RT3148 crosses Lower Flanchford Bridge

Dorking Classic Bus Running Day

Sunday 3rd September 2006

Prepared by Ian Smith, 14th September 2006

Part Two: 439: Reigate to Dorking, RF679

At the Red Cross Colin quickly changed the front blinds to the 439 set, and we went on, soon leaving the houses behind and rolling out onto Reigate Heath, where we turned left onto the road to Leigh. Quite broad across the common, this narrowed rapidly as we wound down it towards Santon House and Flanchford Farm. There we turned right, and rumbled down to Lower Flanchford Bridge - only about nine feet wide. Colin let off the photographers to cross the bridge ahead of the seven-foot six inch wide bus, then eased across the narrow bridge.

RF679 at Lower Flanchford Bridge RF679 at Lower Flanchford Bridge

We boarded again, and rolled on westwards, watching for the turn-off to Leigh. We spotted it, and turned down the lane into the village. The lane was narrowed further by the parked cars of the churchgoers. As we approached the crossroads we saw the red shape of a Central Area RF ahead of us, stopped outside the pub. It was RF486, on the way to Reigate. Colin pulled round to the bus-stop, and the photographers from both buses enjoyed themselves.

RF679 at Lower Flanchford Bridge RF486 at Leigh

RF679, RF486 at Leigh RF486 at Leigh

After a while we collected them back on board, and headed on, wiggling through to join the Strood Green road. We rumbled through Strood Green, and then Brockham Green, where parked cars made a pause at the bus-stop difficult. So we pressed on, down to cross Brockham Bridge and climb up to meet the main road from Reigate at Brockham Lane End. From there it was just a mile and a half along to the roundabout on the edge of Dorking, where we watched a pair of Stagecoach Tridents pass in front of us on their way to the seaside.

Brockham Bridge 18479 passes Dorking

We turned into the "bus station" for the day: Dorking's Council offices site at Pippbrook. We disembarqued our passengers, and rolled down the slope towards the bus park. We pulled in to let Cobham's RTL139 toil up the slope to take up duty on the 93 to Epsom and back. Colin found a convenient spot to park next to CBR sister RF633. I alighted and went to look at the buses. Just coming in was green RML2440.

RTL139 at Dorking RML2440 at Dorking

Down against the back wall was a group of London Transport buses: Colin Curtis' touring RF RF19, RML2700, and RM1397.

RF19 at Dorking RML2700 at Dorking RM1397 at Dorking

Next to them was one of the Dorking event's regular visitors: Southdown Tiger DUF179. I wonder if I'll ever get a ride? Something to look forward to.

I walked further down. I wanted to see Peter Aves to arrange my next trip on GS2. There was GS2, parked next to the elegant Council building. No Peter - and the bus was not wearing the blinds for the next trip yet either.

DUF179 at Dorking GS2 at Dorking

I walked on, to see what else had arrived. Country Area RF626 was set up for the 425, while behind was today's RMC, 1469. This is the one chosen for the front remodelling in connection withn the RCLs, hence the wide blind-box. It was ready for the 414.

RF626 at Dorking RMC1469 at Dorking

Rt604 was resting after its journey in from West Croydon on the 414, while round the corner Jim Andress' RF366 had arrived from Guildford on the 425. It was wearing its summer motorway grille, but seemed to have left the sunshine behind somewhere: the light was flat and dull.

RT604 at Dorking RF366 at Dorking

Leyland National SNB340 had worked in from East Grinstead via Reigate, on the 424 and 414, and was going to work the 425. RML2440 was looking for a space, but really needed to be in another area, away from this ready-use zone.

SNB340 at Dorking RML2440 at Dorking

I found Peter Aves up near the CBR pergola, busy organising - who had arrived, who wasn't coming, who could fill in for whom. I arranged to go with him on his first trip with GS2, but found that part b of my cunning plan would not happen: BN61 was not coming. So I couldn't hop off one and onto the other. Never mind: I'll catch BN61 at Holmbury St Mary another day. And part a was still on..

Part 3: 412: Dorking to Leith Hill and back: GS2

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

Back to Ian's Bus-stop Part 1 Part 3: 412 to Leith Hill: GS2