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AEC buses at the Rallies

Most opportunities to ride on AECs these days are the preserved ones giving rides at bus rallies and running days in the UK . "Buses" magazine publishes a full rally guide each year, and a frequently updated list of raliies and running days is on the Classic Buses website at

The following organisations have a high proportion of AECs at their running days.

Amersham & District Motorbus Society

Organise running days in and around the former London Country area, featuring preserved buses from 1930s-1980s, with a high proportion of former London Transport/London Country AEC Regals (RF), AEC Regents (RT) and Routemasters. Programmes: £9.00 on the day or in advance from Amersham & District Motorbus Society, 68 Hitcham Road, Taplow, Maidenhead, SL6 0LZ, or ordered online via the programmes page. Next event: 
See website

Country Bus Rallies

Organise running days in and around the former London Country area, featuring preserved buses from 1930s-1980s, with a high proportion of former London Transport/London Country AEC Regals (RF), AEC Regents (RT) and Routemasters. Programmes: £8.00 on the day or £7.50 in advance (send a strong A5 envelope with sufficient stamps for the First class return post) from Country Bus Rallies,19 Hampton Way, East Grinstead, RH19 4SG.

Next event:
See website

The AEC Society

The AEC Society exists for the appreciation, preservation and documentation of the products of AEC Limited, late of Windmill Lane, Southall, Middlesex, England. All AEC products are featured, including trucks and railcars. They organise a major AEC road run and rally over the last weekend of May each year. Next event:
May 2024: Newark

If you would like to mention your rally on this page please email .

Preserved Maidstone & District AEC Regent V VKR 470 takes a time check at Hartfield while returning from Holtye Common during the 2023 East Grinstead running day. This is a long established and popular event.

Preserved London Transport AEC Regal IV RF146 heads for home through Chalfiont St Peter in the evening sun after a day out at the 2022 Chesham running day.

1 RDV, a preserved Devon General Grey Cars AEC Reliance, turns a few heads while in action at the Exmouth running day organised by the Devon General Society in September. This batch of eight had Harrington Cavalier bodies but with Grenadier fronts. Three further examples of this batch still exist in preservation.

CRL4 (RMC4), the prototype AEC Routemaster coach, see near Wake Arms near North Weald during an Epping Ongar Railway bus running day in Feburary 2022. 

Two generations of AECs, preserved RT2177 and RM1400 stand next to each other at Richmond during the London Bus Museum April 2021 route 65 running day.

The London Bus Museum staged a running day in April 2021 over the route of service 65 between Ealing and Horsham. The London Bus Company's recently restored RT1658 was seen in action at Ealing Broadway.
With the Coronavirus pandemic wiping out the 2020 rally season, the traditional Showbus rally was reinvented as a "FlyBy" A large number of preserved vehicles and modern buses and coaches contributed to the spectacle of a bus running every few minutes in both directions along the A40 and A418 between Beaconsfield and Wheatley Three of the vehicles participating were preserved former Surrey Motors and Premier Travel AEC Reliance HLP 10C, preserved former Soudley Valley Coaches AEC Regal KDD 38 and operational Vintage Red Bus AEC Routemaster RML2335.

One of the numerous former London Transport AEC Regent III 'RT' class, RT714 is one of those repatriated from Canada by the London Bus Company and returned to service in the UK. It was pictured at Heathrow during a running day organsised by the London Bus Museum in November 2019.

VBT 191, a Yeates Europa boded Reliance, was seen at Twyford Waterworks during the May 2019 Winchester running day. It is preserved in the livery of Fowler of Holbeach Drove.

One of the first London Transport RF class AEC Regal IVs built, Greenline touring coach RF13 was restored in 2018 and featured at an RF themed route recreation day in March 2019.

The London Bus Company's former Greenline AEC Swift SMA8's return to service was showcased at an Epping Ongar Railway event in September 2018.

A line up of preserved former London Transport AEC Swifts and Merlins at an Epping Ongar Railway event in September 2018, featuring SM88, MBS444, MBS641, MB90, SMS97, SMS369. Also present at the event were operational MBS539 and SM1.

Preserved former Maidstone & District Reliance BKT 821C, the first for M&D with the BET federation style of bodywork, attending a rally at Tenterden in June 2018.

The Oxford Bus Museum's preserved COMS AEC Regent V, 956 AJO, passes through countryside near Hanborough during one of the museum's Bank holiday running days.

Preserved London Transport/Country AEC Regal RF308 and Merlin MB90 wait time at Dormansland Plough during a  running day in April 2018.

Red Bus Events RM545 is seen crossing the River Adur at Upper Beeding during one of Southern Transit's route 3 Bank Holiday specials in May 2018.

Also seen at the Kirby Stephen running day was this fine Burlingham bodied AEC Regal in the fleet of Cumbria Classic caoches.

Shuttle Buses of Kilwinning restored their AEC Reliance TKC 833T to operational use after a number of years out of service. Sporting Shuttle Coaches fleetnames, it was seen in action at the Kirby Stephen Easter event on 1st April 2018.

Also in use at the Epping Ongar Railway event was newly restored former BEA and LT Routemaster RMA48, pictured in Ongar.

The London Vintage Bus Hire AEC Swift SM1 was one of the vehicles in use for the Epping Ongar Railway's "Everything Has Doors" bus event in February 2018. It was pictured at Epping station.

London Bus Company Routemaster coach RCL2260 passes through Langley en route to London during the Reading Buses route 702 running day on Christmas Eve 2017. 
RT1431 at Northfleet in December 2017.
Ensignbus ex LT Regent III RT1431 takes the corner by The Old Leather Bottle in Northfleet village during Ensign's annual vintage running day in December 2017.

The GVVT's preserved former RTITB Alexander bodied Reliance VMP 10G made the long journey down to the Isle of Wight Beer and Buses Weekend in October 2017, and was pictured at Rookley.

Seen at Leatherhead was the LBM's RT4779 following a major restoration involving a complete body rebuild.

RF673 passes through Datchet while on a morning feeder service from High Wycombe to Leatherhead for a running day there in July 2017. 

Mortons Travel ran a 31st December 2016 "step entrance day" with their current fleet and visitors such as preserved Reading Corporation lowheight AEC Regent MRD 146, seen at Swallowfield.

East Kent full-front AEC Regent V PFN 874 pulls into Tankerton during the Herne Bay anniversary rally in May 2016.

London Bus Museum's ex demonstrator AEC Regal IV, UMP 227, makes an appearance at Bembridge on the Isle of Wight during the 2016 annual Beer and Buses weekend. 

AEC Regal Mk I T792 catches the evening sun as it approaches Chesham on its journey home following a day out at the October 2015 Amersham running day.

Also seen at Chesham was the London Bus Museum's lowbridge AEC Regent RLH48.

Routemaster RML2310, one of the Timebus active fleet, seen in Exchange Road, Watford during a running day in April 2015.

East Kent and London Transport meet at Ide Hill in May 2015 as they participate in the Country Bus Rallies Sevenoaks running day.

Cumbria Classic Coaches AEC Regal JTB 749 was seen in action at the Kirkby Stephen running day in April 2015. It runs scheduled services during the summer.

The Oxford Bus Museum's former City of Oxford AEC Renown 371 is seen at the start of its journey back to Oxfordshire after a day out at the Alton rally in July 2014.

Preserved Carris (Lisbon) 255, a left hand drive AEC Regent III, arriving at Cheltenham Racecourse while running a free service in connection with an event organised by Stagecoach in May 2014.

1922 AEC S-type XL 8962, new to London General as S454, is seen returning home over the A31 "Hogs Back" after a day out at the Alton rally in July 2014, one month after being acquired by a new owner for a cool £281,500.

Regal revival. Preserved London Transport Mk I Regal T499 arrives at Upminster during the December 2014 Ensignbus running day. It had recently received a gleaming coat of LT coach livery after running in wartime grey the previous year.

Routemaster RM2213 of A1 Bus poses at Thorney Abbey in Cambridgeshire during a May 2014 running day based at Whittlesey.

Preserved JTM 109V, the last AEC service bus to enter service in the UK, seen at Forest Row during a running day in April 2014

By 2018, RML2456 had been repainted into traditional Lincoln Green livery, and was again seen at Chesham Broadway during the annual Amersham and Chesham running day.

Preserved former Grimsby Cleethorpes AEC Renown NJV 995 was seen giving open-top rides at the 2013 Newbury rally.

The Oxford Bus Museum's former City of Oxford AEC Regal 703 in action at the 2013 Newbury rally.
A former King Alfred AEC Renown preserved by FoKAB swings round
A former King Alfred AEC Renown preserved by FoKAB splashes into Sutton Scotney during the 2012 annual New Year Day event. This event now takes place in May.

Preserved green RF633 poses at Ide Hill while recreating former London Country services during a running day centred on Sevenoaks in May 2013.

RML2456 rounds the war memorial at Chesham Broadway during the 2011 Amersham running day, an event blessed by an exceptionally warm October day.

Ensignbus owned RMC1513 was seen at action at Lakeside during the company's X80 running day in December 2012 .

Preserved AEC Regal IV RF319 in action at a rainy 2012 LBM Wisley rally.

London Bus Company open-top RT3435 passes the Beachy Head pub during the August 2011 Eastbourne running day.

1951 Eastbourne Corporation AEC Regent III 42 ascends from the seafront towards Beachy Head during a running day in August 2011.

Safeguard's preserved AEC Reliance 200 APB waits beside the traditional bus shelter in Ripley Village on a tour from the London Bus Museum spring event at Wisley in May 2012.

The prototype Routemaster coach RMC4, one of the London Bus Company's special events fleet, passes through picturesque Great Warley village on an Ensignbus vintage running day in August 2011
 BKT 821C at the M&D 100thr anniversary rally in 2011
Two preserved Maidstone & District AEC Reliances were seen in action giving rides at the M&D 100th anniverary rally in April 2011.
Open-top 1946 AEC Regal Mk I, new to and converted by Maidstone & District, HKL 836 is owned by London Bus Company and was seen operating during the Ensignbus classic running day in August 2011.
A Reliance, Swift and Regals awaiting their turn of duty at
A Reliance, Swift and Regals awaiting their next turn of duty at the May 2010 Country Bus Rallies Sevenoaks running day.

Running preserved buses on services isn't always straighforward. Here the conductor of Southampton Regent 367 assists passing traffic after it ground to a halt at Witts Hill with a fuel supply problem.

367 advertises its predicament in the time honoured style before the advent of hazard lights. The organisers did a great recovery job with a replacement Atlantean arriving within 15 minutes and 367 itself running again within the hour.

London Transport AEC Swift (Merlin) MB641 stands at South Mimms during a running day at St. Albans in October 2010.
Two interesting subjects in one picture - bad photographic practice!
RF395 passes a runner in Burnham Beeches during the May 2010 Slough/Windsor running day.
STL2377 at Lingfield in April 2009
London Bus Museum's pre-war AEC Regent STL2377 trundles through Lingfield on its return journey to East Grinstead in April 2009.
Aldershot & District 543 (MOR 583) in traditional territory at Selbourne during the 2009 Alton rally and running day
Aldershot & District 543 (MOR 581) poses in traditional territory at Selbourne during the 2009 Alton rally and running day.

Preserved East Kent AEC Regent V PFN 867, with unusual full front Park Royal body, pulls into Sandwich Guildhall during the August 2009 FotEK running day.
RM1990 <font size="-1">at Alton in July 2010
RM1990, preserved in Reading Mainline livery, stands tall in the sun at Alton in July 2010.

RMC1485, newly acquired from Mac Tours, awaits its last departure from Grays station during the Ensignbus December 2009 X80 running day.
Arriva's Heritage Fleet gold RM6 joins the lineup of Routemasters
An uncommon Strachan bodied AEC Regal, new to Crosville. It was pictured at a Quantock Motor Services running day at Porlock Weir QMS  in 2007, but has now moved on into private ownership.
RML2412 loads passengers in the rain for a trip to High Wycombe
Rain fails to deter passengers boarding RML2412 for a trip to High Wycombe during the 2008 Amersham running day.

Willowbrook bodied AEC Swift JRT 82K is a member of the Ipswich Transport Museum operational fleet and works in service on running days.
Ensignbus RT1499 corners in Epping during the joint Ensignbus
Ensignbus RT1499 corners in Epping during the joint Ensignbus and LBC RT event over Easter 2009.
Leicester AEC Renown 190 at Toddinton during the July 2008 GWR rally and running day
Leicester AEC Renown 190 discorges passengers at Toddington station during the July 2008 Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway rally.



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