T792 at Horley, bound for Reigate

Horley Route Recreation Day

Sunday 1st September 2013

Prepared by Ian Smith, 18th September 2013.

Afternoon RF

424: Horley to Outwood: RF633

I waited at the bus stop at the station for RF633 to arrive back from its trip to Horne. First along was Metrobus Scania 568 in Fastline livery, on route 20. Then the RF chuckled up, and I boarded for the short trip round the block to the southbound stop at Sainsburys.

Metrobus 568 on 20 at Horley Station RF633 at Horley Station on 424

T792 pulled up behind the RF, ready for its turn to Horne. The buses attracted appreciable local interest. Several people remembered travelling on the 424 spurs on these buses.

T792 at Horley RF633 at Horley on 424

Departure time came, and we loaded up. I stayed with RF633 for the Outwood trip. We followed the same route out of Horley to Smallfield. The underfloor engine in the RF, although just a horizontal version of the RT engine, does sound completely different - mellowed, somehow.

We turned left in Smallfield to head into the lanes to Outwood, where we paused at The Castle for photos.

RF633 at Outwood on 424 RF633 at Outwood on 424

We continued the short way to Outwood Mill, where we turned, to stand at the old stop - marked by a wooden bench-seat. Apart from the Mill, other village paraphernalia included a village sign, a Jubilee brazier and a flag-pole - all visible somewhere in the pictures. The pubs were just out of sight in both directions.

RF633 at Outwood Mill on 424 RF633 at Outwood Mill on 424

424: Outwood to Horley: RF633

Peter had put up the blinds used for the school journeys to Reigate, for the benefit of photographers. Now they were exchanged for the Outwood & Horley blinds before the actual return trip.

RF633 at Outwood Mill on 424 RF633 at Outwood Mill on 424

The RF choggled back down the wooded lane, and right along through Outwood, and down Rookery Lane to Smallfield. We made the right turn and headed west to Horley, where after the usual evolution south we turned up Victoria Road to cross the railway at the Station. We made our way round the loop to end up at the southbound stop once more.

426: Horley to Crawley: RF633

It was time for departures. The T was returning to Reigate, and wore appropriate blinds, as used by the branch buses when they made the morning school run and the lunchtime through journey.

The RF was going back to Crawley. The 424 buses had run back empty to Crawley. We were going to reach Crawley by another Crawley-Horley bus route: the 426 via Charlwood and Ifield.

T792 at Horley on 424 to Reigate RF633 at Horley on 426 to Crawley

The bus was actually pointing the wrong way, so after loading up we crossed the railway and went round a loop via Station Approach and Balcombe Road to come back to the Station via Victoria Road. (The loop was complicated by there being no right turn from Station Road into Balcombe Road, requiring a further essay onto Smallfield Road and a turn in the road!) We paused at the Station on the bridge.

RF633 at Horley Stn RF633 at Horley Stn

Setting off on the 426, we turned into Massetts Road and pottered along past elderly small hotels servicing Gatwick Airport. We briefly joined the A23, but left it north of the Airport to continue along Povey Cross Road, with the young river Mole hidden on our left side behind belts of trees. We passed one of Southdown PSV's Dart SLFs, that flashed past us towards Horley. Charlwood Road inevytably became Horley Road as we approached Charlwood. We turned the corner and pulled up at the bus stop, beside a substantial bus shelter. A traditional English Rain-making Ceremony was taking place behind the hedge.

RF633 at Charlwood RF633 at Charlwood

We headed south along Ifield Road - later Charlwood Road - bypassing Gatwick Airport on it west side. Planes took off overhead. We reached Ifield Wood, where we joined the 852 route from Horsham and Ewhurst and turned the corner to head east into Crawley. We navigated a roundabout across the A23, and worked our way round towards the High Street. No way in there today, so it was round the inner by-pass to reach the other end of the High Street and then the bus station, where technically we finished.

For our convenience, and because Peter was heading east anyway on his return journey with RF633 into deepest Kent, he took us on to Three Bridges Station, where we alighted.

RF633 at Crawley Bus Station RF633 at Three Bridges

Many thanks to the CBR team for organising the event, and to the owners, drivers and conductors of the vehicles, for a fascinating day reaching back into the 1950s.


Ian's Bus-stop part 1: T part 2: XF part 3: RF