Forest RowRM938 was standing in the yard at Forest Row. I don't know whether it was part of the Running Day or just visiting. Next to it, and definitely participating, was another bus I hadn't seen before: preserved Optare-bodied Olympian E153OMD, new to Boro'Line Maidstone (753) for London tendered services, and then taken over by Kentish Bus. After a period with Mott's it has entered preservation and been restored to Boro'Line livery, including the yellow on blue blinds.
I needed sustenance, so went in to the RiverView Cafe, in the old merchant's office in Forest Row Station Yard. There I had an excellent lunch. Buses came and went, including 395, 753 and RM938 outgoing, and RT604 arriving.
409: Forest Row to Godstone Green: RT604Well satisfied, I left the cafe and made my way over to RT604, where I took a seat behind the bonnet. After the crew had satisfied their needs we were under way. We met DMS1868 coming in as we approached the main road, and the Fleetline paused to let us pass.
We drove up into Forest Row, then down past the Brambletye Hotel, then climbed the very long hill up past Ashurst Wood towards East Grinstead. Near the top we met Lynx 3043 and RM938 parked on a stance awaiting their next turns. We pulled past, and entered the Buses Only High Street. We passed RF429 and pulled up at the War Memorial stop as SNB340 pulled away.
On the other side of the street stood RML2323 on the 409, wearing its unusual London Country mid-green and yellow livery, with T1030 tucked in behind on the 424.
Then MB90 pulled round the road-block, coming in with a 434 for Dormansland.
Now it was time for the Metrobus service on the 291. Dart SLF 398 passed us at the War Memorial and headed off for the station. As we turned down the hill towards the junction with King Street we met Metrobus Dart SLF 320 bustling up from the station with the terminating southbound 291. Then we were stuck in traffic at successive traffic lights, and met RT1798 arriving on a 409.
When we turned down towards the station we came up behind 398 on the return 291 working to Crawley waiting time at the stop before the station. We waited for it to move, and followed it past the station and out onto the Felbridge road. There it stopped to pick up, and we didn't, allowing us to sweep past and head on north to Newchapel Roundabout.
We turned right, for the diversion off the main A22 to take in Lingfield. There we turned left, to head for open country and Blindley Heath, where we rejoined the main road. We trundled on northwards to Godstone Green, where we roinded the triangle to pull up outside the Hare & Hounds. SNB340, having arrived via the 494, pulled up behind.
Photos by Ian Smith. Click on any of them for a larger picture.
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