Sevenoaks Running Day
Sunday 16th July 2017
Prepared by Ian Smith, 28th July 2017.
Part Five: 421 to HeverhamBack at the bus station I got a better look at two buses that today I had only seen in passing: RF600 on the 413A, and Camden Coaches 900SAF off the 68.
Down in the bus park stood Jersey 24 and Daimler Fleetline XF3 off the 402.
421: Sevenoaks to Heaverham: RF406Time for another ride. There was RF406, loading for the 421, a route I had not visited for a few years. So I hopped aboard.
We set off, round the block, and right at the lights. Coming the other way was the East Kent Regent V, GJG739D, in Sealink livery. It was returning from a tour down the Darenth Valley, probably to Farningham.
We rolled along past the War Memorial, and down to Bat & Ball, where we went straight on towards Otford. We rounded the Pond, and met RF48 coming the other way. We climbed up past the railway station and turned onto the Pilgrims Way. Narrow. The trees too not only overhang the road, but form a tube. So progress, against on-coming car traffic, was slow. The 421 came this way, instead of the more obvious route through Seal, because of the 1933 London Transport Act. Seal was outwith the LT boundary. The Heaverham service then (via Seal) was worked by Sevenoaks & District using diminutive 14-seater Dennises. That concern was taken over by LT in 1939. Two Dennises were used temporarily, then the 421 (via Otford) was progressively upseated to Cubs, then Regals, then RTs, as wartime traffic blossomed. It is hard to believe today that RTs operated along here!
Eventually the Pilgrims Way narrowed again, to a narrow lane, and we turned down into Kemsing. We turned left to the village centre, and continued on to reach the cluster of dwellings at Heaverham (Heverham to LT).
There RF406 did a reverse turn in the T-junction. This, with no street lighting, must have been fun in the dark, especially in opo days.
421: Heaverham to Sevenoaks: RF406We drove back along through Kemsing, and turned up to reach the Pilgrims Way again. We carefully made our way towards Otford Station. Just as we completed the narrow section and were turning out onto the main road, we met RF271 heading east on the next 421. Better there than a minute earlier!
We ran down to Otford Pond, where we had a short stop for photos. This was an important stop on the Pilgrims Way between Winchester and Canterbury, with a large church and a Bishops Palace.
We headed south, back to Bat & Ball and up the hill to Sevenoaks.
Back in the bus station were two of the buses we had seen on the trip: East Kent Regent V GJG739D and RF48.
Now, what for a last trip? An RT to Tonbridge and back would be good...
Ian's Bus-stop One Two Three Four Five Six