park

28/02/85   Trafalgar Square (11th Southgate Scouts)

25/05/85   Enfield Pageant of Motoring (2 days)

29/05/85   Windsor (11th Southgate Scouts)

23/06/85   North Weald Bus Rally

28/06/85   London Bridge from Edgware (Northern and Victoria Lines CF)

30/06/85   Redbourn via Withersfield, Haverhill and Potters Bar (11th Southgate Scouts)

04/07/85   Windsor Safari Park from Tottenham

05/07/85   Enfield from Tottenham

12/07/85   Enfield from Tottenham

27/07/85   Devon and Somerset Trip (27/07/85 to 10/08/85)

11/08/85   Chiswick Open Day

17/08/85   Lorry Driver of the Year Event (2 days)

01/09/85   Watford (11th Southgate Scouts)

02/09/85   Woburn Showbus Rally

06/09/85   Broadstone Warren (11th Southgate Scouts) (06/09/85 to 08/09/85)

21/09/85   RSAF Ordnance Road - static exhibit


05/01/86   Baldock (14th Southgate Scouts)

05/01/86   Tolmers (11th Southgate Scouts)

05/03/86   Royal Albert Hall (British Youth Band Finals)

During this period, our activities with the RF occupied most of our free time and the RT was neglected completely for a couple of years. This was the exact opposite of our plan of having two vehicles, but unfortunately, the amount of spare time that we had left to do work on the RT had reduced to a nice round zero!

On 8th December 1985 we moved the RT to a new under-cover location in Essex which, although further away, did have mains power, water and lighting. This prompted us to carry out a few long needed repairs on the RT, but we knew that there were also many things that needed attention on the RF by this stage!

We finally reached the decision that the best thing to do was to sell the RF and devote more time and effort working on the RT again.

We sold the RF on 12th April 1986 to Mr Wilson from Oldham and although we were sad to see it go, it seemed the only sensible solution in the circumstances.


Above left: RF351 departs for Oldham. Above right: With the new owner: ©Unknown.

It survived for another 20 years before coming to an unfortunate end in 2006 when it was one of a number of preserved vehicles destroyed by a fire at a storage facility caused by a battery explosion on another bus.

All photographs are ©Malcolm Padbury or ©David Fisher unless otherwise stated.

Service History below, courtesy of Ian Smith:

RF351 MLL 988

11/52   TB new into service on 227 (Bromley)

04/57   TB to Aldenham overhaul

05/57   AL from o/h for 200 (Merton)

58-60   TB used on 227

03/61   TB to Aldenham overhaul

03/61   T from o/h for 236 (Leyton)

1962    T used on 236

06/63   T into store, and out again

10/64   T to Aldenham overhaul

10/64   EW from o/h (Edgware)

1965    EW

01/66   T transfer

1967    T

03/68   T into store..

03/68   L ..change store (Loughton)

04/68   L to Aldenham repaint

04/68   T from repaint, unlicensed

05/68   T relicensed

1969    T

12/70   T to Aldenham

01/71   OMO mods

01/71   HW transfer (Southall)..

01/71   UX ..transfer for 204, 223, 224/B (Uxbridge,opo)

RF351 working on route 224 from Uxbridge on 22/03/1971 ©A B Cross

12/71   UX to Aldenham overhaul

12/71   AV from o/h (Hounslow)

72-75   AV

RF351 working route 202 on 28/08/75 and route 237 on 11/06/1976 ©Jim Blake

12/76   AV withdrawn..

12/76   SE ..into store (Stonebridge)

02/77   bought by 1/6 (St Agnes) Scout Group, Windsor

05/78   to Central Windsor Scout Group, Windsor

12/83   bought by M J Padbury and D V Fisher, Enfield

03/86   bought by B.Wilson (RF351 Group), Oldham: preserved

05/00   preserved, A.Wilson, Oldham

07/06   burned out

(© Ian's Bus Stop)