RF168 on 421, Otford

Sevenoaks Running Day

Sunday 16th May 2010

Prepared by Ian Smith, 31st May 2010.

401: Farningham and back: T1101

Red London Titan T1101 was waiting to depart on a 401 journey to Farningham. It was a while since I had been on a Titan, and they are one of my favourite more modern buses. So I climbed aboard, and found a seat where I could look forwards out of the front downstairs windows.

We followed SNB449 out of the bus station, threading a path past RF168 and SO308, and headed north, past the War Memorial and down through St.John's and Bat & Ball.

T1101 at Sevenoaks Sevenoaks: rear views: SNB449, SO308, RF168, GS15, GS62

RT3228 whizzed past on a southbound 401. We headed north towards Otford along the dual carriageway, giving the big bus a chance to show its smooth turn of speed. The last time I came this way on a Titan was at the end of a previous Running Day, when I travelled to Otford Station on a West Kent rail replacement bus.

We whirled round Otford Pond. There was nowhere suitable for a stop. We went on, up the hill past Otford Station, then north beside the railway. We passed under the railway for a better view of the Darenth Vaslley: the lavender fields were still green this month. We ducked back under the railway at Eynsford Station, and rumbled down into the pretty village with flowery gardens and flowering bougainvillea.

RT3228 passes on 401 Eynsford, I think

We went on down-valley, presently climbing briefly to reach the south end of Farningham. We turned west along the narrow village street, descending to the river bridge, with its pair of bus stops unusually on the bridge itself. We paused there to take pictures. The Titan looked quite at home. Whether they worked on the 21 to Farningham while at Sidcup garage I don't know.

Farningham T1101 at Farningham Bridge

T1101 at Farningham Bridge Farningham High St

When we went to set off we were just too late: a rescue truck pulled up alongside the Lion Hotel, just at the narrow bit at the foot of the High Street, to recover a van., blocking the road. Fortunately it took just a couple of minutes to winch the van aboard. We climbed the narrow hill and turned north to reach the roundabout on the by-pass. A quick twirl south on the A21 and we could turn right onto the Eynsford road for the return journey.

We headed south along the Darent valeey, through Eynsford and past Shoreham Station to Otford, where we pulled in at the bus stop by the Pond, Church and Bishops Palace.

recovery: Farningham High St T1101 at Otford Pond

T1101 at Otford Pond T1101 at Otford Pond

We motored along to Bat & Ball, and climbed up through St.John's. We met Camden Coaches 900SAF heading for Plaxtol on the 68, and then RF679 heading for Chipstead on the 454.

900SAF on 68, St.Johns RF679 on 454 at War Memorial

The bus station was crowded, and the bus had to pull up short of the stands to unload on arrival.

T1101 at Sevenoaks bus station

One of the occupants of the stances was GS62, ready to depart on an extra 404 service to Ide Hill..

Part Seven: GS among the bluebells

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

Back to Ian's Bus-stop Part One Part Five Part Seven: Ide Hill