SV6107 climbs up to Sevenoaks War Memorial

Sevenoaks Running Day

Sunday 16th July 2017

Prepared by Ian Smith, 28th July 2017.

Part Four

Sevenoaks Bus Station

It was lunch-time at Sevenoaks Bus Station, with something of a hiatus in departures, but some buses returning from morning shifts. Jersey 24 came in from a tour: Dunton Green next. Standing round the corner was RT3148, today one of three RTs working the 403 between Tonbridge and Westerham. The two buses show just how much progress was made in bus design during the 1930s, a decade of much engineering progress..

JMT24 at Sevenoaks RT3148 at Sevenoaks

RT604, wearing its NBC green and white livery, was another of the route 403 RTs, both today and in its final days with London Country. Now it arrived on a terminating trip from Westerham.

Heading the other way, with one of the few normal Sunday services was Go-Coach Optare Solo 5001 in silver livery on the 401, Tonbridge to Westerham.

RT604 on 403 at Sevenoaks Go Solo 5001 at Sevenoaks on 401 to Westerham

I had another quarter-hour to wait for the bus I wanted, so saw a number of services leave: modernised Green Line RF48 was on a 404 to Twitton, and XF3, back from Dunton Green, was heading south to Tonbridge on the 402.

RF48 on 404 at Sevenoaks XF at Sevenoaks on 402 to Tonbridge

9: Sevenoaks Bus Station to Borough Green Station: DH478

I found the bus I wanted: Maidstone & District Regent V DH478. I asked permission to join them, and ensconced myself behind the bonnet. Camden Coaches Reliance 900SAF came past, having arrived on the 68 from Plaxtol, its old route.

We set off round the block, passing RF406 which was having a break off the 431A.

Camden Coaches 900SAF off 68 at Sevenoaks RF406 at Sevenoaks off 413A

We loaded up in the bus station for the trip to Borough Green. While we had gone round the block DAF 3916 had arrived off the 9 and parked, giving us a good view of its now historic 402 branding on its nearside.

DH478 on 9 at Sevenoaks 3916 off 9 at Sevenoaks

We rounded the block, turning right at the traffic lights to run north towards St.Johns and Bat & Ball. On the way we met Jersey 24, grinding up the hill towards the War Memorial with a tour from Otford.

We turned right at Bat & Ball onto the A25, and followed the hilly road eastwards, along through Seal and then up and down through the Wealden forest. The small AEC engine (like that originally in RM2) made heavy weather of it.

JMT24 on Otford tour A25 eastwards

WE turned right off the A25 to duck down into the pretty little village centre of Ightham, then climbed up the other side to rejoin the main road.


We forked left in Borough Green, turning left over the railway bridge and left again down the Station Approach. After a twirl we parked at the foot of the ramp.

DH478 on 9 at Borough Green Station

9: Borough Green Station to Sevenoaks Bus Station: DH478

There was a photo stop at the station, and the blinds were reset for the return to Sevenoaks.

Then we were away, struggling up the steep ramp to the railway bridge, then accelerating away into Borough Green. Once again we turned off the A25 down into Ightham, where we stopped for photos opposite The George & Dragon.

Ightham DH478, Ightham

We climbed back up out of Ightham, forking right to reach the A25, then west through the green tunnel to Seal. We continued, dropping down to Bat&Ball, then climbed up the long hill through St.Johns up to Sevenoaks. We met RF271 bowling down the hill on a 404 to Twitton (wearing blinds for Shoreham Village, now bus-inaccesible due to parked cars).

Seal RF271 on 404

We ran along the High Street to reach the bus station.

Part Five: 421 to Heverham: RF406

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