RLH Bus Information Centre

Second Lives

Upminster

Super Coaches (Upminster) Ltd

Super Coaches operated for many years from a depot close to Upminster Bridge Station and ran both Private Hire and a limited number of local stage services using different 'xxxxx and District' names - notably 'Upminster & District' around Upminster and Hornchurch, and 'Redbridge and District' closer in to London.

Operated were; RLH 3 from 1965 to 1968, and RLH 15 + RLH 41 from 1965 to 1967. All three were painted in the mid blue and white livery of Upminster and District.
1965

RLH 3 at Southview Drive, near South Woodford (George Lane) Station

Photo © R. Wilkinson

mm41/jpg May 1966

RLH 41 at the crossroads of Warwick and Galpins Roads with the A23, Thornton Heath, on the London to Brighton HCVC annual run.

Photo by and copyright Mike Morant, used with permission

I remember going to school on a mixture of RTs. I also seem to remember seeing pictures also of them offering regular services to Spurs home games (RLH 3 at Manor House sticks in the mind).

The stage services ceased in the mid/late '60s, although there is still one road where a couple of their old Bus Stop flags still exist 40+ years since the last bus!

Passenger Vehicle Sales Ltd

Passenger Vehicle Sales Ltd (PVS) traded from the same premises as Super Coaches- trading in second hand stock, much of which either at some stage went to, or was lent to, Super Coaches. This included low height vehicles given the Wantz Bridge issue, the reason why RLHs had previously been used by London Transport from Hornchurch garage. RLHs 2, 4, 6 and 8 quickly went on to Samuel Ledgard of Yorkshire, coming back a few years later, and, with RLHs 3/15/41 went to American buyers. RLH 2 can be seen here freshly prepared for sale to the Nancy Taylor School of Plainfield New Jersey, but photographed on the forecourt of the Super Coaches Premises with the Fenchurch Street railway line in the background.

Later PVS moved out to Silver End in Essex using the closed Eastern National Shed for preparation work, with overspill storage in a farmer's field, and I remember seeing a number of the last London Country RLHs there including RLH 14.

City Coach Lines

Come late 1969/early 1970, Super Coaches morphed into City Coach Lines in a new Brown and Cream livery, but effectively the same private hire, schools and works contracts business running from the same depot at Upminster Bridge. Lo, in January 1971 along came six RLHs late of Guildford and Addlestone; RLHs 33, 36, 45, 46, 47 and 50. These remained painted green.
1971-05city/jpg RLH 33 in May 1971

Upminster, working for City Coach Lines

Photo Copyright and used with permission of G. Muir

I was one of the users, as the three companies in succession had the contract to take me to school in Brentwood. It was quite interesting as you never knew what double deck oddity was going to turn up. When I started it was mostly RTs, an RTL and an RTW with the ex BEA 220CXK (the three Super RLHs had gone by then), then a raft of Alder Valley Lolines, Southampton/Portsmouth Corporation and South Wales AECs, but then the six green RLHs and back to RTs.

Blue Line Coaches

The business morphed into Blue Line Coaches in mid 1971. Blue Line took everything back to blue - this time a paler shade - and cream. RLH 46 was still around to take up these new colours.
46cd/jpg RLH 46 in c1972

Blue Line Coaches depot, Upminster

Photo copyright Gordon Muir

During this time, there continued to be a high turnover of second hand vehicles from a variety of sources, but with a significant core of LT ex Red RTs.

Blue Line rebodied the chassis of a long ex LT RT that came from Osbornes of Tollesbury, MXX 186, with the body from a green RT acquired from London Country.

The Business went I think late '70s and is now an office block.

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