"Fares please!" Yes, had some of that. Five years out of Tring garage, RT's on the 301/302/312/316A, the 'station bus' XMB15 on the 387, but mostly one manning on the Green Line 706; Aylesbury to Chelsham. One trip down, break, then back - duty finished. RF coaches and sometimes the RF bus until the Nationals came along in '71. Awful things. Broke down so often we frequently had RF’s replacing them, and what a pleasant sight that would be when you stood on the stop waiting your next charger – like an old friend returning.
Tring garage early seventies:
The 'office' of an RF:
Copping numbers as a kid. Spotted RM610 driving out of Southall AEC works, I must have been about 10yrs old. Big feather in my cap, as most service RM’s went no higher than 450 or thereabouts. Twenty odd years later I spotted it again as RM2610 in Regent Street, London. Extended to 30’ it got a 2 put in front of the 610. Quick chat to the driver and we were both off again, me on the bike despatching.
Or King’s Cross for steam when there were proper engines; Streaks, A1’s, V2’s, and N2 tanks on suburban work. School finished at 4pm and there was a rush to get home for the push-bike and hare off up to Wood Green station to cop the Elizabethan as she went through at 4:15. The anticipation was palpable. First there would be bells from the signal box to break the quiet, a clanging of points and signals pulled off for a ‘full eci’. Then the anticipation and who could spot the plume of steam in the distance as she came down from Hornsey with a distinctive whistle from Gresley's beautiful A4, the gathering noise and roar as it went through the station in a welter of sound and mechanical thrashing of con-rods and pistons. Coal smoke, hot oil, then silence. And the stage became set for the next piece of theatre. Magical. Then came Deltic, a blue box with cream stripes, and it all changed.