East Grinstead Running Day
Sunday April 16th 2000
Prepared by Ian Smith, April 2000
Part 1: the morning shiftFrost clung to the gateposts as we started up RF679 in its Country retreat. It was 7.30 a.m. and the early sun was promising a better day than had been expected as we set off on the long garage run to take up up our first duty on the East Grinstead Running Day. I was a guest of Colin Rivers on RF679, and spent the whole day on the RF sampling a variety of the routes around East Grinstead. We called at a filling station on the way, to tank up for a busy day.
465: Westerham to Oxted Station via Limpsfield ChartOur first duty began at 9.30 at Westerham. We had to turn first, so took the 403 route towards Chelsham, then turned at the old turning point. A pause to change the blinds, then out onto the main road in Westerham to wait time and make connection with a GS to Edenbridge.
9.30 came and went. We waited, but no GS. So, reluctantly, we set off for Limpsfield Chart, with Mike Dawes at the wheel. Up through the spring woodlands of the Greensand Ridge, to Crockham Hill, then west along the wooded ridge to Limpsfield Chart.
We stopped outside the Carpenters Arms, and straightened the bus-stop.
Then it was on across Limpsfield Common and down into Oxted.
494: Oxted Station to East Grinstead (King St.)We were a little late leaving Oxted Station, (not surprising as our schedule booked us off before we were due to arrive) but nevertheless turned off the main road for the old route up through the tortuous street of Old Oxted. We turned south through Tandridge, down the Hinson straight, to the very low bridge at North Crowhurst, which precludes the use of even low-bridge double-deckers. As we turned off to follow the old route through Lingfield a GS hurtled past behind us with a full load for Oxted. Despite being late, and already due off on our next trip, we made the loop past East Grinstead station in case there were passengers from the train, before heading up to a still quiet King Street.
424: East Grinstead to Copthorne (Duke's Head), and returnOur next duty was a filling-in turn, substituting for absent XF1. So we were nearly twenty minutes late throughout, without including the Stone Quarry excursions. Steve drove the RF out by the narrow back street onto East Grinstead's main thoroughfare, and after a trip to the station we headed for Felbridge. We passed red RF421 (wearing 227 blinds) and London Country green RT604, which were heading for East Grinstead, and trundled out through the suburbs. All very pleasant, with the AEC Regal engine burbling away under the floor. we picked up some more passengers on the way.
A green and white shape passed across the T-junction ahead, and we identified it as Q83, running in on the 434 route via Turners Hill. We turned right in Crawley Down, to run up to the Dukes Head at Copthorne, where we turned and paused for photographs.
All photos by Ian Smith. Click on most of them for a larger picture.