Dorking Running Day
Sunday 1st September 2002
Prepared by Ian Smith, 24th September 2002
Part 3: Southern extremes, 414 and 439 (RT604, RF366).
Back at Dorking I watched RF4 pull up over the speed bumps from the carpark, outward bound on a tour to Denbies Vineyard with John Gray at the wheel. I passed STL2377, looking superb, and bumped into Martin Ricketts, who invited me to look around inside XF3. I just had time before joining RT604 for a turn on the 414 to Capel and back.
I sat inside RT604. The top deck filled up quickly when we pulled up to the stop, with fewer people enjoying the delights of the RT's saloon. We pulled round the roundabout and headed for the traffic jam in Dorking High Street.
Red RF486 came the other way on the 412 from Holmbury St.Mary. We passed the crane and turned south up past the old bus station and garage site (now housing), and out of town. We passed through North Holmwood, and continued down the busy A24 to South Holmwood. A right turn off the dual carriageway took us to Holmwood Station.
On arrival at Capel RT604 disgorged many of its passengers before executing the turning manoevre: a reverse round a corner. With a tall hedge a conductor was not only a regulatory requirement but essential! With blinds reset RT604 pulled across the junction to the bus shelter and reloaded for the northbound trip. I wondered whether to jump ship part-way and flag down XF3, but in the event I left it too late and the Fleetline sailed past southwards. I stayed on RT604 back to Dorking.
RF366 round the Newdigate LoopI alighted from RT604 with just time to dash across to the departure stop to catch RF366, which was just about to set off on a widdershins trip round the 439 loop. As we set off red RT2043 dashed in on a 93 working. Again we braved the horrors of the High Street, meeting one of Tellings-Golden Miller's brand new Dart Caetanos on the 465 route on the way. We turned up past the ex-bus station and headed south to Holmwood Station. This time it was the returning XF3 that we passed as we turned out onto the A24.
RF366 turned off through Beare Green. On the more relaxed back roads there were a series of photo stops along the way, at Newdigate, Parkgate and at the delightful green in Brockham.
Completing the loop back to Dorking, the crew avoided the right turn into the base by turning right at the preceding roundabout, and looping right round the base site to approach from the west. GS13 was just about to go out on another Ewhurst run.