GS1 at King Street

East Grinstead Running Day

Sunday April 22nd 2001

Prepared by Ian Smith, 30th April 2001

Part 1: Arrivals

Metrobus N259PJK at Upfield, Horley My key for getting to East Grinstead for the day was provided by the Internet. Arrival by train was out, due to several lots of engineering work en route. But Metrobus' web-site offered the prospect of a suitably timed 491 from Crawley. My daughter found me a guest house in Horley, and a train to London, and packed me off on Saturday afternoon. It turned out that the guest-house had a 491 stop right outside! So at 0855 on Sunday morning, well-breakfasted, I was out there waiting. The 491 arrived - a blue and yellow Dart of course (from Godstone garage), and whirled me round the helter-skelter adventure ride of Gatwick Airport, before a more restful whizz through the Sussex countyside to East Grinstead.

RM2116 at King Street Imperial T214 at King Street

When I arrived there was little already there - just enough to show that it WAS the right day. Two GSs (GS32 and GS62) were on the King Street car-park, plus RM2116 and Imperial Titan T214. This year the old bus-station was to be used for "visiting" buses and stalls, with operating buses in the other car-park up the street opposite. I reset the camera (having bodged the pic of the two GSs), and watched the buses arriving.

RM795 arrives.. King Street

RTW185, RMC1476, King Street

Next in was the staff canteen: Mike Dawes arrived with his new acquisition, RM795, fitted out by Chiswick as a hospitality bus. This was parked behind the sales stall. After that came a succession of visitors: an Eastern National Bristol double-decker; Hampsons-liveried private-hire RF13; Cobham's green RT593; RTW185 and RMC1476. They eased their way round into parking slots, avoiding the inevitable overnight parkers.
RF13, King Street RT593, King Street

Then there was a flurry of Leyland Nationals. LS24, ex-Thames Valley Training and now resplendent in a new coat of London red, was a visitor, but apple-green SNB250 and NBC-green SNB257 were working buses, and were redirected to the "garage". Metroline London Northern's RML903, now looking rather battered and in need of some (official) panel-beating and new paint, also arrived for its duties on the 409.

LS24, King Street SNB257, King Street

By now I had realised about the "garage" car-park, and set off to see what was there. Arrivals continued as I went. Now it was RFs, with RF679 representing the Country Area, arriving from Westerham on a 485 working, and RF421, representing the loans from the Central Area.

RF679, King Street RF421, King Street

Up in the "garage" I found more green RFs: RF633, RF672 and RF626, awaiting their turns on the 434 and 428.

RF626, RF672, RF633

There too was T792. The restored post-war Regal sat glinting in the sunshine. Beautiful.

T792 T792

Next was a line-up of lovely buses: RT604, in NBC green; GS32 and GS62; red RT2177 and Greenline RT3228. Another GreenLine RT, Greene-Lane's RT3491, was parked opposite.

RT604, GS32, GS62, RT2177, RT3228, SNB257 RT3228 London Country National SNB257 was squeezed in on the end of the row, and SNB250 backed up gently. The operational area was becoming rather full in this period before the "kick-off".

RF421, reversing in RF679

Still the buses were arriving. RF421 was backing up the row, and RF679 was arriving to try to squeeze in. Outside, in King Street, RF4 had arrived, and was parked ready for the presentations. RF255, still in Metrobus blue, was on the stand.

RF4, King Street RF4, King Street

Red RF406 and RF489 were arriving too, the latter sporting Enfield 121 blinds.

RF406, King Street RF489, RF4, King Street

In the carpark I found GS76, freshly repatriated from the north, with its Perkins engine gleaming under a fresh coat of aluminium paint.

GS76, King Street GS76, engine

Most of the players and bus visitors had now arrived, and it was time to start the day officially with a presentation...

Part 2: Honours and duties

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

Back to Ian's Bus-stop Part 2: Honours and Duties