Oxted Running Day
Sunday 4th September 2011
Prepared by Ian Smith, 15th September 2011.
465: Oxted Station to Chalkpit Wood and back: SNB340I thought I needed to be on duty at 1215, so I had just a half hour. SNB340 came up the street to load for a 465 Oxted Village Bus journey to Chalkpit Wood. (A feature of this Oxted Running Day was the inclusion of the London Country 465 network). So I jumped aboard. It was a brief trip. We turned north alongside the railway, then left to reach the junction of Church Lane and Barrow Green Road. We turned right, up the latter, under the second low bridge. We climbed up towards the Gordon's Way estate, but instead of turning right along Gordon's Way forked left, following Barrow Green Lane down under the railway again, into the countryside. Another right turn took us into Chalkpit Lane, for the climb back up under the railway again to Gordon's Way. We turned right, and followed Gordon's Way back towards Oxted, rejoining Barrow Green Road and then Church Lane to return to the centre of Oxted. The entire trip took just eight minutes.
It turned out that I was wrong. 1245 I was wanted. Time for a quick lunch. But here came GS2, followed by RF633, representing an earlier generation of Oxted Village Buses, both on 464 workings.
A more modern - but still historical - image was shown by preserved Metrobus Olympian 806, which arrived on a 410 working from Westerham. Representing both the red buses commonly used by the Country Area at weekends (and those hired by London Country when they found themselves short, London Transport having taken a batch of green ones just before the split) was RF429, which had been out to Limpsfield on a schools run from Staffhurst Wood via Pollards Oak. Alan Charman really does enjoy the odd workings!
Now it really was time for lunch. I walked up to the station, and found a pub with food. I retired for half an hour.
464: Oxted Station to Westerham: GS15I emerged to look for GS15. I was navigating for Michael Speller. The bus had arrived before I went to eat, and now I found it parked outside the station, squeezed behind SE12 and DOE12, a pair of Go-Ahead's Rail Replacement buses.
We went round the block to load up for the 1245 departure. We set off, under the Station Bridge and along Bluehouse Lane to Limpsfield. As we went up through the village we met modernised ex-GreenLine RF146, coming in on a 464 from Chart.
We climbed up onto Limpsfield Common in the rain, and motored along to Chart, turning in off the main road to the stop at The Carpenters Arms.
We went on from Chart along the ridge road to Crockham Hill, where we turned up left onto the Westerham Road. Just beyond the Chartwell turn we met the 246 coming the other way - again. We climbed up over Hosey Common, and wended our way into a very wet Westerham.
After a stop at the Kings Arms we headed round the corner onto the Croydon Road, and turned the bus just off the main road at the end of Buckham Thorns Lane. We returned into Westerham, past The George and Dragon, and headed down past the green to turn right up Hosey Hill. As we approached Crockham Hill we had a momentary view south over the Weald. We turned right onto Kent Hatch Road and headed west through the dark tunnel of wet trees.
We turned in at Chart Church, and paused at the Carpenters Arms stop once more.
We turned back out onto the main road, and returned over Limpsfield Common and down through Limpsfield Village. In this direction we DID use Granville Road. At the station end, and in Station Road East we met buses on layover: SNB449, SNB340, RML2456 and XF3. We continued round under the bridge, and round the block by Church Lane to Station Approach. There we met RT604 on its way from Godstone Green to Westerham.
Photos by Ian Smith. Click on any of them for a larger picture.