The 93 Bus

Posted on 24/10/2021 By

RT1 displaying service 93 to Dorking.

RT1. The most iconic and oldest bus at the event. Built 1939.

Bertie: “Bobby? What’s a heritage bus running day?”

Bobby: “It’s when a group organises a bus service on a particular route using old fashioned buses. They run to a timetable and mingle with the modern buses. You could be waiting at a bus stop and a 70 year old bus turn up and you just jump on. Free – there will be a bus conductor in old fashioned uniform ding-a-linging to stop and start the bus. Help you on. Just as they did when I was young.”

Bertie: “Your friend Alan, from Brocks Drive in your school days, just told you they were doing a running day on the 93 route on 9 October. But we will be in Suffolk.”

Bobby: “I know and I am so disappointed. The 93 was the bus of my youth. The one that took me to Putney Bridge and Fulham Football Club. Wimbledon Common and the Wombles. Morden Underground to get the tube to London.”

Bertie: “Not only that, Bobby, but Sutton United are playing Port Vale in the afternoon for the first time in 123 years. No Premier League games on, and a big crowd expected. And sunshine is forecast.”

Bobby: “Oh dear oh dear oh dear. Think, think, think.”

Bertie: “Listen! I don’t want to go on the buses or football, but me and the other bears are really looking forward to Suffolk. So here’s the deal. Go on your buses all morning. Go to football. Go to bed early and we can be in Suffolk for elevenses on Sunday.”

And that’s what we did.

The 93 Running Event

London Bus Museum 93 Bus Putney Heath - Dorking Heritage Running Day poster.

Was organised by the London Bus Museum at Brooklands. Using some of their own buses, together with those of their friends in private ownership. Over thirty expected. The timetable even showed which bus was operating at a certain time. Every ten minutes the service was ‘heritage’.

Bobby spent all morning riding between Putney Heath, Morden and North Cheam. RTs and Routemasters. Putney Heath was the northern limit, as driving down through Putney High Street to Putney Bridge was considered too disruptive.

The 93 Route

Was originally conceived in 1924. It went through many changes, but wartime ensured that the route became Putney Bridge to Epsom with a Sunday service from Morden to Dorking. In 1970, it finally terminated at North Cheam, Priory Road. And stayed that way ever since The Dorking service ended in 1960.

Routemaster RM2208 CUV 208C on heritage service 93.

First bus of the day. Routemaster RM2208. Built 1965.

RM9 VLT 9 on the 93.

Routemaster RM9. Built 1959. The Routemaster gained the reputation for being London’s truly iconic bus. In reality, it was a modern version of the original London red double decker bus. The RT. That served London from 1939 to 1979.

Inside lower deck of a Routemaster.

Inside a Routemaster.

Horses viewed through the front lower deck window of a Routemaster.

Horses have right of way.

A conductor on the 93 with ticket machine and covered in badges.

The conductor. An enthusiast too.

Epsom Coaches, Bedford PPH 698.

Epsom coaches brought their vintage coach along for a ride.

RT 2177 (KGU 016) outside Morden Underground Station amongst modern colleagues.

Onto Morden Underground. RT2177. Built 1949.

RT 2177 (KGU 016) pulling away from Morden Underground Station.

RT 2177 again.

Routemaster RML 2579 JJD 579D.

Routemaster RML2579 Built 1966.

Routemaster overtakes RT at Morden.

Routemaster overtakes RT at Morden.

RT 1431 JXC 194.

Unusual Craven bodied RT 1431. Built 1949.

Routemaster RML 898. WLT 898.

Routemaster RML 898. Built 1961.

NLE 600 RF 600 AEC Regal Mk IV single decker re-enacting the Green Line coach service 712 to Dorking. Built 1953.

RF Single decker re-enacting the Green Line coach service to Dorking. Built 1953.

RT 4779 OLD 566 advertising the 'Green Rover' ticket.

RT 4779. built 1954. Note ‘Green Rover’. The extensive London Country area. Green buses. 6 shillings all day. You could also get a similar Red Rover for the central area of red buses.

Lower front deck interior view of RT 1.

For his last ride of the day Bobby was lucky enough to get on RT1. Unlucky it was going all the way to Dorking and back while he was going to football.

Roll ticket machine.

Roller ticket machine. Bobby remembered fondly the punched tickets feature in our recent story.


Two movies for you

RT1705 (built 1950) to Epsom:

RT1 to Dorking:


Pete’s yard - a house clearance shop - with a Betty Boop outside!.

Pete’s yard opposite the bus stop.

Bobby with the Betty Boop statue outside Pete's Yard.

With the biggest Betty Boop Bobby had ever seen.
Note the Sutton United shirt.

Sutton United

Down to meet David at the Priory café for pre-match scrambled eggs. (Tradition). On an RT!

An RT (KLB 660) in North Cheam around 1959.

RT 3775. Built 1953.

Compare the pictures. The 1959 one was later verified by Bobby as 1970. Scrapped in 1977. David is admiring RT 3775. Built 1953.

Fifty one years between the pictures. And noting that these wonderful heritage buses have all been restored. Sometimes over years and enormous expense to get them to this level of magnificence.

Sutton United Football Ground getting ready for the Port Vale match.

An hour to kick off. Sutton United v Port Vale. EFL Division 2.

4-3 (91st minute)

3,900 watched, including 500 from Port Vale in what was possibly the most exciting game we have ever seen at Gander Green Lane.

Bobby with Coby Rowe.

Our hero. Coby Rowe. Scorer of the winning goal and maker of the days of at least 3,400 fans.

Thanks Bertie. It was a perfect day.

Lou Reed:


Lighting a Candle for Diddley

A candle lit for Diddley in the midst of 4 of Bobby's model buses.

STL (pre war London bus), RT, RT, Routemaster.

= = = = = = = =


  1. Fliss Drewett says:

    So glad you made it to your number 93 day Bobby. And you got to the footie. Going a day late to Suffolk paid off!!!

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