East Grinstead Running Day
Sunday April 21st 2002
Prepared by Ian Smith, 12th May 2002
Part 4: Return to East GrinsteadBack at East Grinstead green RT2083 took over the 409 turn, and RFs 633 and 679 passed through on 473 duties in each direction, to and from Crawley.
Adding further touches of red were RT1798 and LS24, the latter also working the 428.
After this flurry of activity I was conscious that I needed to replace a set of pictures taken earlier which hadn't come out (film not winding on). Fortunately this had been on the bus park, not a journey. So I wandered round to what was intended to be the working-bus park. It hadn't quite worked out that way, as overnight or early morning parkers on the main King Street park - the old bus station - had wrecked the plans to put the visiting buses there. There was gold Metroline's RML 2620 there, having gained an offside washing powder ad since Cobham, but still without fleetnames or fleetnumbers. Sibling RML2619, from Arriva at Brixton, was still in red, but with the rather nasty silver wheels. Next to it was something labelled Stagecoach Devon, an SLD numbered 201, in Stagecoach National livery, but I really didn't pay it much attention. The Surrey registration on the long National next to it did grab my attention as I thought it might be one of the London & Country acquisitions. Well, it seems it was Guildford & West Surrey 251, not ex-L & C, but from the same batch of Alder Valley Nationals that DID go to Guildford & West Surrey via London & Country.
Of much more interest was RLH48. The superb forty-nine year old had worked to East Grinstead in service from Hemel Hempstead, as a 708, carrying a full load out from London. It was going to work back too. Not surprisingly the dedicated crew were taking a rest between their four-hour stints! Although RLH48 was not an East Grinstead bus, others of the class did work from here on the 424. That did not need their low-height capability, but London Transport had acquired enough to allow for overhauls, so in the interim they did other duties.
Also looking excellent was GS62, after an overhaul and repaint. That bandage has disappeared from the bumper too! It is not surprising that Alan Charman won a third prize with it on the HCVC London-Brighton run a week or so later!
RT604 - the last London & Country RT in passenger service and still looking good in NBC green - was resting between 409 turns, while re-engined RT3491 in its GreenLine livery had been busy on 708 shorts. Round the corner was Southdown Queen Mary 277, part of the programme this year with the 92 alternative route to Forest Row.
Two more red Londoners were parked up. Q83 was here on limited duties today, this year in postwar red. RTW185 was visiting.
More red single-deckers, of later generations, were RF489 and LS98, resting between turns. Meanwhile, over the road, RF168 was keeping company with a pair of visiting Southdown vehicles, including impressive Volvo Ailsa 5385.
Meanwhile there was a flurry of GS activity, and I went to see if I could join in.
All photos by Ian Smith. Click on most of them for a larger picture.