East Grinstead Running Day
Sunday April 10th 2016
Prepared by Ian Smith, 22nd April 2016.
Part 6: Remains of the dayBack at East Grinstead it was going-home time. Most out-and-back journeys had already set off. A few were coing in for the last time. Other buses were heading home. RT1798 was heading for Crawley, I think. RTW185 was heading home.
RT1798 ready to go on 424. RTW185 departs between SNB340 and RT1798.RF368 pulled in from its last trip to Edenbridge fully loaded.
RF368 arrives back from Edenbridge.RMC1461 was ready to head home to Brooklands, while East Kent Reliance WFN513 was going to head eastwards.
Routemaster Greenline coach RMC1461. East Kent Reliance WFN513.
409: East Grinstead to Forest Row and back (RT604)But all was not lost. I had wanted an RT ride to make my day, and here came RT604 on a last run to Forest Row on the 409.
RT604 arrives on a late 409 to Forest Row, with GS62 parked behind.I climbed aboard, and we set off eastwards. Outside the main town we found the bus stance occupied by a pair of visiting Routemasters: RM1097, in the middle of a restoration bout, and RML2732, looking like it has just been repainted.
RM1097, RML2372.We went down the long hill, by-passing Ashurstwood, to reach Forest Row. We pulled up past the Brambletye Inn, terminus for the 409 until the railway closed, and continued round the corner to the old station yard - where it terminated after the railway closed! (Law is so logical!).
In the old yard we met preserved Metrobus Olympian 806, about to leave for East Grinstead. We turned in the yard and pulled up behind it. 806 pulled away, and after a few minutes it was our turn. We returned to the roundabout in Forest Row, and climbed the long bank up to East Grinstead. It was just after 5.pm. The feeder buses were leaving. RT604 was heading for West Croydon, but I crossed the road and boarded RF633.
Forest Row Station: 806 and RT604.
434/465: East Grinstead to Westerham (RF633)The RF was returning to Sevenoaks and beyond. My plan was to go to Sevenoaks Railway Station. We headed out of East Grinstead on the familar 434 route to Edenbridge, which in later Leyland National days was the 485. We went through Edenbridge, and climbed up past Edenbridge Station, then increasingly steeply up to Crockham Hill. There we turned right to climb tortuously up onto Hosey Common, past the entrance to Chartwell, and then down to the eastern edge of Westerham. By now my plan had changed. We should be in good time for a connection ont the 246 to Bromley.
So a couple of us alighted at the carpark entrance and walked back up the steep little hill by Westerham Green. We waited at the stop there. The terminating 246 - Metrobus' EnviroDart 756 - arrived and went down the bank to turn at the carpark. It was pursued down the hill by RM1397, which had come round from East Grinstead via Godstone.
RF633 pulls away from Westerham carpark. RM1397 passes through Westerham, following Metrobus Dart 756 down the bank.
246: Westerham to Bromley (756)The first bus to arrive up the hill was the Go-Coach 401 from Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells. Dart Marshall 5003 was the vehicle. It was not long before 756 returned to pick us up. There are STILL connections at Westerham, in spite of Nicholas Ridley!
Go-Coach 5003 ends its 401 journey in Westerham. Connecting Metrobus 756 starts its 246 journey to Bromley North.756 whirred northwards out of Westerham, making light of Westerham Hill. We passed on through Biggin Hill and Leaves Green, down to Keston Church. We twisted up the bank to Keston Common, and headed down past The Fox across West Wickham Common to Coney Hall. Now in suburbia, the 246 becomes a twisting back-roads route to Bromley. We climbed up through Bromley High Street and Kentish Way to reach the Town Hall, where I alighted.
Many thanks to all those who organised the day; who provided an entertaining variety of buses, both old and new; who produced timetables and sold programmes; who negotiated with all the relevant councils and authorities for the necessary permissions; who drove and conducted; who smiled or commiserated when a few things went wrong: all those who made it work, who made it a great day. Thank you!
Buses I noted (there may have been others- sorry if I missed you)
Ian's Bus-stop One Two Three Four Five Six