I boarded the stretched Routemaster when it arrived. I sat inside, noting that the luggage racks had gone, but PA speakers had appeared.
The large AEC engine took us north through Dunton Green, and up to the roundabout at the4 foot of Star Hill. There we turned right, to run round the foot of the hill to meet the old main road to Bromley, up Polhill. We growled uphill under the trees, to emerge by the Polhill Arms at the top, and pass the yard previously used by Griifin Bus and Metrobus. We reached the Badgers Mount roundabout, and slightly to my surprise took the Orpington exit, which is now the main road. At Hewitts roundabout we turned down the main road towards Bromley, soon rejoining the old 704 route west of the railway. We continued downhill through Pratts Bottom, meeting the first TfL bus-stops, and reached the Green Street Green roundabout. No GS parked outside the pub today, nor even a red Marshall-bodied Dart. We continued up the Farnborough road to the next roundabout, where we turned right, downhill past the huge Metrobus garage. We turned right again, and drove along to the Green Street Green terminal stop.
We had a few minutes to spare at the terminus, so took photos. I included some of George, as nice a conductor for The London Bus Company as you can find anywhere.
Metrobus Dart 142, previously First's DMS 41462, came up behind as an R11, to stand at the stop too.
There was a discussion about the route between Knockholt Station and Badgers Mount, then we set off again, turning left onto the A21 to Pratts Bottom. There we continued up the hill, and I sort of expected that we would turn right to pass Knockholt Station. But no: we continued up the dual carriageaway to Hewitts Roundabout, where we turned right to head for Badgers Mount. We went on up to the Polhill Arms, the cruised down the long slope round the corner that the Darenth valley makes in the North Downs. At Dunton Green we paused for pictures at the Dukes Head stop, opposite the site of the old garage.
We continued on into Sevenoaks. At Sevenoaks Station we met XF3 heading homewards, then turned up St.Botolph's Road to reach the top of the town. We pulled up in the bus station, where we found RMC1500 waiting to head the other way on the 704.
I took a picture of the two Routemasters side by side, and waited for MB90 to arrive for the 421...
Part Five: 421: Heverham
Photos by Ian Smith. Click on any of them for a larger picture.
Back to Ian's Bus-stop Part One Part Two Part Three Part Four: 421: Heaverham