We had an unexpected change of plan thanks to a friend on FaceBook alerting us to this event. We abandoned our intention to walk part two of the North Downs Way and, instead, went for a ride on the buses.
"London Bus Museum to operate 60 year-old RT-family buses over full route 11
Route 11 is London’s most famous bus route, passing the Bank of England, St Paul’s Cathedral, Fleet Street, Strand, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Victoria, Sloane Square and Chelsea’s Kings Road.
Before the famous Routemaster came the RT, the first of which ran in London before the second world war, 75 years ago in August 1939." See more at: RT buses recreate full Route 11
We walked along the Thames Path and over Hammersmith Bridge to the bus station at Hammersmith Broadway where we awaited our transport of delight.
Part way through the journey we caught up with the prototype RT1. We swapped buses and paid the five pounds to ride on this original - all the others were free - and well worth the money to go on a piece of vehicular history.
On the RT1 you get a proper conductor and a bus ticket.
A sign you do not see on modern buses.
We rode as far as Strand to buy me new Ecco walking shoes and then caught a different RT bus back to Sloane Square for more shopping.
From Sloane Square we walked back home via Albert Bridge and an atmospheric sunset.
I was reminded of a song from my childhood: Transport of Delight by Flanders and Swann. My favourite line:
"We like to drive in convoys - we're most gregarious.
The big six-wheeler scarlet-painted London transport diesel-engined 97-horsepower omnibus."
A full set of pictures on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/markmclellan/sets/72157646932275914/show
A day far more fun than I had expected. Hold very tight please! Ting-ting!