RF280 – MLL 817

Present status: Undergoing preparation for use following repaint

RF280 was delivered in August 1952 as a 39-seat Green Line coach for London Transport’s prestige express services. It entered service at Hertford but over the years worked from a number of garages—details can be found on the next page.

As new Routemaster coaches were introduced, several Green Line RFs were modified for use as one-man operated Country Area buses. RF280 was converted in 1965, and used to replace RT double-deckers on Surrey route 439.

Having passed into London Country ownership in 1970, RF280 was repainted in 1971. The cream band was replaced by London Country’s yellow.

RF280 was withdrawn from service in March 1972 and was sold for scrap in April. After reaching the Yorkshire scrap yards, it was resold for further use and returned south to work for the Wembley Laundry. It subsequently entered preservation for a short while, owned by the Kingston RF Group. It was sold to the London and Provincial Omnibus Circle, and then the Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society. The bus then fell into disuse, passing through a couple of owners before being abandoned in a quarry near Chertsey. The owner was traced (who did not know where the bus was!) and RF280 was rescued in 1988.

RF280 at the East Grinstead Running Day, 26/4/98
Photo: G Hinson

RF280 was purchased by the present owners, Gill and John Hinson and Andy Wylie in 1992 in very poor condition. Rebuild and repaint of the body was completed during 1994 and 1995.

Many RFs were given a face-lift in the sixties for continued Green Line use, and only a few survive, like RF280, in original condition. This vehicle is, however, the only known example to have been restored to the livery it carried after conversion for bus use in 1965.

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