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Transport in the 1950s
Click on the pictures below to view the larger images

1950s - early

The LT class of bus were distinctive six-wheelers affectionately known as ‘Scooters’. Working out of Croydon Garage in the very early 1950s, LT1090 is seen heading south in Manor Road, Wallington, on its way to Purley.

From the Sutton Local Studies Collection

Sometime between February 1950 to October 1952

Standing outside St. Elphege’s church in Stafford Road, Wallington, EGO 522 was one of only 24 vehicles of the LTC class bought specifically by London Transport for private hire work.
LTC18 entered service in December 1937 in the then current London Transport Green Line livery which was three shades of green, with bright green side panels, light green relief and dark (Lincoln) green skirt, roof and wings (but with London Transport lettering). The vehicle entered war service as an ambulance in this livery but with white markings on wings etc. After the war it was repainted into the newer Green Line Livery (although still with 'London Transport' lettering), which then was dark Lincoln Green all over except for light green window relief, and glazed roof panels were fitted - this is how we see it here. The photo shows the vehicle with a bonnet 'snout' (of three inches) which it acquired when the petrol engine was replaced by a diesel one (longer than the petrol one it replaced) in February 1950, after which time it was allocated to Merton Garage for Private Hire work until withdrawn from service in October 1952. The photo therefore dates from between February 1950 and October 1952. The church was ultimately to become a social club, hall and meeting rooms when the new church was erected alongside it in 1972.

From the Sutton Local Studies Collection (Thanks to Gordon Mackley for the detailed caption information)

1950s?

The signal depicted is the down distant for Belmont on the Sutton to Epsom Downs branch. The post had also held the down home for the (race day only) Intermediate signal box, which can just be seen in the distance on the right of the tracks in front of the bridge. The (potential) use of that arm ceased as from 13th September 1927. The strange appearance of the signal is an optical illusion, enhanced by lack of recent painting and of aspect glasses, and by the ladder being positioned in front of the post (a common feature of these ‘race day’ signals). The Intermediate signal box, little more than a hut, is just visible on the right near the bridge which carried the private road to (what was later) the Henderson Hospital. Ventnor Road bridge would be immediately behind the photographer.

Picture Copyright © The Mike Morant Collection

1952 - 1st July

Oliver Bulleid was better known for his development of some quite ground-breaking steam locomotives
for the Southern Railway: his role in the development of diesel traction is less generally well known. Seen passing through Wallington, Bulleid's prototype shunter 11001 was designed to haul freight trains at a then-faster speed of around 45mph. When in service it was generally based at Norwood, but, by 1959, had been withdrawn. Note the many cycle racks available on the platform, and Wallington signal box sitting up above the station canopy where it provided a view of the goods yard that existed behind the train at the time.

From the Sutton Local Studies Collection

Revised Between November 1952 and early April 1953

Trolleybus 64 turns out into Sutton High Street from its stand under the turning circle at Bushey Road, the western end of its journey to Crystal Palace. Route 654 operated out of Carshalton Depot, in Westmead Road. The silver-painted 'fluted' traction poles which held up the trolley wires were introduced at the insistence of Sutton Council when the route was extended from the old tram terminus at The Grapes in Sutton.

Picture Copyright © The Mike Morant Collection

Revised Between November 1952 and early April 1953

Trolleybus 493 turns out into Sutton High Street from its stand under the turning circle at Bushey Road, the western end of its journey to Crystal Palace. The 654 was eventually replaced with motor buses in 1959 and renumbered 154. With the exception of Ruskin Road and Park Lane / Boundary Road (which were left without buses when the route was diverted via Carshalton Beeches station in April 1977) and the deviation from Sandy Lane to Plough Lane via Roundshaw in 1981, the route through the Borough of Sutton remains today as it was in trolleybus days.

Picture Copyright © The Mike Morant Collection

1953

We are able to date this picture to between the 1st January and 5th May 1953, the date on which the D class was withdrawn from the 80A. As with D12 above, the picture was taken in Brighton Road, south of Sutton station, and this time shows a later example of the D class, D187. This later class was slightly too tall for Merton garage, and they were allocated to Sutton garage, so expanding the familiarity of the travelling public with Daimler buses on local roads.

Picture Copyright © The Mike Morant Collection

1953

D197, from the same batch of Sutton Daimlers as the vehicle in the picture above, is depicted stationary, in Oakhill Road, opposite Sutton Green. The building under construction can just be seen behind D207 in the picture below.

Picture Copyright © The Mike Morant Collection

1953

D207 is pictured at Sutton Green with the distinctive landmark of All Saints Benhilton in the background. The bus is on its way to Epsom, the long-time terminus of the 164.

Picture Copyright © The Mike Morant Collection

1953

For the last in the series of D class pictures we see D228 leaving Sutton station on a 164 to Epsom. The Ds lasted on the 164 until the 18th May 1954 - the following day they received brand new RT buses, a positive turn of luxury for the passengers, and a type that would see service on the 164 until 1976.

Picture Copyright © The Mike Morant Collection

1953

The single-decker AEC RF bus was to become, to the single deck London Transport fleet, as ubiquitous as the double deck RT bus. They became familiar to many in the London suburbs in the smart Lincoln green livery on the longer-distance Green Line routes. The 711, which is the likely service that RF57 is seen on here, started its journey at High Wycombe, and travelled through the centre of London, past Sutton station where this picture was taken, and onwards out to Reigate

Picture Copyright © The Mike Morant Collection

1953

Pictured in Brighton Road, just south of Sutton station, London Transport's D12 heads towards Belmont, a destination the route only reached on Sundays. The bus was allocated to Merton Garage, and would have travelled south from Acton Green in west London. The D class Duple-bodied Daimler buses were introduced by London Transport in the post-war austerity years, and were a class of vehicle associated very closely with routes in the Sutton area at the time.

Picture Copyright © The Mike Morant Collection

NEW 20th June 1954

31409 from Stewart's Lane shed, on a Margate excursion (Carshalton Athletic Football Club supports outing) on 20th June 1954 at Sutton station. Note the white hoops painted on the stanchions which allegedly helped people to avoid bumping into them during the wartime blackouts.

Picture Copyright © The Mike Morant Collection

1958 - 11th September

Trolleybus 75 stands alongside Mellows Park in Stafford Road on it way to Crystal Palace. Note the adverts for Outspan oranges on the front of the vehicle, and Walls Ice Cream on the side.
The 26 B1s required for the 654 were based at Carshalton Depot in Westmead Road, and were fitted with additional breaking (a Ministry of Transport requirement for the route) to avoid accidents on the very steep Anerley Hill on the run up to, and down from, Crystal Palace.

From the Sutton Local Studies Collection

1959

B1 class Trolleybus number 79 awaits its departure from Sutton Green to Crystal place in 1959 – early parking restrictions indicate the growth of motor car usage is beginning to make an impact on bus services.

From the Sutton Local Studies Collection

1959

Turning out under the turning circle from Bushey Road into Sutton High Street at the end of the route 654, B1 class trolleybus number 89 begins its long journey under wires to Crystal Palace in 1959.

From the Sutton Local Studies Collection

1959

B Class Trolleybus fleet number 86 preparing to turn left from Boundary Road into Stanley Park Road at Boundary Corner, Wallington in 1959. The mass of overhead wires indicate the presence of a little used trolleybus turning circle at this point.

From the Sutton Local Studies Collection

1959 - immediately prior to 3rd March

Trolleybus on route 654 standing at the bus stop in Stafford Road, Wallington, just west of Sandy Lane South on the way to Wallington and Sutton. DCY 483 was a D2 class trolleybus, a change from the more usual B1 class. This picture dates from the last few days of trolleybus working on the 654 through Sutton. Note the new bus stop that has re-placed the stop that would have been on the soon to be removed traction pole behind it.

Picture Courtesy of the Sutton Borough Archive

1959 - immediately prior to 3rd March

About to turn from Stanley Park Road into Boundary Road, this scene would shortly never be witnessed again as motor buses were introduced to replace the 'silence' of the electric trolleybuses.

From the Sutton Local Studies Collection

The Copyright © of all images remains with the owners stated unless otherwise suggested

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