RF679 on 494 to East Grinstead

East Grinstead Running Day

Sunday April 22nd 2018

Prepared by Ian Smith, 8th May 2016.

Part 5: 434: East Grinstead to Edenbridge and back

We had a short break in East Grinstead before our trip on the 434 to Edenbridge. Time for refreshments and a look at some of the other buses. Bromley Bus Preservation Group was well represented, providing Metrobus double-deckers 395 and 805 plus single-decker 101 for the 424, alongside XF3, and a trio of ex-Bromley Dart SLFs: 34359 in red, used on the 494, Stagecoach National livery 34221, and Metrobus 253. Two of the Darts were standing in the sunshine.

34359 ready for 494 34221 at EG

Two ex-Stagecoach Dart SLFs: 34221 was a long-term Bromley resident before going to Merseyside and Cumbeland; 34359 was at Bromley for nearly ten years before going to Catford.

Routemaster RM1397 would not have been seen in East Grinstead during its London service days, but has not been a stranger in preservation days.

Southdown Leyland National was working the long southern loop to Forest Row via Wych Cross and Colemans Hatch, territory it was familiar with in its early days.

RM1397 at EG PCD80R on 92

RM1397 filled in as required during the day. Southdown Leyland National 34 was no stranger to East Grinstead in its early service days at Crowborough.
RT3183, having recovered from its battery problem earlier in the day, was loading up for a 409 trip by the direct road to Forest Row Station. It almost certainly would have worked the 409 during its three year stint at Godstone.

Metrobus Lynx2 No 101 squeezed through on a 424 bound for Copthorne. It may have been here during its own spell at Godstone garage.

RT3183 on 409 PCD80R on 92

RT3183 on 409. Metrobus 101 on 424
Colin and I retrieved RF679 from where we had parked it alongside the ice-cream van, and loaded up outside The Crown for a 434 to Edenbridge. Our usual route out of town on the B2110 was blocked, with a diversion in place, so we had to head on east down the Lewes Road, and turn left along Bourg-de-Peage Avenue, past Estcots Primary School. We met RT604 on the 409, doubly diverted because of an accident blocking London Road (involving a digger removing part of the front upper deck of the East Kent Regent V.) We then had to turn left up the steep incline of Estcots Drive to rejoin the B2110 for the narrow descent through Blackwell Hollow. Then it was straightforward: north-east along the A264, up past the Queen Victoria Hospital and the Stone Quarry Estate. We passed the M&D Regent DL39, coming back from Holtye. We turned off the Tunbridge Wells Road to head towards Dormansland. We met RF633 coming the other way on a return 434.

Blackwell Hollow RF633 on 434

Blackwell Hollow. RF633 on 434 in Dormansland
We continued down out of Sussex into Kent, negotiating our way through Marsh Green to reach the road from Hartfield, where we turned north to cross the Eden and climb up Edenbridge High Street, passing again under the cross-road inn sign. We continued uphill, passing under the two low railway bridges and up Marlpit Hill to reach Hilders Lane, postwat terminus of the 434. There we turned left and ran westwards through the industrial end of the town and and back into the countryside. Abruptly we turned left, to cross over the Tonbridge-Redhill railway. I told passengers to look down to the east as we crossed the bridge, for the unusual sight of that railway crossing the Oxted-Edenbridge line as the latter went from one tunnel to another under a bridge (Clearly visible on Google Streetview, if you are interested).

We rolled downhill through Troy Town, where there used to be an industrial estate - the reason why these journeys made this loop. We passed under the Oxted-Edenbridge line - another 13ft 0in bridge, and rolled on down into Edenbridge. Now we had to wiggle through to reach the top of the High Street. We stopped at the bus stop outside Tesco Express.

Going on, we descended the rest of the High Street to cross the river, and went on past The Star - terminus for the 465 and 485. We turned right for Marsh Green, and made the winding climb up to Dormansland, where we made connections at the Plough. There were two buses there: RF308 on the 428 and MB90 on a 473. Some passengers swapped buses.

RF308 on 428, Dormansland Plough MB90 on 473, Dormansland Plough

Dormansland Plough: RF308 on 428; MB90 on 473.
We pulled round past the other two buses and continued towards East Grinstead, back past the Stone Quarry and the hospital, and down into the hollow below the town. We needed to arrive facing west at the War Memorial, so we turned left up the narrow gorge of Blackwell Hollow, and wound our way round the diversion like a fun-fair big dipper.

As we came up the hill towards the town centre we met DL39 again, heading east on a 91 to Forest Row. BH&D open-top Bristol CAP228 was between turns on its normal stance. Four red buses were scattered along the High Street: Dart SLF 34359, RF429, Metrobus 253 and RT1798.

DL39 on 91, CAP229. 34359 on High Street with others.

DL39 heads east out of the town on a 91. Red Buses stand on the High Street.
We pulled up at the War Memorial, due out straight away on a continuation of the 434 to Turners Hill.

Part Six: East Grinstead to Turners Hill, and then Sevenoaks

Ian's Bus-stop One Two Three Four Five Six