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Other Operators: E–M

Last updated 08-08-06.

“E” plates for other operators were relatively uncommon and would generally have appeared for the most part only on a few stops in town centres.
Eastern Counties

The Eastern Counties Omnibus Company’s express coach services ran from London, though the north and northeastern suburbs to Norfolk and Suffolk. I’m not sure precisely where this plate would have been displayed, but I don’t think there would have been many stops involved, possibily in Ilford and Romford where Eastern Counties picked up for their excursions and tours. I think families would have waited at these stops at the beginning of their holidays to Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Cromer. There may possibly also have been commuters to Ipswich and Norwich, etcetera. (I’m now regretting having sold my LT timetable book collection!)

Eastern National

If anyone can supply me with more information about Eastern National routes, please and I will add to these descriptions.

Eastern National route 2 ran between Romford and Southend via Basildon, and the 2B provided some rush hour journeys which served the industrial area in Basildon. It should also be noted that suffix routes for other operators were especially unusual.

Obviously, split “E” plates are much rarer as they were usually produced where there was insufficient room to accommodate every route on a separate plate, and this tended to be on just a few stops in town centres, this one probably having come from Romford.



Eastern National route 46.

Eastern National routes 151 and 251 were very long-established trunk routes that ran from Wood Green [EN Depôt] to Southend-on-Sea via Turnpike Lane Station, Seven Sisters, Blackhorse Road Station, Walthamstow (Bell), Southend Road, Gants Hill, Newbury Park, Eastern Avenue, Romford. Gallows Corner, Harold Park, Brentwood, Shenfield, Billericay; then the 151 continued via Basildon, Pitsea, Thundersley, Hadleigh, Leigh and Westcliff to Southend; whereas the 251 ran via Wickford, Rayleigh, Eastwood, and Prittlewell to Southend. In latter days the 151 was diverted to run to Canvey, but both routes have long since been withdrawn. Together with the 351, they once provided six buses per hour between Wood Green and Brentwood. Such memories!



Eastern National route 253 was the Brentwood to Upminster service. It was withdrawn in the early 1970s because of very poor patronage.

Eastern National routes 305, 306 & 309.



Malcolm Payne writes: “Eastern National route 401 was a summer-only service renumbered from X11 on 18 April 1971. One limited stop return journey was provided on Saturdays and Sundays (also Monday to Friday during the summer) from Enfield via Edmonton, Walthamstow, Leyton, Snaresbrook and Newbury Park, then the same as route 400 (via Romford, Gidea Park, Laindon, Basildon, Pitsea, Benfleet and Westcliff) to Southend. (A Gants Hill stop added later). Passengers were not carried for journeys entirely within London. After September 1972 the 401 was withdrawn during winter months. It last ran on 7 September 1974. (It was advertised to run 15 June to 6 September 1975, but believed not to have operated.) East of Gants Hill the 400 (previously X10) and 401 had joint plates, so this was probably from Enfield or Edmonton [and dates from 1973].”

I do not have a full route history, but Eastern National route 402 ran betwen Dartford and Southend via the Dartford Tunnel, Grays, Basildon, Tarpots, Hadleigh, Leigh and Westcliff. I believe that this plate was sited at either Grays or Dartford.

Eastern Scottish

This plate would have been used on a stop where Eastern Scottish picked up for their long-distance operations to London. It would probably have been on stops in central London or on the main roads to the north.

Eastlander Coaches

Russell Howard, a former driver from the National Travel (South East) depot at Kelvedon in Essex, wrote: “The name ‘Eastlander Coaches’ was used for vehicles operating on the Ipswich to Cheltenham ‘Eastlander’ Service. It was operated by a consortium of companies: Grey Green Coaches, NTSE, Black & White, and Bunty Costain Coaches from Luton. The route ran from Ipswich via Colchester, Chelmsford, Hertford, Harlow, St. Albans, Luton, Dunstable, Aylesbury, Thame, Oxford and Witney, finally to Cheltenham. There was no corporate livery until the National Bus Company white was introduced and the route number 163 allocated, therefore there were many points in the old LT Country Area where picking-up and setting-down points were indicated by a bus stop flag bearing the name ‘Eastlander Coaches’.”

Note that the second Eastlander Coaches “E” plate has unusual taller condensed lettering.

Golden Miller

Route 606 was operated by Golden Miller and ran in the Staines area, linking Stanwell Moor and Stanwell Village with Staines town centre. It was unusual in that the plate did not give the operator’s name and the blue colour would normally be associated with an express route, but in this case I think it was simply a colour used by the operator in their livery and on their publicity. The route has long since disappeared.

Grey Green Coaches

Grey Green Coaches was an operator based in Stamford Hill that did not run any normal stage carriage services at the times when “E” plates were used. It is rare to find “E” plates nowadays for other operators that used LT stops, which for many people brings back memories of childhood holidays to the coast.

In 1987 Grey-Green successfully bid for routes 125, 173, 179 and 379 (originally the 179A). In 1988 they began operating the 24, 298 and 313. Route 103 was taken over in 1991, and by 1994 the list had expanded to include the 20, 141, 167, 168, 210, 235, 275, 473 and D9.

This plate would have been used on a stop where Grey Green picked up for their excursions and tours, and the plate would no doubt have come from a stop in North London, of which there would not have been many.

Maidstone & District

I can’t locate the routeings of Maidstone & District routes 31 and 32 at present, as they are not shown in my Gravesend, Sevenoaks or East Grinstead timetables, so I can only assume they ran into Tunbridge Wells, which was not covered by London Transport’s local guides. If anybody knows where the routes ran please so that I can add it to the description.

I know these routes ran in the Kent area, but not sure of their exact routeings. If anybody knows where either of these two routes ran, please as I will be happy to add the info here.

The lettering on this “E” plate is somewhat irregular as it was hand-painted onto a square of aluminum.


MAIDSTONE & DIST 98-100-101

Maidstone & District routes 98, 100 and 101. This “E” plate is presumably from Gravesend (but I’m not an expert on Maidstone and District routes!).

This plate would have been used on a stop where Maidstone & District express services picked up for their excursions and tours. It could have been on stops in the Gravesend or Dartford areas, or possibly other stops towards central London. It is rare to find “E” plates for other operators that used LT stops.

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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.