Bromley Classic Bus Mini Running Day
Sunday 8th December 2013
Prepared on Wordpad by Ian Smith, 13th December 2013
Afternoon tea-time: RM on the 94
94: Bromley North to Petts Wood (RM1397)I walked the short distance from the Town Hall to Bromley North Station to catch the southbound Routemaster.
At the station stop I found Stagecoach Trident 17974 on the 269 to Bexleyheath, still looking good at ten years old. The next bus onto the stand was sixty-four years old and still going strong: TD95 had arrived from Penge, and was about to head back there.
The blinds were changed on the TD ready for its next rounder. Just then the Routemaster, RM1397, bustled up behind, and I scurried back to climb aboard for a trip south on the 94.
I settled in behind the driver, John Huxford, to enjoy the ride down therough Bromley. We headed south on Kentish Way, and passed through the gap onto the southern section of High Street. We made stops to pick up on the High Street and at Bromley South Station, then dipped down into the Ravensbourne Valley then back up out of it, up Mason's Hill. We headed south across Bromley Common, amazingly at a steady 30mph! Just beyond the Crown we turned left for Southborough and Petts Wood. We passed the old 94 terminus at the Crooked Billet, then continued along into Petts Wood. We turned in the station west approach, and stood at the 208 special journeys stop. The light was fading, with the setting sun casting a ruddy glow.
94: Petts Wood to Grove Park (RM1397)We were soon away again, chatting companionably on the transverse seats at the rear. Outside it was growing dark as we headed back into Bromley. We climbed the High Street, where the shoppers were thinning out, but picked up a few in Widmore Road and West Street to take north towards Grove Park.
94: Grove Park to Burnt Ash Lane (RM1397)At Grove Park we turned in the bus station, and stood in the middle of the stance for a few minutes. It was the last journey of the day for the RM and crew, back to Petts Wood. I didn't go all the way, just a half mile or so to the Burnt Ash Lane/Southover stop, where I alighted. I took a last picture of the big red blazing dragon, wished them all Happy Christmas, and watched the bus drive away.
Many thanks to Colin Rivers, Peter Aves, Alan Charman and John Huxford from Country Bus Rallies for putting this together, as well as to The London Bus Museum at Brooklands for sending TD95 with Kevin Hibbs as navigator plus a driver and Peter Larkham as conductor, to Ashley for RM1397. Also for RF368, which I passed several times without getting a good shot, and preserved Metrobus Olympian 811 which was operating elsewhere in the borough, which I never saw at all.
HAPPY CRISTMAS to you too!
All photos by Ian Smith. Click on any of them for a larger picture.