First in the line was red RF406, ready to go out on the 412 to Holmbury St.Mary. Behind was "modernised" Greenline RF28, prepared for a stint on the 449 short-working to Capel.
Next in line was Greenline Reliance RP21, which had worked in as a 712. RMC1476, wearing London Country's NBC-green bus livery, was waiting at the head of the ramp, with similar liveried RT604 behind.
Country Area RF626 squeezed past Central Area RF366, looking for a spot to park. Jim Andress wasn't on RF366 - my chosen next ride - so I walked on round the circle. Leyland National SNB340 looked good in NBC green with white band, demonstrating how that small addition to the basic colour can make a world of difference. (I hope TfL realises that London buses have seldom been all-red, and have always looked better with some relief - and the 1930s red/white/black/silver livery, perhaps the best of all, was certainly less than 80% red!). Incidentally, it was NOT set up for the 424: the crew was busy winding up 414 when I snapped it. Next came another red single-decker, Central Area RF486, also dressed for the 412.
I walked up to the upper bus park. There I was pleased to spot RF13, in its East Kent-style Hampson's livery. Mike Dawes had arrived in it, although he would be driving the RMC during the day. Next to it stood GS1, which I intended to travel on later in the day.
GS2 and GS34 were also in the park, ready for turms on the 449 and 433. GS13 was already out and about on the 433, and GS76 had arrived from its long run from Crawley on the 852 and 449. I went across to chat with the crew.
It was time to grab some breakfast from the chuck-wagon. I had time too to have a very quick look around the sales stalls. Breakfast bun in hand, I walked back down the hill. I paused in the bottom of the carpark to look at Arriva's Jubilee-gold RM6. Next to it were the Southdown Tiger and an Alexander-bodied Dart from Worthing.
RF406 headed off for the 1045 service 412 to Holmbury St.Mary, and I made my way back across the bus park towards RF366.
We loaded up at the stop, whizzed round the roundabout, and purred up through Dorking High Street. We forked left, up past the erstwhile bus garage/bus station (now housing), and out of the town. We crossed over the A24 at the roundabout, and dived into North Holmwood. Beyond the village we waited ages to squeeze out onto the dual carriageway, then hurtled southwards. The high speed differential on RF366 was put to good use! We almost turned right at the 429 terminal point at the north end of South Holmwood, but Jim realised my error in time and we progressed to the next right turn, across the other carriageway into South Holmwood. We stopped at the station for photos. I was disappointed to see that the fine display of semaphore signals had disappeared from the station, replaced by colour-light signals.
We rejoined the main road for a quick blast down to Beare Green, where we turned sharp left into the village. We wriggled our way along to Newdigate, where Jim paused to change the blinds for the return leg.
A little further on we reached Parkgate, and paused briefly for photos again outside the almost deserted Surrey Oaks pub.
Rain spattered the front screens as we headed on north through Brockham. Traffic prevented any photos at Brockham Bridge, and we continued on to meet the A25. As we turned left RF679 came along with a clockwise working, followed by RP21 heading for Reigate along the main road, as a 414.
RF626 was loading for the back-road route to Reigate on the 439 via Leigh as we approached the Pippbrook Centre. Jim pulled the RF round onto the stop and we unloaded. I said thanks to Jim and alighted too, to find my next ride.
Part Three: GS1 on 449, 448, 425
All photos by Ian Smith. Click on most of them for a larger picture.
Back to Ian's Bus-stop Part 1 Part 3: GS1 on 449, 448, 425