The RF433 story
Present status: Restored and running
RF 433 was delivered in February 1953 as a 41-seat Central Area bus. No entrance doors were provided owing to police regulations of the time. It entered service at West Green garage, working route 233.
In 1957 it moved to Loughton garage for route 254, but settled at Leyton in 1961 where it spent the rest of its operational life on route 236 (and also the 210 on Sundays for part of that time). Route 236 survived to be the last single-deck route in London to be worked with conductors, but more modern one-man operated single-deckers replaced the RFs on 18th April 1971. Whilst many of the class had been converted for one-man operation (with air-operated entrance doors), the vehicles from route 236 were surplus to requirements and were put into store.
RF 433 was sold in 1972 to the London Borough of Waltham Forest who used it (along with several similar vehicles) as a school bus for three years. It was then sold to the London Bus Preservation Group who repainted it into London Transport livery with the intention of reselling it for preservation. However, no suitable buyer could be found and the vehicle was eventually purchased by a factory near Hastings in 1978 for use as a staff bus. They sold it in 1981 to a dealer in Richmond, Surrey who used it for summer fruit-picking contracts.
The bus was purchased by the current owners, Gill and John Hinson, in 1983. RF 433 is one of only two examples in original condition, without entrance doors, known to have survived into preservation. It has been restored to 1960s condition.
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