There Was A Green Bus 347

But it didn’t run anywhere near Romford or Ockendon. If you want information about any Red London bus route from 1934 onwards the go-to place is Ian Armstrong’s site. If you want present day timetables, you seek out Robert Munster. Mr M also has a “timetable graveyard” section whereat you can find a good selection of old red bus timetables.
Sadly, no such archive work exists for the majority of London’s country buses, those painted green as opposed to red.
Diamond Geezer was writing about bus 8 in Watford operated by Arriva.

The 8, says Mr Geezer, is very similar to uts historic predecessor …

… ta da …
… London Transport country bus 347. And the good diamond quality blogger appends a chunk of the 347 timetable.

DG’s extract is from the era when the green buses were hived off from Transport for London (as it is now) and handed over to the National Bus Company. But the route, we are told, had remained much the same over previous years. 

Without Ian Armstrong, fbb is blundering about myopically; but he can trace the route as per the example above.

You are right, it is too hard to read, so here is the fbb version with a current map.

Denham Station
Mount Vernom Hosp
South Oxhey (some jys)
Watford Jct
Abbots Langley
Hemer Hempstead town
Hemel Hemspead bus station
There are lots of green 347 bus pictures on-line, many from enthisiasts’ running days as here “celebrating” the closure of Garston Garage at Watford.
There are buses from the National Bus era …

… And even, sacrilege of sacrilege, an RT 347 in NBC leaf green!

As is the way of life in the modern bus lane, the 347 was replaced by the 8 as shown above. It was eventually cut back to operate from Mount Vernon Hospital via Watford to Abbots Langley.

Nothing deters Arriva from confusing its passengers, so the 8 became 508 …

… for no obvious reason. It looks much the same as the 8 except that it was extended back to Hemel Hempstead!

The 508 did not last long as the route was renumbered 328. As part of this change, the leg to Hemel …

… went back to the future, only ran to Abbots Langlet and confused and infuriated everybody! And, to add insult to injury, the frequency was halved to hourly.

It is, of course, oodles of years since the London Transport country bus route 347 ended. With the hand-over the the NBC, Transport for London took the opportunity to snaffle back route numbers in the 3xx series which allowed for expansion in red bus territory.
Hence the 347.
But before we get to the Geoff and Roger video world, fbb needs to fill in a gap?
There was another 347 and a red bus 347 to boot!

It ran from Romford to Brentwood, once again venturing into darkest Essex.

Ian Armstrong, as you would expect, records it and even provides a timetable.

There was a broadly similar Saturday schedule. As far as fbb can glean the route was broadly via the A12, but diverted via Warley on the approaches to Brentwood. Nothing goes that way today.

What is really fascinating about the short-lived Brandwood 347 is that it was a joint service with Eastern National!
Mr Armstrong tells us that, although the service was registered as “joint” tickets were not inter-availaible.
Welcome to London’s excellent customer service!

For a while it became Eastern National only, then ended its days tendered by Ensign.

This infrequent route (the least frequent red bus route of its day apart from schools services etc) ran from 1981 to 1990.

The Brentwood 347 is almost as weird as the current 347 to which fbb will turn tomorrow.

The Camping Bus Project
Start by clipping the upper deck seats moulding …

A new floor will form the base for the upper deck “bedrooms” and toilet at the top of the stairs. The front seats are retained to allow an area for relaxing whilst the cooking gang are at work on the bottom deck.

The two red holes are where rivets held the roof on via two ugly and intrusive cast pillars. Modern models have now dispensed with this unrealistic method of assembly.

Hopefully the pillars will eventually be disguised as bedroom cupboards or, more likely, just painted to match the newly installed dividing walls.

More to follow.
Saving The Planet Episode 352
A delivery from Hattons, soon to close down. It was a fair-sized cardboard box …

…with a great mega-blob of bubble wrap!

The package contained …

… one left hamd No 2 point (Peco Setrack) which would have slipped easily into an A5 sized jiffy bag and slipped easily through the fbbs’ letter box rather than being left on the step!

Progress, eh?
 Next 347 Heaven blog : Wednesday 17th January 
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