GS62 in East Grinstead

East Grinstead Running Day

Sunday April 22nd 2007

Prepared by Ian Smith, 11th May 2007.

494: Oxted Station to East Grinstead (RF633)

I did not get my customary ride out to East Grinstead from the depths of Kent this year, for two reasons. Firstly RF679 was hors de combat with a (very slightly) leaking master brake cylinder (I think), and secondly my wife did not fancy a 5.15 a.m. start from Croydon. Instead, at a much more civilised hour, we caught one of the still relatively new diesel trains from East Croydon to Oxted. It would have been better if it had been a Standard tank and antiquated Southern Birdcage set, but one cannot have everything! Arriving at Oxted we had a considerable wait for RF633, as the even interval bus service did not tie in well with the even interval train service! So we went for a walk round, and admired the fake Tudor style of the shopping parade on the West side.

171803 at East Croydon Station. Oxted West.

But eventually RF633, with Peter Aves at the wheel, came up the street wearing 464 blinds for its journey from Westerham. It turned the corner and pulled up at the stop.

RF633 at Oxted West. RF633 at Oxted West.

The blinds - and running plates - were changed for the 494 trip south to East Grinstead. We set off, missing out the very narrow, congested hill through Old Oxted, and climbed the main road to the Tandridge roundabout, where we turned left up the narrow road over the Sandstone Ridge.

RF633 at Oxted West. Tandridge Road.

We rolled down past the Barley Mow Inn, and on southwards. St Georges flags dotted the roadside scene - on houses, in hedges, on the verges. The Saint of the local church, his day is always celebrated this way in this locality. The bluebells were also particularly numerous this year, and in full flower.

St Georges flags near Chathill. Bluebells, Crowhurst.

We passed under the railway bridge at Crowhurst North, and turned left for the meander through Crowhurst Place to Lingfield. We had a request for a photo stop, and found a safe place near Crowhurst Place.

Then we rumbled on into Lingfield, winding up through suburban streets to stop at the Post Office.

RF633 at Crowhurst. RF633 at Lingfield Post Office.

We were fortunate at the roundabout onto the A24 by the northernmost railway bridge in East Grinstead. There was a long queue of traffic headiing for the coast, but we were let out straight away, and headed down into the town. We pulled up in King Street, where we alighted.

Arrivals at East Grinstead

Ahead of us was Greenline RF269, ready to take up duties on the 708 runs to Godstone Green. Cut-down RML2284 squeezed past, looking for a parking place, followed by red RM1955.

RF269 at King Street. RML2284 in King Street.

Behind us was Maidstone & District Titan DH379, ready for a trip to Edenbridge Station. We decided that it would be sensible to meet it at Edenbridge for the ride back.

We went out onto the main street and walked up the hill. RT3148 came down, on a 435 Town Service, followed by Maidstone & District Reliance S6.

RF269 at King Street. Rt3148 on 435, East Grinstead. S6, East Grinstead.

RM1955 came round the corner from the War Memorial as we reached the top of the bank. RF269 was loading up at the stop for a trip to Godstone Green on the 708.

RM1955, East Grinstead. RF269, War Memorial.

Behind it was RP21, which had just arrived from New Cross via Westerham, coming in as a 485 through Edenbridge. Red RF489 was pulling in too, to collect some blinds for its workings during the day.

RF489, War Memorial. RP21, War Memorial.

Arriving from the other direction were RF48, which ELTG had worked in on the 708 from Oxford Circus, and their BL49, which had run as a feeder from Bow Church, via the Blackwall Tunnel, Lewisham, Bromley, Westerham and Oxted.

RF48, War Memorial. BL49, War Memorial.

SNB449 also arrived on a 473 from Crawley and Three Bridges.

We crossed the road to the War Memorial, with its surround of tulips and forget-me-not, and looked around for a while until our bus for Edenbridge was due.

SNB449, War Memorial. RP21, War Memorial.

Part Two: Edenbridge Town and back

Photos by Ian Smith. Click on any of them for a larger picture.

Back to Ian's Bus-stop Part Two: Edenbridge and back