GS76 at Ewhurst Green

Horsham Classic Bus Running Day

Sunday May 17th 2009

Prepared by Ian Smith, 25th May 2009

Part Four: 405: Horsham to Crawley and back

I joined RML2330 to escape the rain. I had already ear-marked the Routemaster as my homeward bus, but had not travelled on the Crawley route today. The buses covering the 438 were already out. RML2330's limited blind display was due to a cracked blind glass (courtesy of a stone-thrower), which prevented the use of non-waterproof temporary blinds in the wet conditions. I stayed on RML2330 for the 405 to Crawley in the wet.

Soon we were away, zipping out past the station and heading for Roffey Corner. It is amazing just how much rain and spray manages to get onto the front nearside window of an RML in the wet, despite it being tucked under the canopy. But I could still see Leyland National SNB340 coming the other way through the rain, on route 438.

RML2330 at Carfax SNB340 on 438

At Crawley Bus Station we met XF3 on the 438, gleaming wetly in the renewed sunshine. It too was on the 438. I wasn't sure which way it was going, or when, or I might have caught it back to Horsham.

XF3 at Crawley XF3 at Crawley

I reboarded RML2330 and we set off back towards Horsham, winding our way out of Crawley onto the main dual carriageaway. We met SNB340 again, which was hurrying eastwards towards Crawley.

RML2330 at Carfax SNB340 on 438

Wending our way into Horsham by Roffey Corner we met RT3148 heading home.

We made our way round past the centre of Horham, and back up through the Bus Station to a very congested Carfax, where we squeezed into a parking space.

RML2330 at Carfax GS62 at Carfax

I alighted and went to have a quick look round before the journey home. Red RF429 was trying to squeeze into a bus stop, having passed GS62, to await a late departure for East Grinstead, while sister RF486 was in a half-hour pause between arriving on the 852 from Ewhurst and continuing to Crawley.

RF429 at Carfax RF486 on 852 at Carfax

Green RF633 was also waiting for a late 473 run eastwards, while RMC1500 would work to Redhill and then head east for Sevenoaks.

RMC1500 at Carfax RF633 at Carfax

XF3 arrived on the 438 from Copthorne and Crawley. One of Compass Travel's Darts, VX05UHS, squeezed through the crowd on a service 17.

XF3 at Carfax Compass Dart VX05UHS at Carfax

I said my farewells and returned to RML2330 for the drive north to West Croydon.

GS2 at Carfax RML2330 at Carfax

405: Horsham to West Croydon

We had an uneventful return to West Croydon. Approaching the Crawley by-pass the crew checked that no-one wanted Crawley, and we used the by-pass to Gatwick, and headed on north through Redhill and Purley, eventually pulling round to the Bus Station where the journey terminated. The crew were going to take a break before heading through London.

RML2330 at West Croydon RML2330 at West Croydon

All photos by Ian Smith. Click on most of them for a larger picture.

Many thanks to the Country Bus Rallies teanm for organising the event, and to all the owners, drivers and crews who made it a day to remember.


RT604, RT3148
RF429*, RF486*, RF633
GS2, GS34, GS62, GS76
RMC1476, RMC1500, RML2330

Back to Ian's Bus-stop Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4