East Grinstead Running Day

Sunday April 23rd 2006

Prepared by Ian Smith, 3rd May 2006

Part 2: 409: East Grinstead to Forest Row (and back) (RT2043)

RT2043, GS34 and SNB312 at EG (two photos)

I climbed aboard RT2043, and immediately found that in the wet conditions road dirt on the windows obscured the view of passing RF406 (on the 494 to Oxted) and RF48 (on the 708). So that put paid to photography on the trip south to Forest Row. I sat back and enjoyed chatting to, and listening to, Colin Curtis, who was on the other longitudinal seat.

RF406, War Memorial RF48, War Memorial

Roger Stagg seemed to enjoy the drive down to Forest Row. The RT certainly went well. We pulled up by the old LT terminus in the village, then went on down to the old station yard to turn, an extra journey only permitted to passegers once the railway closed! Such were the peculiar outworkings of the London Transport Act in these "border" outposts! Photos were taken as the bus turned in the yard, and again back on the main road when we stopped outside the Brambletye Hotel.

RT2043 at Forest Row Station RT2043 at Forest Row Station RT2043 at Forest Row, Brambletye

Then it was back to East Grinstead: down the bank to cross the stream, then up the long bank to Ashurst Wood, out of East Sussex into West Sussex on the edge of the village, then on along the ridge to East Grinstead.

East Grinstead

I alighted at the War Memorial, just in time to see FRM1 poke its nose out onto the main street. It had journeyed down from London's Transport Museum at Acton, and now completed its outward journey at the War Memorial, where it checked in with the controller (Alan Charman). I went aboard, and travelled down to King Street with the crew, as they went to prepare for their set of duties. The view out of the big barrel windscreen was superb. We met RF4 on the 708, turning in to King Street.

FRM1 in East Grinstead FRM1 in East Grinstead RF4 at King Street

FRM1 pulled up behind a pair of Maidstone & District AEC Reliances: S6, dating from 1965 and SO224 from 1957. They were waiting their turn on the 135, a Maidstone & District route from East Grinstead to Edenbridge.

S6 in King Street SO224 in King Street

RF679 came through, coming in from a trip to Dormansland on the 428, and going round the loop to reach the War Memorial heading the right way. Daimler Fleetline XF3 came in to rest between trips on the 409. RT3148 also came through on a heavy duty 473 turn between East Grinstead Station, the War Memorial and the Bluebell Railway at Kingscote.

RF679 and XF3 in King Street RT3148 and XF3 in King Street

After the two M&D buses had departed FRM1 pulled up to the top of the stop, and a travel-stained RF626 came in between turns on the 494 to Oxted. Interesting how much more nostalgic this is than a perfectly polished bus.

FRM1 in King Street RF626 in King Street

GS34 went past, going through to the War Memorial. XF3 waited quietly further down the street.

GS34 in King Street XF3 in King Street

Soon it was time for FRM1 to head for Forest Row..

Part 3: FRM1 on the 409

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

Back to Ian's Bus-stop Part 1 Part 3: FRM1 on 409