The second production Routemaster made famous by its Gold livery retained since the Queen’s Jubilee Celebrations in 2002.
In May 1959 RM 6 started its working life based at Clay Hall in east London, a garage long since demolished. It was there to train drivers of trolleybuses at nearby Poplar for motorbus operation.
In November 1959 the bus started to carry passengers in service on new routes 5 and 48 linking east London with the City. From May 1962 the bus was running from nearby West Ham until October 1963 when it moved to Walthamstow. Apart from short periods at Cricklewood, Holloway and Highgate during 1964 it worked from Walthamstow until January 1974.
For two months RM 6 worked on route 11 from Dalston until a move to Camberwell in March. After overhaul in June 1975 the bus continued its merry go round of bus garages with spells at Tottenham, Stockwell and Bromley before an overhaul in October 1984.
At the time of overhaul another Routemaster carrying the original body of RM 6 was also being overhauled and the opportunity was taken to recreate the original combination with RM 6 reappearing at Turnham Green on route 9.
When route 9 converted to RML operation in November 1987 the bus moved to Norwood and there in 1991its AEC engine was replaced with an Iveco 8360.
For two years between February 1992 and January 1994 RM 6 worked with RM 5 at Clapton on route 38.
Brixton then became its final home starting with the red and cream Route 159 livery. Traditional red was restored in 1996 and a Scania engine replaced the Iveco in April 2001 when the bus was refurbished at Enfield Accident Centre.
In March 2002 Gold become the standard livery to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, a colour that the bus has retained and is now instantly associated with.
March 2004 saw the end of front line service with the conversion of route 137 to DAF/Wrights double decks.
Much care and attention from staff volunteers has seen the condition of the bus brought up to a standard that has seen it become a star attraction at shows and special events.