2 years after purchasing RMF2771, having had a lot of work done to bus, our attendance at the 60th anniversary of the Routemaster buses in Finsbury Park, London, all cames down to one thing; passing her MOT after 6 years off the road.
Booked for 3pm, Wednesday 10th July, we were cutting it fine only 2 days before RM60. 4pm I couldn't help but feel sick, waiting to find out if our bus passed. "Beewoop" a email pings up on my tablet from the garage. I felt a cool sensation drop through my body, nervously I open the email and read,
"After a sketchy start with some bad news from the test centre this morning"
My heart sinks at the thought of not being in London for the weekend, I read on
"all has sorted itself out and you'll be pleased to know that your Routemaster passed its' MoT this afternoon"
I could not ring the rest of the team quick enough!
"James, she passed!" I squeal down the phone!
Now the races is on to get everything we need not only to make the 150mile journey to collect the bus, but to also the return trip to Finsbury Park, on the following day.
Arriving in Stoke-on-Trent at 11am we pull into a industrial estate, to see our bus parked up awaiting us. Having collected a tax disk from the Post Office and got the bus ready for the road, with a expensive visit to the Petrol station, we were off.
Cruising at the almighty top speed of 35mph, we slowly but steadily made our way to toward London. Taking slightly longer then first expected we now had a race to get to Finsbury Park before the gates close at 8:30pm! But it wasn't to be, with extra stops to check on the bus, and getting stuck in queues, we were still 2 hours away at 6pm. Still time you say? With loading the bus all we needed for our stall at RM60 still to happen, the timing was just too tight.
Having parked for the night in Hertfordshire and a good night sleep after a long day of driving we loaded the bus for the last hope into London.
Even with the park pulling into view we were still putting finishing touches on the bus, bouncing about in the back I managed to place the vinyl fleet number on the plate square!
At last we were there, all parked up along side 135 other Routemasters! As with many things in life we couldn't relax yet. While our bus started to make new friends, we had a long weekend of promoting our project and talking about our bus to anyone that would listen, and of course running a stall to help our fundraising.
Over the weekend a water leak developed and slowly grew. At first we thought along with various other Routemaster owners who had a look; that it was a leak due to a clip needing tightening more as the engine had only just been replaced with an AEC AV760. Taking the engine from a 9.6L up to a 12.4L, given our bus that little extra go, we will need on the road in the coming years.
The leak was in fact a hole that was actually self sealing with grim! Washing it out showed the full extent of the hole. But don't worry, we have been able to apply a emergency fix until we can source the replacement part, and we will get then get this one repaired!
Sorry this is a short post but we here at #London2Japan are now busy preparing for the next events in a few weeks and working on the bus, so stay tuned for more soon!