RF298 - in Pakistan
RF298 has had a chequered life after sale by London Country in April 1973.
Initially, it was sold for scrapping to Wombwell Diesels in Yorkshire. It was purchased by a farmer, F Paterson in October 1973 (through a preservationist in Glenfarg), for transporting potato pickers to his farm in Edzell, Tayshire. It later passed to a C Frampton in Blairgowrie for further use as pickers transport.
During 1983, a deeply religious man named Alan Witt was working in Scotland, picking potatoes, and he purchased the vehicle and drove it back to London. He used the bus as transport to religious events, and when not in use it was kept at a mission in Mildmay Park, East London. During this time, the tatty original seating was replaced by a set of Plaxton coach seats.
In September 1984, Alan decided that his religious beliefs should take him to Pakistan. So off he went, complete with bus, driving across Europe to get there. Reports came back that he had arrived safely and the only defect the bus had suffered en route was a broken spring leaf.
Since then I heard nothing further of Alan or RF298 and as years passed began to assume that the bus must have reached the end of its life there, given the remoteness from the point of view of spares.
In July 2001, I was surprised to receive by email, through Graham Smith, Publicity Officer of the Cobham Bus Museum, the recently-taken picture below. This was discovered by Neil & Penny Small in the corner of a conference centre in Jhelum, Pakistan.
Given the time it has spent away from the UK, I think it looks in remarkably fine fettle.
With thanks to Graham Smith and Neil & Penny Small.