This bus is available for static hire under the Timebus Space brand, known as the Control Bus, particularly for outdoor events.
Early 2008: a major refurbishment included repanelling most of the exterior, re-instating 2 windows downstairs and the front blindbox, and reconfiguring the interior.
December 1990: Timebus purchased the vehicle, for use as a crew/storage bus. In the early 1990s, the front upstairs windows were uncovered.
1983: Acquired for preservation by a Mr Tippetts of Swindon.
April 1982: A new uniform issuing bus, Leyland National number LNB 57, was introduced and 581 J was declared surplus. Used as an office for a while at Stevenage garage.
For the rest of the seventies, 581 J was driven to various London Country garages, where crews would be handed new uniforms over a small counter, which they could then try for size in the fitting room, left of the new hinged entrance door. Upstairs, hanger rails stored the new uniforms. 581 J visited Garston and St. Albans garages particularly often.
By May 1971: Converted into a uniform distribution vehicle. The work was carried out by Brewsters Coachworks of Wrotham, and involved removal of all bus seats, panelling over the rear platform and most of the windows. Fluorescent lights were provided, using electricity from a shore supply, and perspex skylights were fitted in the roof. The vehicle was given departmental number 581 J. The J suffix was used to signify service vehicles with AEC engines. Interestingly, 582 J and 583 J were both AEC Matador breakdown tenders, introduced at the same time.
31st July 1970: worked the last RLH service for London Country, a late night run on route 461A (more details).
1st January 1970: Transferred to the new London Country Bus Services organization, on the day of its formation
It remained in the LT Country area, based at either Amersham or Addlestone, until the end of its passenger carrying career.
It also worked from Addlestone, Godstone and Reigate garages before overhaul in 1956, one of three during its career.
RLH 44 began its career in Country area green colours, at East Grinstead garage.
1952: RLH 44 was built, painted in green for use in the London Transport country area.
UK registration number: MXX 244. For other identifying numbers (chassis, body etc) please see this table.
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