GS15 on 471, Knockholt Pound

Sevenoaks Running Day

Sunday May 13th 2012

Prepared by Ian Smith, 18th May 2012.

471: Sevenoaks to Green Street Green: GS15

I joined GS15 as navigator, and we went round the block to pick up at the bus station.

We set off north along the top of the town to the War Memorial, and down St.Botolph's Drive to Tubs Hill Station.

GS15 at Sevenoaks for 471 St.Botolphs

As we passed the station we met SNB340 returning from Knockholt Pound with a 431 service. We carried on, up and down to Riverhead, and through to Dunton Green. We paused at the site of the old garage for photos and remembrances.

SNB340 at Sevenoaks Stn on 431 GS15 at DG

From Dunton Green Garage we went on to the roundabout north of the village, and went straight on up Star Hill, up the face of the North Downs.

GS15 at DG Star Hill

We ground slowly up the hill, as the view back over the Weald extended. The gradient eased, and we passed the back door security gate for Fort Halstead.

We trickled into Knockholt Pound, forking left to reach The Three Horseshoes (a 471 destination point), where again we stopped for photos.

top of Star Hill GS15 at Three Horseshoes

GS15 at Three Horseshoes GS15 at Three Horseshoes

Setting off again, we headed west along the top of the Downs, through Knockholt Village, past The Crown (another 471 destination), and right along to Scotts Lodge (another). I had hoped to pause there for photos, but we had developed a tail of cars, so could not.

We turned right, heading north down narrow Cudham Lane between high hedges - and occasional high kerbs too.

Knockholt Cudham Lane

We passed Cudham Church (another short-working destination) and continued down the winding lane. Eventually the electricity pylon came into view - a sign that soon we would meet the outlying houses of Green Street Green. We came down to the roundabout at The Rose & Crown. No GS parked there today. (This was where I most commonly saw a GS in my youth, as I passed on a 402 for Bromley) But we were not continuing into Orpington, so we turned north up Farnborough Way, up to the next roundabout, where we turned hard right to descend Farnborough Hill. That took us down past the Metrobus garage. We turned right again at the bottom, to run south along Sevenoaks road to The Royal Oak, where we paused at the bus stance. Red Enviro200 Darts of Metrobus purred past, heading into Orpington, performing duties once undertaken by the GSs.

GS15 at Green Street Green

We decided that rather than climb back up Cudham Lane, we would take the other half of the 471 loop, via Pratts Bottom. Accordingly we set off southwards along the A21, making reasonable speed along the main road to Pratts Bottom, where we turned right to climb Rushmore Hill. This back slope of the North Downs ridge seems to go on forever, but eventually we reached Bowens Yard, and the junction with the 431 route from Halstead. We kept right at the junction with the Star Hill road, and continued up to Knockholt Pound, turning left to stop opposite the Three Horseshoes again. More photos.

GS15 at Knockholt Pound GS15 at Knockholt Pound

GS15 at Knockholt Pound GS15 at Knockholt Pound

We were just about to set off again when RF429 arrived, from the Cudham direction. Alan must have reached Green Street Green while we were going round the loop to The Royal Oak, and turned directly up Cudham Lane from the roundabout.

There was a very small interchange of passengers, and we set off, with Alan Charman in the RF soon disappearing into the distance. The last we saw of them on the journey was as we descended Star Hill: they were just reaching the roundabout at the bottom!

RF406 at Knockholt Pound Heading for Star Hill

We headed south though Dunton Green, not stopping at The Duke's Head this time, and made our way through Riverhead and along to Sevenoaks Station, and up the hill to the bus station. There we met RF429 again, quietly parked some time before..

RF406 at Sevenoaks GS15 back at Sevenoaks

Part Six: Short journeys

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

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