GS15 on 471, Knockholt Pound

Sevenoaks Running Day

Sunday May 13th 2012

Prepared by Ian Smith, 18th May 2012.

403: Sevenoaks to Westerham: RT3183

After breakfast I emerged to see what was running and what was not. What was not included my first planned run of the day, on GS2 on the 471. My day plan was consigned to the scrap-heap. What was running, immediately, was RT3183 on the 403 to Westerham. I walked over to the stand. Just coming in on the other road was M&D Albion Nimbus SO308, on the 68 to Plaxtol. I was tempted, as I haven't done the 68 yet. ButI had had a good run on the Nimbus at East Grinstead. Daimler Fleetline XF3 was working the 402 today, and was standing in the entrance to the bus station.

SO308 at Sevenoaks for 68 XF3 at Sevenoaks for 402

I turned my attention to the RT. 3183 is in typical London Transport Country Area condition. Smart and workaday, with appropriate adverts. I took a seat aboard: near the front nearside.

We were away, turning the corner out of the bus station past RT604, which was set up for the 402 to Green Street Green via Polhill.

RT3183 at Sevenoaks on 403 RT604 at Sevenoaks for 402

We picked our way north out of the town to the War Memorial, then drifted down the delightful St.Botolphs Drive, below the wonderful avenue of trees. We called at the station. GS15 whizzed past, heading up to the bus station to work on the 413B. We trundled along to Riverhead, and turned left on the A25 towards Westerham. Preserved Metrobus Olympian 395 came along. It was to work on the 401 today.

GS15 at Sevenoaks Station 395 at Bessels Green

We rolled on along the A25 - a delightful road now that it no longer carries the heavy traffic that now runs on the parallel M25. We passed through Brasted, and on to Westerham. We climbed the sharp little hill up past the green, where Stagecoach Enviro200 Dart was calling on the 246 to Chartwell. We made our own stop at The King's Arms, where we all had to alight while the bus went off to turn.

36309 at Westerham RT3183 at Westerham

We crossed the road, to where the bus stop was covered in cars, and waited for the bus to return from the Croydon Road.

RT3183 at Westerham RT3183 at Westerham

403: Westerham to Sevenoaks: RT3183

We reboarded the RT, and settled back for the ride back to Sevenoaks. We rumbled along to Brasted. There the trees along the street had been pollarded, and were still to regrow their luxuriant tops. But just beyond them a magnificent Horse Chestnut was in full flower beside the wooden bus shelter.

Brasted Chestnut, Brasted

We rolled on along to Riverhead, and turned towards Sevenoaks. GS15 came bustling along on a 413B, the only member of the 413 group of routes to use the road from Sevenoaks Station. This was the short-lived route instituted on behalf of railway season ticket holders from Chipstead when the Westerham branch railway closed, to carry commuters from Chipstead to Sevenoaks Station. Today it was well-loaded, with the full eight passengers allowed.

We continued on to the station ourselves, then climbed up St.Botolph's Drive to the top of the town.

GS15 on 413B, Riverhead St.Botolphs


Back at the bus station I alighted. RT3183 was continuing to Tonbridge. Next to it on the stands was RF633, which had been out on the 413.

RT3183 on 403, Sevenoaks RF633 on 413, Sevenoaks

This pair were immediately followed by RML2323, on the next service to Westerham on the 403.

RML2323 on 403, Sevenoaks RML2323 on 403, Sevenoaks

Then RF406 limped in off the 421. Somewhere along the way it had suffered a nearside front piercing of the tyre tread by a 3cm screw, which had just punctured the inner tube. The tyre was steadily deflating. At least it had not blown out explosively. The crew parked up, and set about getting a repair.

Go Coach's Solo, YJ59GFG, bustled back through the bus station on its tight schedule, running on the 401 to Chartwell.

RF406 off 421, Sevenoaks GoSolo on 401, Sevenoaks

Next, another contrasting pair: 395 came to the stand to load for a foray northwards to Farningham on the 401, while GS15 unloaded after its trip to Chipstead.

395 on 401, Sevenoaks GS15, Sevenoaks

Now it was Maidstone & District's turn. Reliance SC390 came in from a turn on the 68 from Plaxtol, and Albion Nimbus SO308 loaded up for a trip on the local 106 route to Fawke Common.

SC390 on 68, Sevenoaks SO308 on 106, Sevenoaks

I wanted to go to Otford, to the GoCoach Open Day - and here came Titan T1030...

Part Three: Go-Coach at Otford

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

Ian's Bus-stop One Two Three Four Five Six