Sevenoaks Running Day
Sunday May 22nd May 2016
Prepared by Ian Smith, 29th May 2016.
Part One: Getting there
246: Bromley North Station to Westerham (709)I reached Bromley North in time to have a wander towards (but not into) the bus stance. There was a collection of buses there: a Mercedes-Benz Citaro (23104) for the 227, an Enviro400 (19835) for the 61, a new hybrid (WHV78) for the 78, plus sundry others. Oh, and MAN/MCV 709 for the 146, almost ready to go. I scuttled back to the stop at the station, and caught it as it emerged.
The 246 is a strange route. After negotiating the back-side of Bromley High Street, and popping out in view on the run down to Bromley South Station it descends to the bottom of the hill and takes the roads for Hayes - before diving off into Cameron Road for a wiggle through the estates, eventually coming out near Hayes Station. Then it heads for Coney Hall, for a last blast of suburbia, before turning up into the Green Belt on West Wickham Common. It wends its way through green tunnels across Hayes Common to The Fox at Keston, then heads up past Keston Windmill. Then it dives down a zigzag hill to Keston Church before grinding uphill to Leaves Green and Biggin Hill Airport. Beyond the stuffed Hurricane and Spitfire it passes the end of the runway, and enjoys the delights of ribbon development up through Biggin Hill Village, to the crest of the North Downs.
After the relatively gentle climb up the north side of the North Downs the descent of the escarpment is abrupt. On a bicycle it was exhilarating. One of my school friends had been stopped for overtaking a police car - on his bike! Our descent in 709 was steadier. We crossed the Pilgrims Way, crossed above the modern equivalent (the M25), and pulled up into Westerham.
I alighted at the Green, and watched the bus pull away towards the carpark to turn round.
403: Westerham to Sevenoaks (RT3148)RT3148 was standing outside the Kings Arms, oddly facing west, but with Sevenoaks destinations set up.
GS62 suddenly shot past. Strangely, no-one had heard it coming; too much conversation! It was soon followed by RF406 on a feeder service to Sevenoaks.
I joined RT3148, and we set off towards Croydon. But not far. Just a little way along the Croydon Road we made a turn, to come back through Westerham. There we met GoBus's silver EnviroDart GO14BUS on the 401. The connection cycle was complete, once again.
We set off eastwards along the A25. The state of the road surface was appalling, but we made steady progress in the stately RT, along the valley floor to Brasted. There John pulled in to let a long tail of cars pass, and for photos in the spring sunshine. We were able to admire the new front dome and nearside Green Rover advert - and the magnificent chestnut tree.
We set off again, through Sundridge to Bessells Green and Riverhead. There we turned right at the roundabout to head for Sevenoaks Station, then up St. Botolphs Road to the War Memorial. Then it was right along the High Strreet to reach the Bus Station.
Time for breakfast at the cafe, especially open on a Sunday for the Running Day clientele. Good!
Ian's Bus-stop One Two Three Four Five Six