Vintage buses come to Charlton for Plumstead garage open day

The RT buses ran for 40 years from 1939 (Photo: Pete Edgler via Creative Commons)

Two vintage London Transport buses will run on route 53 through Charlton on Saturday as part of celebrations to mark Plumstead bus garage’s 40th anniversary.

An open day is being held at the garage from 11am to 4pm, and to mark the day two buses that used to run on the 53 will run from Elephant & Castle to Plumstead, passing through Charlton at just after 10am.

The first bus will be an AEC Regent – the predecessor of the more famous Routemaster, and the type used in the Cliff Richard film Summer Holiday. This particular bus, the RT4779, last saw service in 1978, after which it was left to rot in a farmer’s field before being set on fire for the 2002 film Heart of Me. Enthusiasts restored the bus to its former glory and it will be seen plying its old route in Saturday.

Not Peckham (photo: Aubrey via Creative Commons)

Alongside it will be MD60 – not as iconic, but a bus which saw service on the 53 in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It is only one of two surviving roadworthy Scania Metropolitans and has also been restored by an enthusiast.

The buses will depart Elephant & Castle at 9.30am, reach Blackheath Royal Standard at 10.01am and Charlton Park at 10.06am, although these times may slip somewhat. Later in the day, the RT will run a return trip on the 122 to Crystal Palace, leaving Plumstead at 4.10pm.

The open day will include old buses and other memorabilia, and will raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support. Tickets will be available on the day for £5 (£2.50 for children) and there will also be a shuttle bus linking the garage with Woolwich Arsenal station.

For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.


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