RF28 on 704, Bromley High Street

Sevenoaks Running Day

Sunday 15th May 2011

Prepared by Ian Smith, 28th May 2011.

West and North

I went for a walk round the bus park. Two buses that I hadn't seen earlier were a pair of visitors: RM938 and RF168.

RM938, Sevenoaks RF168, Sevenoaks

RF600 set off on its trip to Chipstead, passing SNB449 which was wearing a 431A blind, showing how the Nationals dealt with suffix routes with three-track number blinds.

RF600, SNB449, Sevenoaks

403: Sevenoaks to Westerham & back: RML2323

Meanwhile RML2323 had set off round the block to load up at the stands for a 403 run to Westerham and back. I strolled up to the stand and climbed aboard.

RML2323, Sevenoaks RML2323, Sevenoaks

I sat back and relaxed as the big bus trundled along to the War Memorial, and down the leafy avenue to the station. I was getting to that stage of day when a comfortable seat and the comfortable sound of a big engine not working too hard could easily send one to sleep. I didn't nod off, but it must have been close. We called at the station, then progressed on to Riverhead. There we turned left through Bessels Green, and rumbled through the villages of Sundridge and Brasted, and on along to Westerham. We climbed the hill past the statues of Wolfe and Churchill, and then, instead of pulling up at The Kings Arms, we turned right, to run down to Westerham Station. There we could turn in the bus lay-by, and stop for a few minutes for photos.

RML2323, Westerham RML2323, Westerham

I climbed back aboard, along with the other passengers, and settled down for the pleasant rumble back down the valley to Riverhead, and the climb back past Sevenoaks Station up into the town.

Back at the bus station it was red buses on the stand: RF489, coming off a 413 turn, and T1101 loading for a return trip to Farnham. I was tempted, but I had done just that trip last year on the same bus - and it was another red bus that I was looking out for.

RF489, Sevenoaks T1101, Sevenoaks

454A: Sevenoaks to Fort Halstead & back: RF429

I had time for a cup of tea. At four o'clock RF429 arrived back from a 413A trip, and after unloading dropped down into the yard to set up for its next trip: the works journey to Fort Halstead and back. This one was using the later 454A label.

RF429 on 413A, Sevenoaks RF429, 454A, Sevenoaks

We went round to the stand, and filled the bus. We followed the 454A route via the station (unlike the main 454 route via Bat & Ball), and continued on to Riverhead, continuing north to Dunton Green. We did not stop at the old garage site - now housing - but continued north to the foot of Star Hill, where we turned right to trundle up Polhill.

At the top we turned left to run up to the gates of Fort Halstead, having first warned passengers not to use or show cameras anywhere near the facility, which is a Prohibited Place. Having turned at the gates, and waved to the guard, we returned to the junction with the main road, where we paused for photos.

RF429, 454A, Fort Halstead RF429, 454A, Fort Halstead

With everyone back aboard, we set off again, to roll down Polhill to Dunton Green. We did pause at the garage this time, as XF3 was already standing on the stop.

RF429, 454A, Fort Halstead RF429, 454A, Dunton Green

The Fleetline was working a 402 short working from Green Street Green to Sevenoaks. Some people exchanged onto it for the ride to Sevenoaks, but I already planned to ride it on to Tunbridge Wells, so stayed with the RF for the short run back to Sevenoaks.

There it was going-home time, and buses had gone or were going. One was SNB340, set up now with 483 blinds.

XF3, Dunton Green SNB340, Sevenoaks

Now it was just time for final pictures, and catch the XF...

Part Five: South

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

Ian's Bus-stop Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5