Red RF429 was waiting for us opposite. We climbed aboard and said hello. The bus was going into the garage (with permission), to emerge through the traditional corner exit, to come across to the stop to load. Should I stay aboard for my first foray into TB? - or stay outside to capture the moment of gestation? The latter won, so I watched the RF ease into the garage, then walked along to watch it emerge.
A Trident came out first. Heading to take up the 269 to Chislehurst (successor route to the 227 east of Bromley), 17975 would run "dead" into Bromley, unlike the old 227 which ran the garage journeys in service. Standing outside the garage was very new AD Enviro200 36013, off-duty from the 246, which Selkent recently won from Metrobus.
The RF had to wait a while to cross the busy main road. While it stood two buses came north past the garage in service: Metrobus Omnidekka 931 on the 261 to Lewisham via Grove Park, and Omnidekka 515 heading for Crystal Palace via the back roads of Beckenham on the 358.
Colin Rivers brought the RF across the traffic and we boarded at the stop for the ride across Bromley Common and into Bromley. With the north half of the High Street pedestrianised we by-passed the High Street altogether and went straight up the new(ish) by-pass. That runs along the line of the footpath that I used to get to Bromley South for train-spotting, many years ago. No Channel Packet, Iron Duke or even 4-EPBs today!
We turned east along Widmore Road, and headed out of Bromley. We trundled down into the dip of Widmore Green. Had 227s turned here, I asked. Apparently some did, to even out congested traffic flows, before the junction was remodelled. We climbed up the sharp little incline beyond, and rumbled on past Bickley, and rolled down the hill to Chislehurst Station. The foot went down once we reached the bottom, and we roared up the steep bank to the site of the old water tower that once used to block the road here. We were stopoped by the lights at Chislehurst War Memorial - and there was RF489, coming the other way from Sidcup on the 228!
We turned left, and followed the other RF across Chislehurst Common and down Chislehurst High Street. Traffic lights separated us, but when we turned right the other bus was waiting at the St,Patrick's Church stop. We went past, and RF489 followed us round the corner to the Gordon Arms, where we pulled up behind AD400 19131.
The 61 did not stay long, and soon roared off, allowing the two RFs to shuffle up on the stand. Both were to head west, a few minutes apart, with RF429 going all the way to Crystal Palace, while RF489 would run short to Penge - as two or three out of four did in RF days.
Part Two: 227: Chislehurst to Crystal Palace
Photos by Ian Smith. Click on any of them for a larger picture.
Back to Ian's Bus-stop Part Two: Chislehurst to Crystal Palace