East Grinstead Running Day
Sunday April 21st 2002
Prepared by Ian Smith, 4th May 2002
Part 2: Medley at East GrinsteadI walked down into King Street, the main bus station for the day. The log-jam in the bus-park was resolving, and a stream of green buses was arriving at the stops for the 11 o'clock or thereabouts departures. GS1 had already been busy, coming in from Holland via Oxted. RF679 had run round the block again and was preparing to depart for Crawley. The traffic jams had meant that there had not been enough time to find the ladders to change the blinds for the 473 set.
XF3, resplendent in London Transport Lincoln green and cream, was loading well for a journey on the 409, while RF633 was packing them in for the 1055 westwards journey to Turners Hill over the 434 route. This marked part of a slightly different emphasis this year, with more buses on the westward routes towards Crawley, and markedly fewer buses between Westerham, Edenbridge, Chart and Oxted.
Another theme this year was an increased Southdown participation. East Grinstead was once a border town, with London Transport running in from north-east, north-west and north, Southdown from the southern aspects, and Maidstone & District from the east. Long National RUF37R was a reminder of National Bus Company days, and was wearing route 170 blinds for the 1100 trip to Sheffield Park to connect with the Bluebell Railway.
Parked round the corner was RP90, ready for an active day moving crowds to and from the Bluebell Railway at Kingscote.
Then open-doorway red RF366 came onto the stand to take up duties on an eastbound 434 to Edenbridge, positively glowing in the sunshine. Also glowing red was RF269, but that was just the reflection of a pair of red Leyland Nationals and a red RT in the bus park, reflecting from the deep shine on the GreenLine coach.
Also representing GreenLine was modernised RF168, and Cobham's T504.
Also in the old bus station were a pair of green roofbox RTs: RT1702 Group's RT227 wearing a set of 403 Express blinds, and Cobham's RT593 dressed for the 409. First production Routemaster RM8 was also there, proudly wearing its new paint.
After a good look round I felt it was time for a ride. The original queues had subsided, except for GS rides. What was next.....?
All photos by Ian Smith. Click on most of them for a larger picture.