RLH48 off 353 at Amersham


Sunday October 5th 2008

Prepared by Ian Smith, 19th October 2008.

397 Amersham to Cholesbury Common, back to Chesham

I travelled out to Amersham on the Metropolitan. I thought that I would try out my little digital camera, to see how it performed with buses, moving or otherwise, in poor light conditions. I had my film SLR with me, in the bag, but it didn't come out all day. As I emerged from Amerham Station I saw RLH48 emerging from the bus park. The obliging driver slowed down for me as they passed (on the 353 to Gerrards Cross) and I took a picture. Too fuzzy to print! I walked on round to the bus stance, and there found RF366 loading up for a trip to Cholesbury Common on the 397, followed by a trip round the 394 - one of my targets for the day. So I climbed aboard, and took a seat on the long nearside bench seat.

We made our way up into Chesham, where we spun round the roundabout to enter Chesham Broadway, for a brief stop.

RF366 on 397 at Amersham Station. RF66 on 397 at Chesham Broadway.

We went on, up through the village, and straight on up the country lane towards Cholesbury Common, climbing out of the suburbs and uphill through lovely Chiltern countryside. Damp today though, with a dull overcast muting the colours.

We reached the road junction on Cholesbury Common, where the road turns abruptly to head for Tring. Despite being apparently in the middle of nowhere, the route had a terminus here, presumably because it was possible to turn the bus (around the junction triangle) and stand without obstructing traffic. Several of us alighted to take photos, and the blinds were duly changed to show the return journey.

RF366 on 397 at Cholesbury Common. RF66 on 397 at Cholesbury Common.

However, we were only going back to Chesham Broadway before taking a turn round the 394, so the blinds for the circular 394 were put up before setting off.

We rolled back down the long hill into Chesham, and again turned in to the Broadway, where we made connection with GS17 on the 348 to Buckland Common.

RF366 at Cholesbury Common, 394 blinds. RF66 on 394 at Chesham Broadway.

GS17 on 348 at Chesham Broadway. GS17 on 348 at Chesham Broadway.

While we were there a Marshall bodied Dart, R708MEW, once of MTL London, then Metroline and now Carousel Buses, came through on service 4 to High Wycombe. (I presume this is the modern equivalent of the 362). RF308, one of the ex-Country buses converted and renumbered to Greenline, before returning to Amersham as Country buses, arrived on the 316 to Ley Hill.

R708MEW on 4 at Chesham Broadway. RF308 on 316 at Chesham Broadway.

394 Chesham to Great Missenden, on to Amersham

It was properly raining as we headed out of Chesham on the 394, climbing up from the town along one of the long Chiltern ridges. We passed Lynx D101NDW (ex Merthyr Tydfil, Grey Green, M&D, Arriva, White Rose and Nu-Venture) which was coming the other way round the circular route. The digital camera was too slow to capture its passing. I found another problem too: with Autofocus I couldn't focus beyond the raindrops on the front windscreen!

We climbed up to Chartridge, and on along to Swan Bottom, before turning down through The Lee.

Chiltern raindrops. near Chartridge.

We wriggled down the narrow lanes to Lee Common, Ballinger Common and South Heath - a string of attractive villages - and emerged onto the B485 to head into Great Missenden. We crossed over the A413 and turned in to the station, where a mis-parked car forced a reversal on the turning circle. We were followed by RF673, which was going round the route clockwise.

RF366 at Great Missenden Stn. RF673 at Great Missenden Stn.

We headed back for Amersham, continuing our anti-clockwise progression. We went along the old road through the village and on past the Hospital before turning out onto the main valley road. After another mile we turned off again, to serve Little Missenden.After that there was a short stretch of dual carriageway to reach the outskirts of Amersham Old Town. We met RLH32, in Ledgard blue/white livery, but again the small digital camera was too slow to catch it before it flashed past.

RF366 and RF673 at Great Missenden Stn. RLH32 passes, Amersham.

We passed the site of the old Amersham bus garage, and turned up the hill to reach Amersham Station. We made our way round the long turning loop, and pulled up alongside the bus-park..

Part Two: An hour at Amersham

Photos by Ian Smith. Click on any of them for a larger picture.

Back to Ian's Bus-stop Part Two: An hour at Amersham