MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: Up The Junction (London, 1984)

AllAboutBuses invites you to banish the Monday morning back-to-work blues with a spot of time travel . .

This week we jump back in time to 1984 in London . .

RM570

It’s summer 1984, back in the days when “the man on the Clapham omnibus” was more likely to be on the 19 than the 88!  The cut-back of route 19 to Battersea Bridge a few years later always seemed a particularly retrograde step, with the route terminating in the middle of nowhere rather than serving the bustling commercial centre and massive railway interchange of Clapham Junction.

Here we see RM570 at Clapham Junction,  heading northbound (the next stop would be beside the railway station itself).

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MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: Marked In (Dublin, 1981)

AllAboutBuses invites you to banish the Monday morning back-to-work blues with a spot of time travel . .

This week we jump back in time to 1981 in Dublin . ..

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Off all of the changes of livery on the Dublin bus scene over the years, possibly one of the slowest was the move away from the blue & cream livery for double-deckers, and into allover tan, fleetwide.  The first new buses in tan (orange) arrived in late 1974 (the VanHool AN68 Atlanteans) and by early 1975 repaints of the 602 earlier PDR1 Atlanteans had started.

But the repainting, which coincided with BMS full body overhauls at Inchicore Railway Works, was very slow paced, unlike today, when the entire fleet is repainted on a three-year cycle. By the time that the last D in Dublin was repainted into tan, there were already hundreds of KD-class Bombardiers on the road in the new two-tone green livery, so the tan never wholly ruled the roost. There were blue & cream halfcabs (PD3s) on the road until April 1982, and the last handful of Ds in the old livery lasted a few months beyond that in Dublin (and even longer in provincial cities).

D568 was one of the last to wear the old livery in Dublin, and is seen here in 1981, about a year before it finally got an overhaul and repaint.

At this point, the bus was 7 years old, but the blue & cream was very effective at hiding wear and tear and everyday scuffs (whereas the new tan livery tended to age quickly and look tired after a short period). As one off the final batch of PDR1s, this bus was delivered in the final version of the blue & cream, without the between decks stripe (new buses from D555 onwards did not have it, and many earlier buses lost it on repaint if they were lucky enough to have a blue & cream overhaul/repaint before the dreadful tan became standard).

Throughout this time, D568 spent pretty much all of its time on the 22 route, and it can be seen that 7 years marked in on the same route has faded the destination blinds to the point that they are almost unreadable.

The intermediate blind is correctly set for BAILE PHIB / CARNAN and as this blind served both directions, it was the most faded of the lot, as the ultimate destinations were at least only displayed 505 of the time, while the journeys would also alternate between 22 and 22A frequently, helping preserve the number blind.  If this bus had been visiting any other route on the day of this picture, the blinds would probably have been crisp and white!

MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: Route 37 OPO Conversion (London, 1986)

AllAboutBuses invites you to banish the Monday morning back-to-work blues with a spot of time travel . .

This week we jump back in time to 1986 in West London . ..

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It’s early June 1986, and lengthy orbital route 37 is in the middle of conversion from Routemaster to Metrobus, prior to OPO conversion on the 21st of the month. Both old and new order can be seen in this photo, with M514 on the 37 standing next to RM2098, and a further Metrobus on the 281 to the right of both of them (M835). Note the “Pay Conductor” flap on the 37 Metrobus (you can see it in the other, yellow “Pay Driver” position on the 281.

The 37 was a very lengthy and useful service at that time, travelling from Hounslow all the way across inner south London to Peckham in the south east. As with many other services, it has since been cut back and split over the years, and the length of the old route was such that this journey is now only possible by using three buses – the 37 from Peckham to Putney, the 337 from Clapham Junction to Richmond, and the H37 from Richmond to Hounslow.

MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: Birmingham Double (1981)

AllAboutBuses invites you to banish the Monday morning back-to-work blues with a spot of time travel . .

This week we jump back in time to March 1981, and a pair of shots taken in the centre of Birmingham.

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Our two photos today date from mid-March 1981, and are taken in Birmingham, close to the city centre.

The first shows Park Royal bodied Fleetline NOV806G, new to Birmingham in December 1968, and still in the older Blue & cream with kakhi roof, which served as inspiration for the CIE double-deck livery of the 1960s. The destination display is not the most effective in an area where “City” could refer to any one of the three major parts of the conurbation of Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Voventary – especially as the secondary display reads “from City” !!

This bus was, at the time, one of the older vehicles in the fleet, and had been withdrawn by the end of 1983.

The second photo, taken on the same day, shows the new order, with  then fairly new Leyland National AOL17T on the 101 Centrebus service. This National had a long life, being converted to dual-door and used for shuttle work at the International Convention Centre and eventually passing on to a fringe London operator, where it was still active in 2001.

MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: Route 24 Routemaster (London, 1985)

AllAboutBuses invites you to banish the Monday morning back-to-work blues with a spot of time travel . .

This week we jump back in time to the mid 1980s, when route 24 was still crew operated . .

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Route 24 has had something of a high-profile existence in recent decades.  Most recently the first route to be fully converted to the “New Bus for London” LT type, and previously the first really high profile route to be tendered in Central London with Grey Green.  And before that, back in the 1960s, it played host the a trial batch of Leyland Atlanteans, run alongside Routemasters.

These two pictures, taken on a hot Sunday in summer 1985, illustrate the route in the years before it got converted to one-man operation with Titans (in the late 80s).

The first shows a very smart looking RML2666 on Charing Cross Road, whlle the second features a slightly less pristine RML2294 nearby.

In the second photo a RM is running behind on route 29, identified by the yellow stripe and prominent route branding (this was applied for a while in the mid-80s to high profile central routes, though why the 29 should be more deserving than the 24 is something of a mystery).

 

MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: Twilight VanHool (Cork, 1980)

AllAboutBuses invites you to banish the Monday morning back-to-work blues with a spot of time travel . .

This week we jump back in time to 1980, when CIE’s fleet of 238 VanHool MacArdle bodied AN68 Atlanteans were still reasonably new, and in the original as-delivered “tan” livery.

D706

It’s late in the evening of a summer’s day in 1980, and the setting sun is about as far west as it gets, with the front of our southbound bus being just a degree or two away from deep shadow. This light serves of accentuate the boxlike nature of the body, with panel joins clearly visible.

D706 is five years old at this point, one of a batch delivered to Cork in 1975 to clear out the ramaining halfcab Leyland Titan PD2s (a type which continued in service with CIE in Dublin until 76 (the PD2s) and 1982 (PD3s).

At this stage, the majority of VanHools, based in Dublin, had been modified with a bar across the front upper deck windows, but the Cork ones, for the most part, never got this.

The route number display is somewhat interesting, considering that this is a one-piece rather than three-track number blind – the space between the 7 and the A is very noticable.

Cork buses at this time made use of only a single destination blind, with English-only final destination in large lettering.  The lower “via blind” was always blanked out with black paint or masking.

The 7A route, the northern half of which still survives today, went to Skehard on the southside, and was equally frequent to the main 7 service.

MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: West Croydon Metrobus (London, 1985)

 

AllAboutBuses invites you to banish the Monday morning back-to-work blues with a spot of time travel . .

This week we jump back in time to1985, and an unusually quiet West Croydon Bus Station.

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It’s a Sunday in 1985, and almost new M1167 is all alone in West Croydon Bus Station – quite an unusual situation, even on a Sunday morning!

The M is resting between turns on the high frequency 130 group of routes, which at that time linked Croydon with the vast sprawling estates of New Addington with each suffix taking in a slightly different part of the area. The coming of the trams in recent year relegated the 130 to a much lower key role, it is now a single route, operated by midibuses, and does not reach Croydon.  The London practice of using tiny lettering for the suffix makes it hard to see that what is being displayed here is route 130B, and must have been difficult for those with poor eyesight!