Harrow Weald (code HD) was a Central area garage which operated RLHs on the following routes:
|Dates of Operation||
|Rayners Lane - North Harrow - Kenton - Northwick Park||?? m||
Headstone Drive (still exists),
Christchurch Ave (demolished)
|Dec 1952 - 14 Jun 1969||14|
|Harrow Weald - Belmont - Kenton - Northwick Park||?? m||High||16 Oct 1962 - 21 Jan 1966||2 x RT|
Harrow Weald garage opened in 1930, replacing South Harrow garage, and was extended in 1932. It is still used today, by operator Metroline.
Prior to 1936, the old route 230 was operated by ex-LGOC (London General Omnibus Co.) S type single deckers.
It was worked by new single decker Q types from May/June 1936 until the middle of the war.
To provide more capacity, it was then (January 1943) taken over by double-deck low bridge STLs (with nearly new austerity Chiswick bodies, built on former highbridge roofbox STL chassis which dated from 1937).
In January 1949, four new TD type single deckers went to Harrow Weald for route 221. These sometimes appeared on route 230 however, when a suitable double decker was not available.
Fourteen new second batch central area RLHs were delivered to Harrow Weald garage in November and December 1952 (RLH53 to RLH67 except for RLH 59). The RLHs took over route 230 from the STLs and a couple of STs. However, the allocation of RLHs to the garage was gradually reduced over the years to only eight vehicles by 1967 (see graph of the allocation).
RLH 74 at Northwick Park
Photo used with permission of Omnicolour (full size print available from Omnicolour)
There was a low bridge crossing the route on Christchurch Avenue (just west of its junction with Christchurch Gardens) which carried a British Railways branch from Harrow and Wealdstone north to Belmont then Stanmore. This branch closed to passengers in 1952, and completely in July 1964. The road was lowered under the bridge (exact date unknown), but only a couple of years later the bridge was removed. If any readers have photographs of this bridge, please contact the author.
The other low railway bridge on the route still exists, carrying the mainline from London Euston over Headstone Drive just north of Harrow and Wealdstone station.
RLH 62 has just passed another RLH under the Headstone Drive low bridge
Photo copyright and used with permission of Nick Vince
Unknown date, between 7/68 and 6/69
RLH 27 at Rayners Lane Station
Photo taken from londonbusscene e-group. No copyright attached to original. Author unknown. If the author wishes to assert ownership of this image, please contact us and it will be removed from this site.
From June 1969, route 230 was renumbered H1 and converted to one person operated single decker MBS type buses. The final RLH operated journey was in the hands of RLH 27, the sole green RLH at Harrow Weald at the time, which had been on loan since July the previous year and was known as the staff favourite.
Route 230A did not require low bridge vehicles, and was officially allocated to two RT buses (although often one RLH was used). The Monday-Friday off-peak and Saturday service lasted only until August 1963. This route was withdrawn in January 1966, replaced by a peak hour extension on route 209 from Harrow Weald to Northwick Park.
David Pring writes "I have distinct memories of ... an RLH deputising for an RT in Wealdstone with a handwritten paper blind, bound for Heathrow (London Airport then?) in thick snow, due to frozen RTs, must have been the famous 1963 winter."
RLHs ran commemorative trips over the old route 230 in October 2002 as part of the RLH 50 Event.