East Grinstead Running Day
Sunday April 16th 2000
Prepared by Ian Smith, April 2000
Part 2: Lunchtime at King Street
By 1145 the bus-park in King Street was busy. There was a constant stream of buses coming in for breaks, while others were leaving to take up the continuing stream of duties. Red RF486 came in from a trip on the 434, having previously worked through from Bromley North on a long extension to the 485. Even Metrobus' 246 route doesn't reach East Grinstead! It joined red RF530, which was still in 227 mode.
Other red buses were also in evidence, some visiting, some between duties. Leyland National LS98 looked good, wearing Express blinds for the 409, and RM2116 showed off its 1933-style livery, worn ever since its days as a showbus, whilst Routemaster RM8 and RM40 lurked in a corner behind something rather special.
That was ex-London Transport Daimler D27, which after London service had been rebuilt by Massey for Southend Transport, then later sold to Essex Police as a control and promotions vehicle. Today it was visiting.
GS62 was parked out near the toilets, waiting for a gap in the park,
and GS32 pulled up behind RF679 ready for its turn on the 494.
RF679 went for a loop round the block, and found a niche in the carpark on its return.
Red door-fitted RM2107 pulled out of the park onto the stand for a running turn.
Red RF421 arrived and tried to pull in behind, only to be blocked by the parked car.
Green RT3491 couldn't get out of the park. Traffic jam.
In a quiet moment I grabbed something from the refreshment stall, and went to take pictures of other buses on the park: RT604 in London Country Green, RMC1476 in NCB green but LT roundels as a trainer, and RM2116.
Then my attention was grabbed by the arrival of Q83, followed by the passage of new Dennis Dart/ East Lancs DSL38 on a normal Sunday service bus. They provided a fascinating contrast in single decker development. It is hard to believe that about 65 years separate them in build date!
Then the time-frame shifted firmly back to the fifties,
with the arrival of immaculate RT2177,
which had been performing on the 409 trips between Forest Row, East Grinstead,
Felbridge, Lingfield and Dormansland.
RF672 passed through on a 434 trip from Copthorne to Edenbridge.
NBC green RT604 departed for Forest Row. Lincoln green was next: RF626 passed through on an Edenbridge to Kingscote working, followed by RLH48 on a 424 to the Stone Quarry Estate.
More Lincoln Green followed in the shape of the RT family.
RTL1256 pulled up to the top of the stand
ready for a departure to Dormansland,
while RT 3228 and RT3491 were together in Greenline livery at the bottom of the stand,
the former ready to leave on a 708 round trip, the other just arrived.
Then RT3228 pulled up behind the RTL, to allow Green-Lane's RT3491 to go off-duty into the bus-park.
Then, at about 1240, as I was waiting with RF679 to resume the afternoon shift,
one of those magic moments happened. There were four Lincoln green RT-types in on the stand at once,
RT3228 and RT3148 for the 708, RTL1256 and 1700 for the 409, changing over duties.
I dashed to capture the scene on film, as it would last barely seconds.
Even as I ran, RT1700 pulled away, giving me just one chance at a snap shot.