RLH Bus Information Centre

Fleet List

581 J

Built : 1952

RLH 44 began its career in Country area green colours, at East Grinstead garage. It also worked from Addlestone, Godstone and Reigate garages before overhaul in 1956, one of three during its career.

It remained in the Country area, based at either Amersham or Addlestone, until the end of its passenger carrying career in 1970. RLH 44 was transferred to the new London Country Bus Services organization on the day of its formation on 1/1/70, but only lasted until 31/7/70, on which day it worked the last RLH service for London Country, a late night run on route 461A (more details).

By May 1971, RLH 44 was 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.

581 J was then 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.

A new uniform issuing bus, Leyland National number LNB 57, was introduced and 581 J was declared surplus in April 1982. Used as an office for a while at Stevenage garage, the vehicle was acquired for preservation by Mr Tippetts of Swindon in 1983.

Timebus purchased the vehicle in December 1990. During the next decade, the front upstairs windows were uncovered, and the vehicle was used as a Timebus crew/storage bus.

In 2008, a major refurbishment included repanelling most of the exterior, re-instating 2 windows downstairs and the front blindbox, and reconfiguring the interior. The vehicle is now available for static hire under the Timebus Space brand, known as the Control Bus, particularly for outdoor events.

Photo

18th August 2013

Hemel Hempstead bus station

Photo by, and ©, E. Pring

Photo

1st August 2010

Addlestone

Reversing into the site of the former bus garage, having just arrived with an 'RLH40' recreation of the final London Country RLH operated service of route 461 forty years earlier. The brick pillar on the far left is believed to be from the original garage.

Photo by, and ©, E. Pring

Photo

27th April 2008

Crawley Down, West Sussex

Recreating old route 424

Photo © E. Pring

Photo

20th June 2005

Northampton

Stretching its legs

Photo © E. Pring

Photo

13th October 2002

Outside the former Staines West station

Timebus drivers Alan and Matt hold the cake celebrating 'RLH50' event

Photo by E. Pring

Photo

13th October 2002

Harrow Weald Garage

A break from the day's rain; garage used courtesy of the operator, Metroline

Photo by E. Pring

Photo

June 1997

St. Albans Bus Garage

Enthusiasts' rally

Photo © E. Pring

Photo

3rd May 1987

Battersea Park

HCVS rally

Photo © M. McClure

Photo

1981 or 1982

Stevenage Bus Garage

Photo © A. Warr

Photo

30th June 1978

Hatfield Bus Garage

Now wearing a National Bus Company 'mirrored N' logo over the former blindbox area, replacing the previous London Country 'flying polo mint'.

Photo © M. McClure

Photo

June 1974

Garston Bus Garage

Photo

November 1952

Victoria Road, Horley

On Route 424

Photo ©, and used with permission, of A. Cross

UK registration number: MXX 244

Return to top of page

RLH 41 | Return to Fleet List | RLH 45