RF168 on 421, Otford

Sevenoaks Running Day

Sunday 16th May 2010

Prepared by Ian Smith, 27th May 2010.

55: Seal and back: SO43

I went to look at SO43, the immaculate Maidstione & District Bristol L6A with rear-entrance ECW bodywork. RT3228 squeezed past on a 403 to Westerham, followed by GS15 heading for Chipstead on the 413B.

RT3228 on 403, SO43 GS15 on 413B, SO43

Then GS62 arrived with another shuttle run from Dunton Green as a 704.

GS62 on 704, SO43 GS62 on 704

Two RFs came into the bus station: Country bus RF679 heading for Tonbridge via Weald, and modernised Green Line RF168 on the local 413 route to Ide Hill.

RF679 on 454 RF168 on 413

I located Peter Aves, organiser of the day, and he kindly introduced me to the crew of SO43 as CBR's resident photographer. I was invited aboard as part of the crew for a run to Seal and back.

MB90 on 454, Sevenoaks SNB449 on 483, Sevenoaks

I settled behind the bonnet - a luxury only available on rear-entrance buses of course, for the ride round the block to reach the stands in the bus station. The AEC engine was fired up, and we purred round to load up. Then it was back out onto the High Street and north towards the War Memorial. We met RF600 rolling into town, back from a trip to Heverham on the 421.

Sevenoaks High Street RF600 on 421

We turned right at Bat & Ball and grumbled along the A25 the short distance to Seal, where we pulled aside, off the main road to reach the Five Bells. There we stopped to take photos and change blinds, while cars endeavoured to squeeze past the bus and parked cars on the narrow one-way street.

SO43 at Seal SO43 at Seal

We rejoined the bus, and negotiated the sharp turns and steep hill back onto the A25 for the return journey. We headed for Bat & Ball, and climbed up the long hill to pass what looks like a pub but is actually a veterinary surgery. We swooped down to Bat & Ball, and turned left to climb the long hill through St.Johns up to the Seven Oaks and the War Memorial, before running along into town to reach the bus station. Everywhere the bus attracted attention, pleased smiles of remembrance, and waves (and mobile phone pictures) from the public.

Vet War Memorial

Back at the bus station I was just in time to claim a seat on another M&D bus..

Part Five: M&D to Fawke Common

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

Back to Ian's Bus-stop Part One Part Three Part Five: Fawke Common