Bromley Mini Running Day
Sunday 11th December 2016
Prepared by Ian Smith, 20th December 2016.
Part Four: Single-deckers
227: Bromley North to Penge (TD95)TD95 was right behind RM1397 at the Bromley North stop. Unfortunately one of our elderly passengers fell on the kerb after alighting from the TD, and an ambulance had to be called. We left her in the care of her husband and joined the bus.
From my seat halfway back on the nearside I had no chance of photographing any passing RFs. But I did see them passing, in a steady stream. And I had good converstions with people about the TD and the RFs.
We made our way round to the Town Hall stop, and filled up. Then it was away, through the Market Square and along High Street North to the Swan & Mitre. We carefully descended the twists of Swan Hill, down to Shortlands, then climbed the west side of the Ravensbourne Valley. Once over the top we rumbled down into Beckenham, forking right to Beckenham Church.
We turned down the short hill to Beckenham High Street, and worked our way west to the War Memorial. We continued along to Clock House and on into Penge, through to The Crooked Billet at the foot of Crystal Palace hill.
One of the stands there was occupied by Stagecoach EnviroDart 36529, resting between trips on the roundabout 354 route. A Mercedes-Benz Citaro (23102) passed on an eastbound 227.
Penge, Crooked Billet
I stayed at the Crooked Billet stop as TD95 set off back for Bromley.
Arriva's EnviroTrident T280 came up on the 197 to Peckham Rye.
Following that on the 176 to Tottenham Court Road was elderly Volvo/Alexander VLA122, also for Arriva. It was followed up to the Penge stop by RF486. It was the first time I had seen RF486 since its overhaul and repaint.
While I was watching RF486 arrive, RF368 had descended Crystal Palace Hill and swept past, heading for Bromley.
227: Penge to Bromley North (RF486)Arriva DAF/Wright DW110 rumbled past on a 194. I joined RF486 at the stand as it prepared to return to Bromley.
We headed east, through Penge, past Kent House and on to Clock House, all the way exchanging passengers and Christmas conviviality. People ENJOY travelling on these buses.
Approaching Beckenham War Memorial we were passed by RF429 heading for Penge, pursued by Citaro 23101 on the service bus to Crystal Palace. By now we had taken on a full load.
We caught up with RF368 along the High Street, and followed it up the hill towards Beckenham Church. It made the turn, but we were stopped by the lights, which allowed Ensignbus' RF319 to squeeeze round the corner past us.
We paused at Beckenham Church, then headed east, over the hill and down to Shortlands, where we ducked under the railway bridge and crossed the Ravensbourne. Then it was steeply up the twists of Swan Hill. At the top we came up to 36529, which was completing its own tortuous journey from Penge. It paused at the traffic lights by the Swan & Mitre, catching the last rays of the setting sun. Dusk fell quickly as we descended High Street North to the Market Square. Round the corner in Widmore Road we passed TD95 setting off for Crystal Palace in the fading light. We turned the corner onto Tweedy Road towards Bromley North Station. RM1397 passed on a southbound 94 as we approached.
227: Bromley North to Penge (RF486)
RF486 twirled round the Bromley North turning loop and set up the blinds for its final journey: to Crystal Palace. RF368 was also going to Crystal Palace, with a return journey, but it had already gone. So I stayed with RF486.
We headed west in the gloaming, through Bromley Market and down to Shortlands, up again and down into Beckenham. In Beckenham High Street RF319 passed by in the half-dark.
227: Penge to Bromley Town Hall (RF368)
I alighted from RF486 at the stop opposite the Crooked Billet, and watched it head away up the hill towards Crystal Palace. Thanks, and Happy Christmas!
I crossed the road to the southbound stop, just up the hill from the Penge stand. It was a while to wait until RF368 came trundling down the hill, with blinds set for Bromley Garage. It was full dark now, so I settled back in the comfortable glow of the bus's tungsten bulbs to watch the familiar route roll by, and have comfortable conversations with the happy passengers.
I alighted at Bromley Town Hall, thinking that if RM1397 was running late I might catch it to Grove Park. It seemed to have already gone.
227: Bromley Town Hall to Bromley Garage (RF429)But RF429 came along, heading for Bromley Garage. Not having caught up with Alan and Peter at all during the day I crossed the road and caught up with the bus..
We waited at the crossing. RF368 went across ahead of us on a garage run in service to Bromley Garage too. It turned off Kentish Way to go via the High Street and Bromley South. We trundled on down Kentish Way. We were held at the Mason's Hill Junction, and RF368 popped out ahead of us again for the run over Bromley Common to Bromley Garage, where we pulled in on the garage forecourt.
261: Bromley Garage to Bromley (10148)I said my farewells at the garage, and crossed the road, where I caught an EnviroTrident (10148) just setting out on its journey to Lewisham. I climbed aboard the front downstairs seat (an excellent feature of these buses), and we set off back towards Bromley, on the way passing RM1397 heading south on the last 94.
It had been an excellent day. Many thanks to the organisers, owners and crews who made it such a grand day for ordinary passengers and enthusiasts alike. Very many passengers were carried, and the "Routemasters" were a topic of conversation around the town - even if they were RFs!
TD95, RF319, RF368, RF401, RF429, RF486, RT1702, RM1397, RH2.
Photos by Ian Smith. Click on any of them for a larger picture.