RT3148 at Dorking on 470

Dorking Running Day

Sunday 4th September 2005

Prepared by Ian Smith, 20th September 2005

Part Three: Dorking Interlude

I had twenty minutes to look round the bus park and grab a cup of tea. Buses first. Most of the active buses were now out on service, but there was still a line down near the council offices. Heading the line was an RF that I have no record of having seen before: Greenline RF281. A modernised coach it looked very smart indeed with its lime-green cummerbund, and a hint of blue interior. A worthy reminder that this year is the 75th anniversary of the start of Green-line.

RF281 at Pippbrook SNB257 at Pippbrook

Also there was a pair of Leyland Nationals, two of the three in attendance today. SNB257, an erstwhile Dunton Green bus (and just before preservation in Northumbria red/grey/white) was in unrelieved London Country green, its original livery, while SNC168, the Greenline coach version was in dual-purpose green/white. SNC168 had already worked long and hard this morning, running in as a 727 between St.Albans and Epsom (via Watford, Uxbridge, Hatton Cross and Kingston). At Epsom it had changed routes to the 713 for the final leg of its two and a half hour run to Dorking.

SNB257 at Pippbrook SNC168 at Pippbrook

Off in one of the side parking bays was a visitor: ex-STL tree-lopper 971J. I wondered whether its owners could be be persuaded to do a little lopping along the 439 route near Parkgate, but there was no-one visibly in attendance! I walked up to the refreshment van and bought a cup of tea. I wondered whether Cobham would ever get its semi-trailer staff canteen operational for events like this? I headed back down the hill past a line of GSs (60, 13, 42), as RT2494 rolled down the entrance ramp. A few minutes later it repppeared from the loop looking for a parking space. But this is an RT with a difference. It is almost a tree-lopper! Open-topped for its role as Guernseybus No14, it was repatriated several years ago. It retains its Guernseybus livery and number, but now sports its LT number on the cabside - and on a red bonnet number-plate.

Tree-lopper 971J at Pippbrook RT2494 at Pippbrook

Also looking for a parking spot was preserved London United-liveried RML2414. It nuzzled up close behind the row of GSs, then gingerly eased back into the far corner of the bus park, against the wall.

GS60, GS13, GS42 RML2414 parks

Down at the bottom wall RT3148 was preparing to go out again, this time with Peter Aves at the wheel, on the 1145 service 414 to Capel. It was parked in a row with RML2414 in the far corner and a visiting Southdown Tiger, with preserved green RML2440 and London Central's RM9, which had arrived as a 70D, on the other side. The RT set off, and the other crews took care of their buses.

RT3148 departs for the 414 RML2440 and RM9 at Pippbrook

But in the right-hand corner was my next date: Blue Triangle's RTW75, being prepared for a day's work on the 93. It still sported blinds for its last foray, on the last crew-day on route 22, and these needed to be changed for today's operation. I had been introduced to the crew by Peter Aves, and recruited as a navigator for their first trip to Epsom and back.

RTW75 wearing route 22 blinds. Changing the blinds on RTW75

With most of the blinds changed over to the 93 version of the day we set off up to the stand, to be the 1155 service to Epsom...

Part 4: Summer Sunday 93

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

Back to Ian's Bus-stop Part 2: Reigate Staff-bus Part 4: Summer Sunday 93