2019 marks both 40 years since the RFs and RTs finished London Transport service, at Kingston on 30 March (RFs on routes 218 and 219) and Barking on 7 April 1979 (route 62), and 80 years since RT1 first entered service in August 1939. The end of RTs on route 62 was (uniquely) arranged during the course of the day, with RT crews progressively transferring to RMs and the RTs running in to Barking in daylight. A procession of RTs took place later in the day, at which the surprise was the appearance of RT1, newly acquired by Prince Marshall and repainted.
London Bus Museum are organising an RT/RF gathering in Barking on Saturday 30 March 2019, to complement the RT/RF theme of Spring Gathering on 7 April. This will include displays in Barking and River Road garages and a free RT service on routes 62 and 23C, plus other free services. At the end of the day, there will be an RT procession to remind us of the procession in 1979.
For red RTs, the main venue will be Barking Garage, where there will be a ‘garage open day’ with a display of red RTs inside and outside, operation on routes 62 (passing and running in) and 23C (terminating) and sales stalls. The final RT to run in will ceremonially hand-over service to an RM outside the garage, and at the end of the day there will be a procession of RTs leaving the garage.
For other RTs and all RFs, the venue will be River Road garage, which will have a dedicated area in the rear yard for a display and bus terminus (route 62), together with a garage event featuring rides through the bus wash, etc. A frequent free bus service will operate between the two locations, with the 62 running to Chadwell Heath and the 23C continuing to Creekmouth Power Station.
We are very grateful to Stagecoach (Barking) and Go Ahead (River Road), and to TfL for permitting operation on current route 62.
RT1 is owned by London Bus Museum and you can read about it’s history here.
The event is taking place between 11:00 and 16:00, and entry to both garages is free of charge.
Please note that no further online orders can be accepted for programmes. They are still available to buy over the counter and the London Bus Museum and they will be on sale at Barking and River Road garages on the day.
Free bus services
The times of the frequent free bus services are given in the programme, including a number of special journeys.
Additional to the programme will be some extra journeys on routes 23C and 106 between Becontree and Barking or Creekmouth, and one late journey along the whole of the 1979 route 62 from Creekmouth to Barkingside. This will depart Barking Faircross stop BP at 1625 (after completion of the procession to Barking and back) to Creekmouth, departing Creekmouth at 1700 and working through to Barkingside Fullwell Cross, arriving at 1828. There will be no return journey. This journey may be duplicated if required.
An RTL that was based at Barking from 1952 to 1955 (when Barking was a Leyland garage) is scheduled to operate on route 23B between Becontree and Barking.
The photos in the event gallery are © David Jones and the museum acknowledges his kind permission to reproduce them.