North Cheam, 1956Worcester Park 2008


AEC Regent III low-height double-decker
Buses planned for operation: RLH23, RLH48, RLH61
Route 127, nearly circular, ran from Morden via Worcester Park, Raynes Park and Morden to St Helier.   In the 1950s it was operated by ten of London's small fleet of RLH buses, before the bus strike saw it withdrawn in 1958.  Here RLH59 reaches North Cheam Queen Victoria from Morden in 1956.  The (very collectable) bus stop also served the 93 and 712/3, but the 127 will now turn right to Worcester Park.
Photo © Michael Wickham
With the 127 leading the way and the 230 following shortly afterwards, wartime London found it needed lowbridge double deckers.  The lowbridge utility Daimlers were not designed for a long life and became due for replacement along with the other utility buses.
Thus in addition to the introduction of the standardised RT family, London Transport purchased 76 of the RLH class in 1950-52.  The RLH was essentially provincial in design, with a body built by Weymann of Addlestone, Surrey, on the standard AEC Regent III chassis.  Like its predecessors, the 13'6" height was achieved by setting the upstairs gangway to the side and lowering it over the heads of the offside passengers downstairs.  Mind your head if you ride on an RLH!
Heading for St HelierThe buses were used both in the Country and Central Areas, and occasionally green buses were borrowed by the Central Area to cover for buses being overhauled.  Only four Central Area garages ran the RLH, including Dalston's route 178 which saw the last operation of the RLH by London Transport, on 16 April 1971.
Click here to go to the RLH Information Centre site.
In the last two years before the 127 was withdrawn, it was extended to St Helier to cover the withdrawn 32.  RLH63 demonstrates the difficulties of providing useful blind information on a circular route, made more obscure by the wrong ordering of the intermediate points.
Photo © Alan Cross