Single-deck centenary and routes 202 and 208/A RF anniversary

Photo gallery


London's first single-deck motor bus route (as distinct from routes in the country around London) was route 69 through Blackwall Tunnel, introduced on 12 November 1912.  It was soon renumbered 108 and later split to form the 108B and 108D.  To mark the centenary, RF486 and RTL453 ran over the routes on Monday 12 November 2012 - read the full story


The day also marked 60 years of RFs on the 208, 208A and 202.  With the 208A roads now obliterated by the Olympic Park beyond Hackney Wick, the day was marked by photographs at Clapton Pond, but the other two routes were covered by road runs.


208 and predecessors 


RF486 emerges from the Blackwall Tunnel 100 years after London's first single-deck

bus service commenced working through the tunnel as route 69.

Photo © John Parkin


South of the river, route 69 originally ran the full length of Tunnel Avenue.

Photo © Steve Whitelegg

The Poplar scenery has been revolutionised since the 1960s.  RF486 at the original

northern terminus of the 69.

Photo © Daniel Sullivan


From Poplar Blackwall Tunnel, RF486 ran along the 1927 version of route 108C.

Alongside is the modern 108, in the form of London Central's Pointer Dart LDP279.

Photo © Graham Smith


Today's 488 largely follows the old 108/108D/208 between Bromley by Bow and

Clapton Pond, except that it diverges at Hackney Wick and continues to Dalston

Junction.  Stagecoach's Enviro E200 36363 from West Ham garage (not on line of

route) passes an older incarnation, RF486 on route 108D at Bow Garage.

Photo © John Parkin


Northern terminus of the 108D/208, Clapton Pond.

Photo © John Parkin


Although it no longer terminates at Bromley by Bow, the modern 108 passes the

former Seven Stars in both directions.  Wright-bodied DAF DWL31 pauses for a photo

at the traditional connecting point of 108 and 208.

Photo © Peter Osborn


Finally, the 'cover shot' recreated - RF486 in 2012 carries the older style of blind.

Photos © Steve Whitelegg (RF486 in 2012), David Christie RF467 in 1970)


Autumn leaves


RF486 poses as a 208A at the newly refurbished Clapton Pond.

Photo © Steve Whitelegg


Alongside Victoria Park, a road no longer served by buses. 

Photo © Bob Lear

Routes 108 and 202


The southbound stop at Poplar, well remembered and little changed from the

1960s.  It was of course sunnier in the 60s.

Photos © John Parkin (RTL453 in 2012), John King (RTL1418 in the 1960s)


From East Greenwich, the 108 runs up Westcombe Hill to Blackheath Royal

Standard.  Here RTL453 passes Westcombe Park Station.

Photo © John Parkin


RTL453 ran the 108 as far as Lewisham, and is seen here at Blackheath.

Photo © Graham Smith


Another Blackheath shot.

Photo © John Parkin


The 10'9" Trundleys Road bridge on the 202 also carries a 7'9" height warning,

despite the operation of route 225 every 15 minutes.  RF486 heads for New Cross.

Photo © Daniel Sullivan


Trundleys Road itself is relatively unchanged (except for the removal of a railway

over-bridge further north), but the southern section of the route at New Cross has

been totally rebuilt.

Photo © John Parkin

RF486 exits the New Cross Clifton Rise  terminus of the 202, having run one

rounder to Rotherhithe New Road.

Photo © Daniel Sullivan


So it's goodnight from me, and it's goodnight from him...  RTL453 ends its duty at

New Cross.

Photo © Peter Osborn