RF679, RF406, SC390


Sunday 11th July 2010

Prepared by Ian Smith, 22nd July 2010.

Reaching out to the east

47: Gravesend to Cliffe and back, SC390

By rights I should have missed SC390 by five minutes, but the RML arrived a trifle early. The crew on SC390 were busy looking for the blind settings for the 47 to Cliffe. They had the numbers of course, on a three-track system, but there was no "Cliffe". I joined them and we set down to the stop to take on a full load for the journey out east.

There was much favourable comment as people boarded and saw the coach interior of the Reliance, complete with antimacassars. They originally had coach fronts too, but were rebuilt with bus fronts for a dual-purpose role.

SC390 on 47 Inside SC390

We turned east this time climbing up through Denton and along to Chalk, where we forked left onto the lane to Higham. It was a real contrast to be up on the open Downs, away from industrial Thamesside. Views were extensive, and around us the fields were turning golden with wheart and barley.

We turned the corner at Higham, to cross the railway, and paused at the station stop for photos.

SC390 at Higham SC390 at Higham

Now the lanes became even narrower, not much wider than the bus. But we reached the main road (B2000) between Strood and Cliffe without meeting any opposition, and turned left through Cliffe Woods to climb up towards Cliffe. There we located the bus stand next to the church, pub and carpark, and made the reverse turn to stand on the stop. There were toilets too, open on a Sunday!

SC390 at Cliffe SC390 at Cliffe

The crew chivied us back aboard: we were a trifle late leaving. We rolled down to Cliffe Woods, and located the correct narrow lane to head for Higham Station. As we crossed the railway (once the Thames-Medway Canal), a Networker pulled away towards the tunnel leading to Strood.

We turned right onto the road to Chalk, and enjoyed the broad views over the Thames as we rolled down towards Gravesend.

We were still late back, and SC390 promptly rolled round onto the stop to load up for another 16A trip to Harvel.

465025 at Higham SC390 at Gravesend

I went to find something to eat, and then found something else with a touch of luxury to ride in..

Part Five: Reaching out westwards

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

Ian's Bus-stop 1 2 3 4 5 6