RF255

Current Livery
One of 700 similar vehicles built for London Transport by AEC during the early 1950s, the initials in the fleet number (RF) stand for 'REGAL IV', the name given to the chassis. The bodywork was manufactured by the Metropolitan-Cammell Carriage & Wagon Co. Ltd., and the design allows for interchange during overhaul. The current body is the fourth to have been carried.
Body Maker's Plate

Vehicle History
Jun 1952NewChassis No. 9821LT1091, Body No. 7648, 2RF2/1 (C39F) Greenline Coach
Jun 1952Swanley Junction (SJ)Route 703
Jul 1956OverhaulBody No. 7645
Jul 1956Windsor (WR)Routes 704, 705, 718 & 725
Sep 1956Staines (ST)Routes 701 & 702
Feb 1960OverhaulBody No. 7606
Feb 1960Chelsham (CM)Routes 706 & 707
Apr 1964OverhaulBody No. 7554
Apr 1964High Wycombe (HE)Route 711
Dec 1966Converted to Bus status1/2RF5/5 (B37F) Country Bus
Dec 1966Windsor (WR)Routes 335, 353, 417, 441, 445, 457 & 457A
Jan 1967Staines (ST)Routes 436, 436A, 441, 441C, 444, 460, 461, 466 & 469
Aug 1968Staines (STu)Unlicenced
Reigate (RGu)Unlicenced
Dec 1968Chelsham (CMu)Unlicenced
Jan 1969Reigate (RG)Routes 406, 406A, 410, 411, 414, 424, 430, 439 & 447
Sep 1969Dorking (DS)Routes 412, 414, 425, 439, 449 & 470
1970Transferredto LONDON COUNTRY BUS SERVICES LTD
Sep 1973Leatherhead (LH)Routes 408, 416, 418, 422, 462, 470 & 472
Apr 1974Leatherhead (LHu)Unlicenced
Leatherhead (LH)Routes 408, 416, 418, 422, 462, 470 & 472
Jun 1974Addlestone (WY)Routes 427, 436, 436A, 437, 456, 461, 461A, 462, 463 & 474
Sep 1974Leatherhead (LH)Routes 408, 416, 418, 422, 462, 470 & 472
Oct 1974Leatherhead (LHu)Unlicenced
Apr 1975Dorking (DS)Routes 412, 414, 425, 439, 449 & 470
Jul 1975Leatherhead (LH)Routes 408, 416, 418, 422, 462, 470 & 472
Aug 1975Leatherhead (LHu)Unlicenced
Jan 1976Leatherhead (LHw)Withdrawn
Mar 1976SoldLBPG/Cobham
1977SoldL.Daniels
Jan 1978SoldHarlington School, Harlington, Beds
SoldHoughton Regis Upper School
Dec 1980Sold for PreservationTMR Preservation
Dec 1980Stored
Sep 1984Licenced
Sep 1985Stored
Jun 1991Licenced
Mar 1994PCV
May 1994On Loan to METROBUS746 Wealdsman Service
Oct 1995Stored
May 1997Licenced
Apr 1998PCV
Apr 1999Stored
May 2000Licenced
Apr 2001TransferredWealdsman Preservation

Built as a Greenline Coach, our RF has managed to retain most of it's original specification to this day. (A large number were modified during the 1960s to give a more modern appearance). The most notable alteration has been the substitution of the front nearside seat for a luggage pen when the vehicle was demoted to BUS duties.

Having served as a school bus during the late 1970s, we purchased the vehicle at the end of 1980 with a view to future preservation.

She has not always been blue !

Where have all the kids gone ?
RF255 is seen in her 'as found' country bus livery some time shortly after she was acquired

RF255 spent a good deal of time in store during the many years whilst we were restoring GS56. Minor changes included a partial repaint, the return of a light green relief and the re-fitting of roof boards.

Pretending to be a Green Line again

I think I'm about to have an identity crisis
By the KVPG rally at Sevenoaks in 1993, RF255 had regained some of her Green Line trappings

Extensive work was performed in conjunction with METROBUS during the winter of 93/94 in order to re-achieve a PSV certificate (some 18 years after it had previously run in service), this included a very full mechanical overhaul and cosmetic tidying of the body (especially the interior), and of course the application of the blue livery which she continues to wear today.

The Wealdsman at work

I'm not sure I want a whole fleet of these
RF255 is seen here with plenty of passengers at Penshurst Station during 1994

Dedicated to route 746 which was marketed as the Wealdsman Service, RF255 ran every summer Sunday on three return journeys during 1994, reducing to two during 1995. In all a total of some 120 return trips were scheduled all of which having operated without incident, a performance which we would suggest is a tribute to both the vehicle and the engineeering skills of METROBUS.

The Wealdsman at play

Did you have to put that trophy board in there !

Where did those dustbin lids come from ?
RF255 attended SHOWBUS at Duxford during September 1997
(Photographs by courtesy of Ian Smith)

None the worse for its experience the Wealdsman (as it had started to be called) was again retired after the 1995 season, and spent a well earned rest in storage until the spring of 1997. Having attended numerous rallies and also being selected for a model run by EFE, a schedule of external work is now proposed before visiting the paint shop.

Publicity for the EFE model of the Wealdsman

Not quite in time for Christmas !

Rally Attendances

7th July 1991 - Headcorn Historic Vehicle Rally
4th August 1991 - NKVPG Kentish Rally, Sevenoaks
12th April 1992 - Cobham Bus Museum, Apps Court
30th May 1993 - RT Register RF, 60 years of LT at Staines
20th June 1993 - Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway, New Romney
8th August 1993 - Kentish Rally, Sevenoaks
4th April 1994 - Otford Parish Council Centenary
10th April 1994 - Cobham Bus Museum Open Day, In Service
2nd May 1994 - HCVS Wheels of Yesteryear, Crystal Palace
9th October 1994 - Canvey Open Day, Castle Point Transport Museum
17th December 1994 - Christmas Lights Vintage Bus Tour
9th April 1995 - Cobham Bus Museum Open Day, In Service
8th October 1995 - Canvey Open Day, Castle Point Transport Museum
26th May 1997 - Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, Quainton Rally
22nd June 1997 - Kent & East Sussex Railway, Northiam
20th July 1997 - Midhants Watercress Line, Alton
27th July 1997 - Second Herne Bay Vintage Bus Day
21st September 1997 - EFE/Scania Showbus, Duxford
26th April 1998 - Bluebell Running Day at East Grinstead, In Service
17th May 1998 - Hastings Trolleybus Restoration Group, Happy Harold's 70th Birthday
31st May 1998 - White Cliffs Bus Rally, Dover Transport Museum
18th October 1998 - Crown Woods School Car & Vehicle Show, Eltham
4th June 2000 - Eastbourne Buses - Regal Event
6th August 2000 - Lingfield Steam & Country Show