I bought a train ticket - Travelcard plus extension to Gravesend. But the 0851 train was cancelled. I settled down to wait forty minutes for the 0921. The sun disappeared. Clouds rolled over. Spots of rain tumbled down. Things were not so good. But the train did arrive. Much to my surprise it was only a two-car train. It joined on the back of a longer train at Dartford, and let me off at Gravesend at 0955.
I walked east towards Ordnance Park, remembering to buy spare batteries for my camera on the way.
In the large carpark there were as yet very few buses: but prominent was post-war STL2692.
But buses soon started to arrive: RMC1500 bustled in, followed by RF489.
Then the contingent from The London Bus Company arrived, led by RMC4, which already sported blinds ready for the following Saturday's GreenLine Day in London. It was followed by open-topper RT3435, and Green Line RT3228.
RF406 rolled up, looking good in the sunshine that was breaking out. I was called away to watch the mayor opening the event with a red tape and scissors in front of RF489.
RF489 was due out on the 489A to Meopham (Hook Green). The mayor met the crew, and graciously declined a trip. Then I was called away to sell programs before the buses started to carry away the crowd.
The single-deckers were lining up at the north end of the tarmac: RF406 had joined a line of GS15 and RF679. The crowd wanted to know when the little bus was going out, and when the open-topper was going too.
RF28 arrived for the 725 short-workings, and GS62 roared in.
Double-deckers started to come out to play, and the crowds started to shift...
RMC1500 headed for Dartford with a full load, and then RT3435 came out. Everyone wanted to be on top, of course! I took a seat inside, behind the bonnet, where the lack of a proper roof didn't matter!
Part Two: Open-top to Rosherville
Photos by Ian Smith. Click on any of them for a larger picture.
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