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London Transport
Country Area Routes 380–389

North of the Thames

Last updated 01-08-06.

Route 380 was a local service in Harlow running between the bus station and Mark Hall North via Mark Hall South. It was an extremely short route and would probably have only had “E” plates at one or two stops.



In 1965 route 381 ran between Eastwick (Lion) and Toothill (Green Man) via Harlow, Great Parndon, Tylers Cross, Epping Green, Beaconsfield Estate, Epping, Stewards Green, Mount End and Colliers Hatch. Some journeys ran to Roydon and some to Coopersale Common. Most of the roads and villages served have long since been without a bus service. There would not have been many “E” plates for this route, probably just in Harlow town centre and at Epping Town/Station.

After the 381 was withdrawn, the number was re-used in the ’70s for the renumbering of the 384B, running between Stevenage (Bus Station) and Letchworth Station via Graveley and Letchworth Gate.

Because of the irregularities in the numerals on this “E” plate, I believe that it is hand lettered.

Route 382 ran on Mondays to Saturdays between St. Albans Garage and Codicote (The Goat) via Fleetville, Sandridge Road, Astwick Manor, Lemsford, Ayot Green and Welwyn. It was a rather infrequent route, with just four return journeys on Mondays to Fridays and six on Saturdays.

The weathering and larger numbers on the first “E” plate suggest that it is quite old. Note also the more pronounced “hook” on the “2”, which is also characterisitc of older “E” plates.

382 382


Route 383 was a local route in Hitchin and ran on Mondays to Saturdays between Oakfield Estate and Weston via Walsworth and Willian with part of the service running to Purwell Lane Estate. The only stops that would probably have had “E” plates would have been in Hitchin town centre, so this is likely to be a very difficult number to find.

Route 383 map

Route 384 was the long way ’round between Hertford (Bus Station) and Letchworth Station. On leaving Hertford the 384 left in the opposite direction, heading east to Ware, then on via the pretty villages of Tonwell, Sacombe, Dane End, Whempstead, Benington and Walkern before reaching Stevenage bus station via Pin Green nearly an hour and a half later for a journey of only ten miles via the direct route! It then continoued on to Letchworth via Graveley and Wilian. The route was cut back to Stevenage in the 1970s. Incredibly, the 384 still wends its way along this route five time a day, Monday to Saturday. There were also two variants: the 384A which branched off from Dane End out to the middle of nowhere to turn around in a farmyard at Great Munden, and the 384B (renumbered 381 in the ’70s) which ran via the 807’s routeing through Letchworth Gate. “E” plates for these latter numbers must be very rare indeed.

The larger numbers and heavy weathering suggest that this plate is quite old.


Route 385 ran between Rickmansworth (Berry Lane Estate) and Watford By-Pass (Savage & Parsons) via Rickmansworth Station, Croxley Green, Watford Junction, Bushey Mill Lane and Mill Way Estate.

Route 385A ran between Rickmansworth (Berry Lane Estate) and Garston Garage via Rickmansworth Station, Croxley Green, Watford Junction, Bushey Mill Lane and Meriden Estate.



Route 385B ran between Rickmansworth (Berry Lane Estate) and Aldenham Road (Bushey Mill Lane) via Rickmansworth Station, Croxley Green, Watford Junction and Watford By-Pass. There were just a couple of rush hour journeys in my 1965 timetable, and this is a very rare “E” plate as fare stage plates were much less common.

Route 385C was a schools service that ran between Watford, North Watford, Queens Schools and Bushey & Oxhey Station. There was just one journey in each direction from memory, as it is not shown in my 1965 timetable. This is an astonishingly rare “E” plate as fare etage plates were much less common, and there would have been few stops along this route carrying “E” plates.



Route 386 was a very infrequent rural route through Hartfordshire on just Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturdays. On Saturdays it ran between Hitchin (St. Mary’s Square) and Bishops Stortford via Great Wymondley, Titmore Green, Stevenage, Walkern, Cromerhill, Ardeley, Cotered, Buntingford, Hare Street, Dassels, Braughing, Puckeridge, Standon, Wellpond Green, Little Hadham and Bury Green. On Tuesdays it only ran from Hitchin to Buntingford, and on Thursdays it ran the other half of the route from Bishops Stortford to Buntingford. Latterly, the Tuesday and Thursday services were extended to Hertford, and part of the Saturday service also ran there. These journeys took well over two hours! A few journeys ran to and from Hertford via Colliers End and Wadesmill. Some of the lanes it served were so narrow that the bus touched the hedges on both sides, and it covered some of the most superb countryside in Hertfordshire, passing through many picturesque villages. In some places the bus brushed the hedges on both sides of the road! No doubt these roads have since been widened.

In the mid-sixites route 388 ran on Mondays to Saturdays from Harlow (Bus Station) to Welwyn North Station via Eastwick, Stanstead Abbots, St. Margarets, Ware, Hertford, Sele Farm Estate and Tewin. On Mondays to Fridays four journeys ran on to Mardley Hill, while on Saturdays some shopping-hour journeys ran on from Welwyn North to Welwyn Garden City Station. Only a couple of journeys ran from Harlow, as the main service started at Hertford (Bus Station). By the ’70s, the service had been shortened to run from just Hertford to Welwyn North.

Red Country Area “E” plates are particulary unusual.

388 388 SATURDAY


Little route 389 was a local circular service around Ware which served the Station and Kings Hill Estate.

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Click on any of the tiles below to go to images of the “E” plates and the route descriptions for that number series.