Dorking Running Day
Sunday 2nd September 2001
Prepared by Ian Smith, 12th September 2001
Part 1: Getting ReadyI spent the day with RF255, exploring territory new to me and to owner - driver Mike Dawes, although not to the bus. RF255 had spent two periods at Dorking garage, in London Transport and London Country days. With a long day ahead of us, the bus had been prepared the previous weekend, with final touches on the Saturday evening. It was an early start on the Sunday morning, but a delightful drive through Kent and Surrey to reach Dorking a quarter-hour before needed.
The event was centred around the municipal buildings in Dorking, which offered splendid facilities for parking service buses between turns as well as visiting buses, plus a variety of stalls.
The run-outThe immediate impression was of green RFs: an impressive line-up with Country bus RF626, Private Hire coach RF4, ex-GreenLine RF280, and Country Buses RF633 and RF679 all in a row, awaiting their turns. It really was an amazing line-up, a real tribute to the dedication of the groups or individuals who have slaved away to restore and present these fifty-year old veterans.
Ex-GreenLine RF255 was pulled up behind them. Green-Line RT3491 was next, with a brace of red RFs behind: RF486 and RF489.
I walked over to the bus-park near the entrance. Red doorless RF366 was parked next to GS13, with glass-house RF19 and modernised RF213 also in the line.
Turning round, I saw RT604 parked next to RMC 1476, both in NBC green livery with London Country fleetnames.
A cluster of GSs was next, with GS1, Southern Motorways liveried GS2, and GS32 waiting their turns.
Meanwhile a couple more RTs arrived, with Country liveried RT2083 and Memory Lane's RT1790. But now it was time to return to RF255, which had been kitted out with Greenline blinds, to go on duty. The day was beginning.
All photos by Ian Smith. Click on most of them for a larger picture.