I stood in the rain at Three Bridges Station, waiting for a bus to Horsham. I was not quite sure which would arrive first, the advertised 473 feedeer service or RT3148. It turned out to be red RF429 on the 473, which appeared bang on time under the big railway bridge and pulled up at the station stop.
We swished on into Crawley, to call at the big open air bus station. We actually passed right through the western side, to turn at the west end and return to stop at the unallocated bus stop outside the shopping centre.
As we pulled up we could see GS76 standing on the west side, waiting to depart on the 852 to Horsham. With the anti-pedestrian barrier down the centre of the bus station it might as well have been on the Moon. But I did get to see it pull away.
Other buses stood in the bus station, mostly belonging to Metrobus of course, in their two-blues livery. Prominent were a pair of Darts, Plaxton bodied 227 and a later Caetano-bodied bus.
Ron was understandably uncertain about the route out of Crawley, but was guided by James, one of passengers, a local young man with an excellent knowledge of local buses and routes. We were soon out of the town and heading south-west down the dual carriageaway to Roffey Corner. The main road turned right at a roundabout, and we turned left to work our way into town. We paused at a bus stop for me to grab a picture of the bus in the rain. The mop was in use inside to keep the front windows clear of condensation, and rain that had worked its way in through the seals. James indicated the correct right turn to take us down the bus route (complete with humps and chicanes) towards Horsham Station. Approaching the station we saw RMC1476 and RF486 pulling away ahead of us, before we turned in to make our stop.
We continued, down towards the town centre, then abruptly right onto an inner by-passd that took us right past the centre. At the bottom of the town we turned up left to reach the bus station. We squeezed past that, and wound our way through to the Carfax, centre for the day's operations.
I went to look at RF486, RMC1476 and GS62, and to collect a programme.
Meanwhile GS76 had arrived on the 852 from Crawley. Sheltering as best I could from the teeming rain, I prayed that the rain would let up before long, and surveyed the line-up of buses awaiting the official kick-off.
I went to arrange a ride on GS76, the first 852 to Ewhurst...
All photos by Ian Smith. Click on most of them for a larger picture.
Back to Ian's Bus-stop Part 2: 852, Horsham, Ewhurst, Crawley (GS76)