GS62 at Sevenoaks Bus Station

Sevenoaks Running Day

Sunday May 22nd May 2016

Prepared by Ian Smith, 2nd June 2016.

Part Three: North towards the Downs

402: Sevenoaks to Dunton Green and back (GS62)

GS62 had been round and about while we were away. Its 402 blind to Dunton Green was for a journey from Bromley North rather than Sevenoaks, but there wasn't an appropriate garage journey blind, so we left it up.

GS62 at Sevenoaks Bus Stn GS62 on 402 at Sevenoaks Bus Stn

Dart SLF 34366 arrived on the shuttle from Otford, and pulled across to park, while Camden Coaches' Reliance 900SAF set off for Plaxtol with a 68 service. RF633 resumed its interrupted journey on the 413A to Chipstead, now with Colin Rivers driving.

34366 at Sevenoaks Bus Stn RF633 on 413A on 413A to Chipstead

I joined Peter Aves on GS62, and we went round to load up for the short journey to Dunton Green.

GS62 on 402 at Sevenoaks Bus Stn Inside GS62, RT1798 in bus park

We headed north, out onto the High Street and along to the War Memorial, before diving down the wonderful avenue of St.Botolph's Road, one of the annual spectacles of this Running Day. The chestnuts are magnificent in bloom. We emerged by the station, and met RT3183, coming in from Westerham on the 403. We traversed the switchback (moraines?) to Riverhead, and continued past the twin roundabouts where the A25 crossed the A21, scenes of hour-long queues in the days before the M25 and the A21 by-pass. We went on along the old A21, meeting RF146 coming the other way on a 402 short working.

RT3183 on 403 at Sevenoaks Stn RF146 on 402

We went up through Dunton Green, not stopping at the residential centre on the old garage site. We went right up, crossed the A21 and twirled round the roundabout, to the bemusement of other motorists. We drifted back down to The Dukes Head, and paused to reset the blinds and take photos.

Then it was back to Sevenoaks. On the way back along Sevenoaks High Street we met RT1798 heading for Westerham on the 403 - one of four RTs on the route today.

GS62 at DG RT1798 on 403

704: Sevenoaks to Green Street Green and back (RF271)

Back in the bus station I watched seventeen year old DAF/Alexander DLA147 prepare to head for Borough Green on M&D route 9. Many of this first generation of low-floor double-deckers are now coming to the end of their working lives, and a few are finding their way into preservation, with their own following of enthusiasts.

Green Line RF271 came through, and went to park. I walked over to have a look, and requested a trip with them to Green Street Green and back. They were departing almost immediately.

DLA147 on 9 RF271 on 704

We headed north: from the bus station round to the traffic lights, then straight ahead and down Tubs Hill to the railway station. We continued north to Riverhead, passing RM1397 incoming on a 403. Then on to Dunton Green and up through the village. The ride was so smooth and quiet compared with the GS. At the top of the village we turned right onto the old road - to go straight ahead. We turned over the M25 to reach the A21 near the foot of Polhill, and toiled our way up to the top. Then it was gently downhill, past Badgers Mount and Knockholt Station, to rejoin the A21 for the descent to Pratts Bottom, and on round the verdant curve to Green Street Green.

There we pulled onto the pub car-park, where the GSs used to sit.

RF271 on 704, Green Street Green RF271 on 704, Green Street Green

We waited awhile, and the blinds were changed for the return. We set off back up the north slope of the Downs, turning off the A21 to Knockholt Station, where we paused for a photo.

RF271 on 704, Green Street Green RF271 on 704, Knockholt Station

We continued up to Polhill, and down the escarpment. At the foot of the hill we turned off again to take the old road into Dunton Green. We motored along to Riverhead, then Sevenoaks Station, then up St.Botolph's Road to the High Street. Whilst waiting at the traffic lights I saw BBPG's preserved bendibus pull out. MAL15 has been in use with Go-South Coast, for Bournemouth University. Now it was on the 401 to Otford and beyond.

MAL15 on 401, Sevenoaks High Street RF271 on 704 to TW, Sevenoaks

Aware that I had not had lunch, I retired to the bus station cafe...

Part Five: late lunch at Sevenoaks

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