GS2 at Coldharbour

Dorking Running Day

Sunday August 29th 2004

Prepared by Ian Smith, 14th September 2004

Part Four: Parkgate and South Holmwood

RT3148: Dorking to Parkgate, 429

After my trip on GS1 I was just in time to catch RT3148 to Parkgate. The 429 was the original Dorking loop service, before it was appropriated by the 439. It operated from Newdigate through South Holmwood, on into Dorking and on to Brockham, Strood Green. One bus a day went on as far as Parkgate, and others completed the loop. But the road to Newdigate appears not to be suitable for double-deckers, and the stretch to Parkgate barely so. It needs a visit from the STL tree-lopper! But more of that anon.

RT3148 was already on the route, coming in from South Holmwood. At Dorking Pippbrook it stopped to change drivers, Peter Aves taking over the wheel from Colin Rivers. A good load boarded, most going upstairs, and I slipped into a rear seat downstairs to change films - both cameras!

Then we were away, followed down to the roundabout by GS34 on the 433.

RT3148 loads at Dorking GS34 leaves Dorking on 433 Inside RT3148

There was no opportunity to "capture" the bus crossing Brockham Bridge, but Peter stopped the big green machine at the bus stop Strood Green for the benefit of photographers. Just as we were boarding again RF626 came the other way on a 439. The RF proceeded to make a circuit of the green before heading on for Dorking. The RT headed on south, soon passing one of the red RFs coming the other way.

RT3148 at Strood Green RT3148 and RF626 at Strood Green

The section on to Parkgate was not free of overhanging trees, so Peter drove more cautiously while the conductor walked ahead on the dodgier sections to warn of the heavier problems. But apart from a few rustles on the roof the RT proceeded without difficulties or dome-dents, and turned right to run along to the Surrey Oaks pub at Parkgate.

The pub was now holding a jazz concert, and the carpark that had been deserted this morning was now full. But there was just room to back the bus into a gap, and turn out to stand at the stop.

RT3148 at Parkgate RT3148 at Parkgate

RT3148: Parkgate to South Holmwood, 429

RT3148 at Parkgate RT3148 at Parkgate RT3148 at Parkgate

The blinds were reset on the RT for the return trip through Dorking to South Holmwood, most of the photographers were rustled up (a few were staying behind for a connection), and we set off north again.

The return trip was uneventful. Again the traffic did not oblige on the bridge over the Mole, and soon we were rolling back into Dorking to stop at the dolly opposite the Pippbrook site. SNB340 rolled past into the carpark opposite, back from Capel on the 414. Red RF406 loaded up for the 439, and came back past us after rounding the roundabout.

SNB340 on 414 at Dorking RT3148 on 429 at Dorking Halls RF406 on 439 at Dorking Halls

With Peter Aves still at the wheel we headed off through Dorking. Modernised Greenline RF28 passed us on a 425 from Guildford. We turned left up past the old bus station, and past Goodwyns Park Estate where the 449 Town Service went, and on out of the town. We passed through North Holmwood, and pulled out onto the A24.

The Holly and Laurel terminus is actually on the A24. It seems the procedure was to stop at the southbound bus-stop lay-by, and the conductor would look for a break in traffic beforing ringing the bus away for the turn through a gap in the dual carriageway to reach the lay-by on the north-bound side. This was accomplished quite satisfactorily. We had a break at the terminus, before the blinds were wound to the short-working set for the return through Dorking to Strood Green.

RT3148 prepares to turn at South Holmwood RT3148 at the South Holmwood terminus

RT3148 in Dorking High Street

RT3148: South Holmwood to Dorking

I returned to Dorking on the RT. We paused at the stop in Dorking Main Street. The road camber here is rather steep! From there it was just a short way down to the stop at Pippbrook, where drivers changed again, and I alighted.

Green RML2456 motored past on the other side of the road and pulled up at the Dorking Halls stop. It was on the next 429, en route from Strood Green to South Holmwood.

I had a few minutes before my next trip, so went to find the refreshment van again.

RML2456 on 429, Dorking RML2456 on 429, Dorking

Part Five: Ranmore Common and Coldharbour

All photos by Ian Smith. Click on most of them for a larger picture.

Back to Ian's Bus-stop Part 3 Part 5: GS2 on the 433