GS62 at Oxted

Westerham & Oxted Running Day

Sunday 21st September 2003

Prepared by Ian Smith, 1st October 2003

Part 1: morning (705, RP21; 464, GS62)

I arrived at Bromley North Station with about a half-hour to go before RP21 was due to arrive. The bus station was busy, of course, and I spent the time adjusting to using a zoom lens on my new camera. Most of the buses were offered by Metrobus, of course, mostly in the now-familiar blue and yellow. But the new TfL contracts were having an impact, and some of the new buses were in red. One of the new Omnidekkas (456) was on the 320 to Biggin Hill, and I noted that the 138 is now operated by wide low-floor Darts, such as No.357, despite the narrowness of the Downham estate roads. The 336 is now also a Metrobus route, operated with small Dart MPDs like No.393. Other offerings were by Stagecoach, with Tridents and Darts.

Metrobus Omnidekka 456 on 320 at Bromley North Metrobus Dart SLF 357 on 138 at Bromley North Metrobus Dart SLF 393 on 336 at Bromley North

A small green shape came down the road. It wasn't RP21, but a GS. GS12, from the Pump Room, that I hadn't seen before, sedately passed us on its way to Westerham. A few minutes later another green shape WAS RP21. Paul Brophy pulled round to the stop in the deep shadow of the office block, with the RP set up as a Greenline 705 for Sevenoaks, via Westerham.

GS12 passes Bromley North RP21 at Bromley North

I didn't see much of the journey up through Keston and Biggin Hill, and down Westerham Hill, as I was trying to sort out a battery problem with my camera. But now we were coming into Westerham. Already on this lovely Sunday morning it was busy. We turned left, and ran down the hill to the car-park on the fringe of the village, where the event was centred. RP21 pulled in to the carpark to unload, before setting off again for Sevenoaks.

Already there was a line-up of GSs to work the Crockham Hill routes: GS1, GS2 and GS62. RF633 and SNC168 were also awaiting their duties, in some cases filling in for non-arrivals. GS12 had arrived, and was parked in the visitors' park.

RF633 and SNC168 at Westerham GS12 at Westerham

GS1 and GS2 departed on their duties, and RF679 arrived from Sevenoaks as a 403. GS76 also arrived, and the two buses manoeuvred into the space left by the two GSs.

RF679 arrives at Westerham GS76 and RF679 at Westerham

More visitors arrived in the guise of Greenline RF and GS15, and sneaked round the barrier to reach the visitors' park.

Greenline RF at Westerham GS15 at Westerham

Alan Charman was going out to run an extra in GS62, so I went with him, with a few other people. We went up through Westerham, and out along the main road to Limpsfield.

GS62 ready to go Inside GS62

We turned off onto the lane across the Limpsfield Chart golf-course, a route used by the 464 on certain school-runs to avoid the kids having to cross the road. We continued round to Chart, where we met RF633 coming the other way, wearing one of the later 464 blinds (from when the 464 incorporated the 465). Both buses stopped at the Carpenters' Arms, and there was some exchange of passengers.

RF633 at Chart RF633 at Chart

But Alan was really wanting to meet up with GS2, and after a few minutes it arrived from Oxted to terminate. After further exchanges -of people and information- the two buses went their own ways: GS2 towards Holland, via Oxted, and GS62 back to Westerham along the 465 route via Crockham Hill and Hosey Common.

GS2, GS62 at Chart GS2 at Chart

Part 2: Mid-day, a 464-465-485 duty (GS32)

All photos by Ian Smith. Click on any of them for a larger picture.

Back to Ian's Bus-stop Part 2: Mid-day, a 464-465-485 duty (GS32).