GS1 at King Street

East Grinstead Running Day

Sunday April 21st 2002

Prepared by Ian Smith, 8th May 2002

Part 3: Dormans and Forest Row: a National and an RT

I had a choice of bus in King Street: a green RF or a red LS. Had I ever been on an LS before? I had missed them totally in their London years, although there had been plenty of Nationals on my local routes in the north-east - some still in red with bullseyes on the side and LS fleetnumbers! It was going to Dormansland, Plough, too, where I would be able to change. I hadn't been on the 428 route either. I jumped aboard LS98. No queue, no crowd. Lovely.

LS98 in King Street on 428 RF626 at King Street on 434

First stop was the station. Things were relaxed enough for me to hop off for a picture. Then on through Baldwins Hill to Lingfield. I chatted with a young man with a carefully planned itinerary for the whole day. A contrast to my "lets see whats next" approach today. But he was enjoying himself, and so was I.

When we arrived at The Plough at Dormansland the National pulled round the island. I was interested to see that it made it in one, whereas the RTs and RFs seemed to need a double bite to get round. (Perhaps it was easier without another bus already there). Just about everyone got off. Some went to the pub. I went to sit on the seat on the island to eat my sandwiches (Brie and grape!) and see what would arrive next.

LS98 at EG Stn on 428 LS98 interior LS98 at Dormans Plough on 428

It was Country RF672, also a 428, but with a rather larger load. It squeezed round the island to park behind the LS. Presently that eased away, back to East Grinstead, and RT2043 whizzed up on a 409. After a cautious turn round the island it pulled up behind RF672, which was now set up for a 434 turn.

RF672 at Dormansland RT2043 and RF672 at Dormansland

The two buses gave a brief opportunity to compare backsides: both had Bisto adverts and GB plates. Then RF672 was away, and the RT eased up on the stand.

RF672 leaves Dormansland: rear RT2043 at Dormansland

But soon it was time (1238) to be away again. Roger Stagg did the required graceful manoeuvre to enter the driver's cab, and I found a seat upstairs at the back. The RT shuddered back into life below me. This bus too was full for the run back to East Grinstead, via Lingfield and Felbridge.

RT2043 at Dormansland RT2043 interior

But travelling upstairs certainly gives you a different view - even at the back on a busy bus. RF421 slid past on a 434 to Edenbridge just as we were leaving Dormansland, and gave us a view of its roof. At East Grinstead the passenger load largely changed, and I moved to a front seat. I hadn't been out to Forest Row before and this was my opportunity. GS76 moved away on the 1310 494 to Lingfield. RT2043 followed the GS round the block, and made the long detour via the station before re-ascending London Road to the High Street. Coming the other way was RF421, back from Edenbridge already.

RF421 at Dormansland GS76 at EG RF421 at East Grinstead Crown

The turn in the old station yard at Forest Row gave us an opportunity to alight and inspect the RT from all angles. It certainly looked good in its early postwar livery with cream upper window surrounds. Momentarily as Roger turned the destination blind it showed West Croydon, before our short-run destination of East Grinstead went up.

RT2043 at Forest Row RT2043 at Forest Row RT2043 at Forest Row

Going back to East Grinstead Bill Cottrell drove, and I journeyed on the platform chatting to Roger Stagg as he did the conductor's turn. In the High Street we came up behind XF3. I hoped to catch her at the station, but the lights were against us and Alan Charman on XF3 was too quick away from the station. I stayed on RT2043 back up to the King Street bus station.

Part 4: Back at East Grinstead

All photos by Ian Smith. Click on most of them for a larger picture.

Back to Ian's Bus-stop Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Part 6.