GS62 at Sevenoaks Bus Station

Sevenoaks Running Day

Sunday May 22nd May 2016

Prepared by Ian Smith, 7th June 2016.

Part Six: the eastern borders

9: Sevenoaks to Borough Green & Wrotham Station, and return

There was quite a queue for DL39. Fortunately most people wanted to experience the RLH-style upper deck, so I was able to obtain my preferred seat behind the bonnet. This too was RLH-like, with the window curved to fit over the high bonnet - but no hand-rail.

DL39 on 9 at Sevenoaks Bus Stn View forward from DL39

We headed north, past the War Memorial. DLA 147 was parked just beyond, out of the way.

We headed down towards St.John's, on the way meeting yet another modernised RF: RF28, presumably heading in on the Otford shuttle.

DLA147 parked beyond the War Memorial RF28 on shuttle

We turned right onto the A25 at Bat& Ball, and headed towards Seal - Maidstone & District territory. We met ex-Metobus Dart 721, but took its destination display with a large dose of salt. Then we met another of the County Connect double-deckers, in lilac livery. Unfortunately my camera baulked at this, focussing on the windscreen instead! But it was quite happy to look outside at the cottages of Seal as we passed through.

Met721 on Seal Road Seal

We continued through the forest of Seal Chart to reach Ightham, where we turned off the A25 to visit the village centre at The George & Dragon. Then it was onwards, back onto the main road to Borough Green, where we forked left onto the Wrotham road. At the end of the village we turned up over the railway to the station approach. DL39 curlicued outside the station building and pulled back up to the bus-stop on the ramp.

Seal Chart DL39 at Borough Green Station

We returned the same way: down through Borough Green onto the A25, then along to Ightham. There we pulled up by The George and Dragon for photos.

DL39 at Ightham

We wriggled our way back out of Ightham onto the A25, and trundled westwards through the Chart. DL39 seemed to make heavy weather of the ups and downs along the way. But after the left turn at Bat & Ball we nevertheless managed the long climb up onto the heights of Sevenoaks.

401: Sevenoaks to Otford Pond, and back (RF180)

Back at Sevenoaks I found RF180 ready to depart for Otford, so jumped aboard. The London Bus Company modernised RF is very smart. It was a real luxury to ride on Green Line cushions as we rumbled down to Bat & Ball, and onwards to Otford. It seemed no time at all before we reached Otford Pond, turning round it to stand outside the Bishop's Palace. (This was a way-point on the Pilgrim's Way).

RF180 on 401 RF180 at Otford Pond

RF180 at Otford Pond

I rejoined the coach for the smooth return to Sevenoaks. We paused at the end of Vestry Road for the crew of RT593 to alight, and continued through Bat & Ball and up through St.John's to Sevenoaks. London Transport did a good job modernising the RFs fifty years ago!

Back at the bus station I had my first good encounter of the day with RT1798.

RF180 at Otford Pond RT1798 at Sevenoaks

Now it was a matter of deciding how to get home. There were feeder services going to Croydon (for the 119), Westerham (for the 246), Tonbridge (for train or trains), Dartford (for trains) or Sevenoaks Station (for a train or trains). Whilst dithering over the choice I received a most kind offer from Dan and Martine, of a lift to Orpington, from where it was a very quick train ride to Grove Park. Thanks, folks!

It had been an excellent day. The weather was kind. The cafe was good. The buses were excellent, in variety and quality. Many thanks to all those who helped organise it, especially king-pin Peter Aves, and to those who prepared timetables, published the programme, sold them, organised buses, provided buses and crews, drove, conducted, marshalled.... It was GOOD!

Buses that I noticed (there may have been others):
RT604, RT1798*, RT3148, RT3183
RF28(m), RF48(m), RF146(m), RF168(m), RF180(m), RF271, RF406*, RF539, RF633
M&D SC390, DL49
Camden Coaches 900SAF
East Kent GJG739D
Metrobus 721, 101
Go-Ahead London DLA147*, NV171*
Arriva London MAL15
Stagecoach 34366*

Please note that CBR is now here.

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