East Grinstead Running Day
Sunday April 28th 2019
Prepared by Ian Smith, 30th April 2019.
Part 1: Sevenoaks Station to East GrinsteadSoutheastern delivered me on time to Sevenoaks Station at 0843, on the first train of the day. RF679 was due at 0915, so the 0913 arrival would have been cutting it too fine. I met Dan and Martine at the bus stop and we waited.. and waited. At 0915 there was no sign of the RF. Well it was late sometimes. Not to worry until 0930. 0930 came and went, but RF679 didn't. I rang driver Colin Rivers. Oh! The RF had done something nasty to a wheel bearing on Thursday night, and so was hors de combat. We discussed what to do. Dan and Martine, parked nearby, were uncertain whether their chariot was up to a drive to East Grinstead. We set off up St.Botolph's Road to find it. My phone rang. Colin. CBR were sending a bus for us! The RF starting from Westerham, supposed to be on the 485 to Edenbridge, had been diverted to come and pick us up. Service indeed! We returned to he station to wait, not for long. At three minutes to ten we spotted the unmistakeable shape of an RF approaching from the Riverhead direction. We crossed the road and flagged it down.
314A: Sevenoaks to Four Elms and Edenbridge, RF315
RF315 arrives at Sevenoaks Stn.The bus was facing the wrong way for a quick return to Westerham. So it was an easy decision to think outside the box and do a 413A to Four Elms, then on along the pre-LT route to Edenbridge. OK, So we didn't have the right blinds, but it was a case of Five Go for a Bus-ride.
We went straight on up Tubbs Hill, following Arriva Dart SLF 1611 which was on the 401 from Westerham. Up the hill we veered off London Road onto Pembroke Hill, to reach the traffic lights on the High Street. We turned right. Now we were properly on the 413A route, which used to come up from Bat & Ball rather than via the Tubbs Hill Station. We forebore from ducking into the modern bus station, and headed on through Sevenoaks, joining back onto London Road where it merged with the High Street. We squeezed on southwards along the narrow high street, past the entrance lodge for Knole and round the S-bend by Sevenoaks School.
I had been designated as navigator, and managed to spot Solefields Road as we approached - the road-sign was disguised by green mould. We turned up there, and motored up to West Heath, where the school used to be a major traffic objective for the convoluted route. We turned right onto Ashgrove Road, passing the school and easing down the narrow road to the junction at Cross Keys. After a left turn onto Oak Lane the road narrowed even further - no timetabled bus passes here! We squeezed past the odd vehicle or bicycle coming the other way. Then suddenly we were beside the cutting for the A21 where that crosses the hill-top. We turned abruptly right to cross it by gracious Lane Bridge, and went forwards through Bayleys Hill. Beautiful. Narrow. Trees bursting into leaf. Bluebells carpeting the woods and field edges.
We avoided the left fork that descends precipitously down the hillside, and turned along even narrower Rycroft Lane. Fortunately the only traffic we met was a few cyclists, which we barely squeezed past. We rejoined the slightly wider road from Gracious Lane and rolled westwards over Goathurst Common, to meet the road from Bessels Green. Then it was a swoosh down the twists of Wheatsheaf Hill to the junction for Ide Hill. We did NOT turn right up the hill on the double run to The Cock Inn. We continued down the hill, off the high Weald, past the turning point at Scollops Road and on through gloriously wooded countryside to Four Elms. We passed the terminal point for LT workings at Pootings Lane, and rolled on into the forbidden territory towards Edenbridge. ("forbidden" in the sense that it was outwith the London Transport area. Before the war West Kent Motors had continued to Edenbridge using tiny Dennis G's)
Anyway, back to today. We left Four Elms behind, and fairly soon passed under the Tonbridge - Redhill railway, an 11ft 3in bridge, just OK for an RF.
We entered Edenbridge, past new housing and light industry. We met the road from Crockham Hill, and turned left. We were back on the 485. We went down into the town, descending under the inn sign spanning the road at The Crown, and continuing down to cross the Eden. We did not stop at Star Inn, terminus of the 465 and 485 from Oxted and Westerham. It was closed up, and covered in scaffolding.
434: Edenbridge to East GrinsteadInstead we headed on south on the 434 route, along the Hartfield road, and turned right onto the road to Marsh Green. Then it was onwards and upwards out of Kent into rural Sussex towards Dormansland. Another RF! Red RF486 came rolling downhill towards us, heading for Edenbridge on the 434. It looked splendid in the sunshine, with a contrasting background of young spring greenery.
At Dormansland we forked left to pass The Plough Inn. We went on, following the road south-west towards East Grinstead. We turned west along Holtye Road (the A264), and passed by the Stone Quarry Estate and the Hospital, down into the hollow. We turned up the narrow defile of Blackwell Hollow, between rocky walls, up to cross over the old railway line to Forest Row (now the town by-pass). Turning right at the roundabout took us up into East Grinstead High Street, where we pulled up behind RF600 (which on the rear was wearing improbable 486B blinds: Weybridge - Addlestone!).
I alighted, and headed along the street to see what was happening. RF633 squeezed past RF315, going to turn at the roundabout for a 428 duty. RT1702 was in its customary place, stopping the end of Cantelupe Road.
Ian's Bus-stop One Two Three Four Five Six