RT1784 – KYY 622

Present status: Restored and operational.

RT1784 was delivered to London Transport on 9th June 1950 as a 56-seat Central Area bus, fitted with the later, standard-type body without the roof-mounted number box and was classified 3RT8. It entered service at Leyton garage on 14th June. Details of subsequent garage allocations and routes worked will be found on the next page.

RT1784 was overhauled at Aldenham Works in June 1954 and again in April 1958. At second overhaul the body was replaced by a “roof box” type body built by Park Royal Coachworks dating from 1948. In this form the bus was re-classified 3RT3. As the body now carried was of an early type, RT1784 became earmarked for early disposal and a rearrangement of services in January 1963 allowed the bus to be withdrawn as surplus to requirements. However, sudden wintry conditions in January caused there to be a shortage of serviceable buses in the Country Area, and RT1784 gained a temporary reprieve at Hemel Hempstead, working alongside green-painted RT class buses. Things were back to normal by February, and the bus returned to storage at Barking, pending sale.

A wee problem with the brake light switch, Barking 12/4/98.
Photo: J Hinson

RT1784 was sold to H&C Transport, of Garston, Hertfordshire in April 1963, who purchased a number for resale. H&C sold the bus to Lloyd’s of Nuneaton (who ran quite a number of the type on factory services) in April and it remained there for the next ten years. The vehicle entered preservation in 1973, passing through a couple of owners before purchase by the RT1784 Preservation Group of Enfield in April 1983.

RT1784 spent a few years in Country Area green livery. It is seen here at Cryers Hill c1984.
Photo: J Hinson

The present owners, Gill and John Hinson, had been involved with that group since 1984, but assumed full ownership of the vehicle in January 2002.

RT1784 was repainted into 1950’s livery during 2002 to participate (along with RF433) in the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Tour at Bushy Park, Hampton Court in June.

RT1784 at North Weald
Photo: J Hinson

The bus has appeared in many film roles  – most of which appear to have ended up on the cutting room floor. Its most famous appearance is probably in the Chinese Detective television series of 1981-2 where actor David Yip came out with a phrase so often used in more recent years “It’s not a Routemaster, Sir, it’s an RT”.

It appears in Series 1 Episode 4 but buying the series as a boxed set is recommended if you are nostalgic about London as it was in the 1980s.

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