East Grinstead Running Day
Sunday April 21st 2002
Prepared by Ian Smith, 12th May 2002
Part 6: DeparturesBy now the afternoon was well on, and people were mostly being careful what they caught, to ensure that they were in the right place at the right time for their journeys home. Some local services were still going out, although the buses that had been resting at lunch-time were active now.
RF366 set off for Crawley on the 473, taking some bound for Three Bridges station, while RF626 was still busy on a local 434 turn to Edenbridge and back.
RT604, in its NBC green, was out and about on the 424, operating short runs out to Copthorne, while GreenLine-liveried RT3491 was taking a turn on the 409.
But the visitors' bus park was emptying.
There would be opportunities to snap views that had been obscured all day.
I saw RM8 starting to leave, but I was in the wrong place, and it beat me down to the traffic lights and away.
London Country National SNB 312, which had eluded me all day, came in off the 428 (which was taken over by LS24),
but then took off another load on the 473.
Back in King Street, RF269 and RT2083 departing for parts north, and Colin Curtis was extricating RF19, which had been squeezed in behind the bus stops and surrounded by crowds all day. T504 inched out too, ready for the drive back to Cobham.
These departures meant that I could see RMC1476 for the first time that day, in its London Country NBC green livery. Also in plain view at last was Southdown coach 141 - a Leyland Tiger?
By now the marshalls were trying to ensure that there were no crowds stuck anywhere - especially at the Bluebell Railway. Departing service buses were being called clearly before departure - which did not prevent one or two desperate attempts to catch departed buses by quick exits to the High Street stop. I was to depart on RF679, which was sitting on the stand as a long-stop, ready to go where needed. But things were resolving quite well, and presently it was decided that we should be a 434 as far as Edenbridge, as several folk would appreciate that. That was on the blinds!
We left East Grinstead by the direct route, and so caught up with Bromley-bound RF486, which had started well before us but had gone round via the Station. At East Grinstead we deposited our last passengers, and made a circuit to bring us back down the main street, then out along the Penshurst road to Tunbridge Wells and the depths of Kent.
Many thanks to all the bus owners who brought their buses for the day, and to the crews who drove, conducted and cared for them. Thanks to the organisers, the "inspectors", the sales team, the folk of East Grinstead and to the supporters, who all combined to make it a fascinating day. Thanks.
Especial thanks to Colin Rivers for making me welcome as a guest on RF679 for the journeys to and from East Grinstead.
All photos by Ian Smith. Click on any of them for a larger picture.
All photos by Ian Smith. Click on most of them for a larger picture.