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london transport museum friends news
london transport
Š
museum friends
news
ISSUE No. 103 - OCTOBER 2010
Green Line 80 Run
Saturday 17th July 2010 saw the 80th anniversary of the first Green Line coach route. To
mark the occasion, a commemorative run took place between London and Guildford,
using an impressive range of heritage, and more modern, Green Line vehicles. The run was
organised by the London Bus Preservation Trust. The Museum was represented in the run
by AEC Regal T219, dating from 1931. Laurie Akehurst, who acted as conductor, sends this
report.
The Central London assembly point was in White Lion Hill,
a slip road from Queen Victoria Street to the Blackfriars
underpass. Sadly, there was no footpath and the sun was in
the wrong position for a decent picture. We got the right
away at 10.10. A large number of people were waiting at
Embankment Station, where Cobham marshals were present.
The traffic lights at the junction of Victoria Street and Palace
Street were slow, allowing about four vehicles over per phase!
Thus a convoy of coaches built up. Congestion and a
contingent of horse guards at Hyde Park Corner ensured that
the convoy was soon split up. Esher proved a popular location
for photographers, but Ripley produced none! (Your Editor
took the accompanying shot at Cobham.) A rock concert and
manually signalled four-way single line working in Guildford
caused a slightly delayed arrival at GF garage at 12.45, where
T219 lined up with other Green Line vehicles.
All in all a splendid day. Bob Bird had encountered many
problems and it was to his great credit that the “old girl”
behaved herself throughout. Jack Warner was the driver.
Editorial
There is something of a Portuguese flavour
to this issue. Co-incidentally, we have
complementary articles by David Wadley
and Michael Baker on aspects of Lisbon
transport, from the viewpoints of transport
history (both in museum and on street) and
of philately. The articles are typical of the
broad range of contributions which Friends
are offering for publication. My sincere
thanks to those who are “putting pen to
paper”(perhaps an inappropriate phrase in
the electronic age). Please keep them
coming.
On our own Museum front, there have been
both positive and frustrating issues with
heritage operations. As you will have seen
from the front-page story, the Green Line
Regal made a triumphant return to the
streets on the occasion of the Green Line
80th anniversary run. Bob Bird worked like
the proverbial Trojan (or should it be Regal?)
behind the scenes to make this impressive and appropriate- appearance possible. And
LT 165 has made a welcome return to
Covent Garden, to co-incide with the Blitz
exhibition.
News of the heritage train fleet is less
happy. Both the 1938 tube stock and Sarah
Siddons suffered last-minute problems
(with displaced conductor shoes and a
broken spring respectively), which meant
that the planned operation of both trains for
the Amersham Heritage Day in September
had to be cancelled (though RM1 put in the
promised appearance on the associated
heritage bus service). Hopefully, these will
be but temporary set-backs. The first stage
of restoration of the Q-stock is proceeding
slowly at Acton Works, due to pressures of
other jobs to keep today’s Underground
fleet operational. But Friends were able to
sample another piece of Underground
history by riding on the T-stock car at the
Spa Valley Railway during their visit in early
September. Sam Mullins mentions (below)
developments both at Epping – Ongar
and at Loughton. So, overall there are
encouraging prospects for Underground
heritage operations, as we look towards
some exciting plans for the 150th
anniversary in 2013. Watch this space!
Barry Le Jeune
14 Jireh Court,
Perrymount Road,
HAYWARDS HEATH,
West Sussex
RH16 3BH
Tel: 01444 450822
E-mail: [email protected]
From The Director’s Chair
As I write this in early September, the
children are about to go back to school and
the weather has improved. This is tough on
the many tourists from Europe and the Brits
who have holidayed at home this summer,
as August’s weather was mixed, even in the
sunny south-east; but it seems to have been
good for business at Covent Garden. Our
visitor numbers have regularly topped 9000
a week and were 18% ahead of target for the
holiday period. For the year to date, our
admissions income is 8% up on target, while
retail is 18% ahead. London has been very
busy and, like many museums, we have
benefited from mixed weather and the ‘stay
at home’ effect.
We are, of course, staring into the abyss of
public expenditure cuts to be announced in
October. TfL has made a good case to
Government on the key importance of the
London economy as the driver of UK
economic recovery and of the key role of
transport in the capital’s performance, while
Crossrail is seen as a keystone project for
the capital’s long-term transport capacity.
We will know in October how successful
TfL has been in making its case. Whatever
the outcome, there will be some reduction
in Government support to TfL, and this will
feed through into the Museum’s grant. Our
strategy is to increase our income, from
admissions, retail and online trading,
corporate support and sponsorship, as well
as to reduce costs through efficiencies and
savings.
the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, while
visiting to explore a locomotive loan and
some joint programming for the anniversary
year. My vision is for this last working loco
built at Neasden to pull the Bluebell’s
wonderful rake of Met. coaches from
Paddington to Farringdon and back in
January 2013 to mark the 150th anniversary
of the opening of first section of the world’s
first underground railway.
This summer also saw my first trip down
the Epping - Ongar line with Roger Wright.
This will be our closest heritage railway and
it was very heartening to see such progress
being made on buildings and platforms,
ready for relaunch next year. There is still a
lot of work on track and undergrowth to go,
but reopening is now a very real and exciting
prospect. I also took a look inside the
Loughton signal cabin, an out-station of the
Museum since decommissioning as the last
manual box on the system. We would like
to canvass for a local group of volunteers
to work with us on looking after the cabin,
making it ship-shape and occasionally
opening to the Friends and public. Do let
us know if you are interested.
Finally, we launch or new exhibition
commemorating the outstanding
contribution of London’s transport staff to
keeping the capital moving during the Blitz.
The first major raid was on 7th September
1940 and strikes continued almost nightly
until May the following year. Our exhibition
is in partnership with transport museums in
Coventry and Dresden and also sees the
return of the wartime LT bus to the gallery
in place of the DMS.
Not A Friend?
Plans for celebrating London Underground’s
150th anniversary in 2013 proceed apace,
with a major book deal in the pipeline, as
well as a series of heritage events, a major
exhibition and a model or two. More on this
in a future issue.
I enjoyed a footplate ride on Met. No1 at
Page 2
As ever, thanks for the Friends’ support.
Sam Mullins
Meetings and
Events
Saturday/Sunday 16th/17th October
Family Open Weekend at Acton Depot.
First entry 11.00. Last entry 16.00.
Monday 25th October
Friends’ Meeting
18.15 hours in Cubic Lecture Theatre
at London Transport Museum.
Presentations by David Bownes and
Jane Findlay on New Museum
Acquisitions and the Background to the
“Underground Uncovered” Exhibition.
Monday 29th November
Friends’ Meeting
18.15 hours in Cubic Theatre at London
Transport Museum.
From Dream to Steam : The Tornado Story
Mark Allatt, Chairman,
A1 Steam Locomotive Trust.
Ongoing Museum Exhibitions
Underground Uncovered
Remembering The Blitz
For further details of these exhibitions,
please see July 2010 Friends’ News.
For details of other Museum events,
including The Juliet Gardner Talks
series in conjuction with the “Under
Attack” exhibition, please visit the Museum
website or phone the information desk on
020 7565 7298.
Please bring your Friends’ membership
card to events at the Museum, as this
assists in the security arrangements for
gaining access to the Cubic Theatre.
Q-Stock Update
The four Q-stock cars have been in Acton
Works since last autumn, where work on
restoration continues, albeit slowly.
Asbestos has been removed from car 4417
and arrangements have been made for the
three outstanding cars to be treated. Full
non-destructive testing of the wheel sets
is being scheduled.
In order to minimise costs, this work is
undertaken on a “fill in” basis within Acton
Works, which explains the slow progress.
Operational London Underground work
obviously takes priority.
Paul Hopper - Project Manager
Graham Page
The family of the late Graham Page asked
that any donations in his memory be
shared between the London Transport
Museum Friends and Chiltern and South
Bucks Dial-a-Ride.
A sum closely approaching £1000 has
already been received by the Friends in
Graham’s memory, and will be put towards
renovation of the Museum’s historic bus
fleet, in accordance with Graham’s wishes.
The fund is still open for additional
donations, which should be sent, please,
to Guy Marriott, the Friends’ Office
Manager, at the address shown on page 5.
Stories Of The World
Steve Gardham describes new approaches
to youth volunteering at the Museum:
Between May and July 2010, ten young people contributed over five
hundred hours of volunteering time to the Museum, planning and
delivering museum workshops at the FUSE festival (a brand new
youth arts event organized by the Royal Parks, as part of the Cultural
Olympiad Open Weekend 2010).
This volunteering project was run by London Transport Museum as
part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad programme: Stories of
the World (SOTW). There are 23 museums taking part in Stories of the
World in London alone, along with other museums around the UK.
Stories of the World is changing how museums work with young
people. London Transport Museum wants to give young people - as
much as more established audience groups - a voice in how the
museum works, and how it can be made better for everyone.
Teenagers and young adults are currently under-represented at the
museum amongst our visitors. However, through Stories of the
World, and a range of other learning programmes designed to
increase skills and cultural engagement for young people, we are
working hard to make this a museum for Londoners of all ages.
Creating new volunteering opportunities is an important part of this
change. The idea of individual young people volunteering at London
Transport Museum is not new, but for SOTW we wanted to try
something different: to attract young people who did not (yet!)
especially want a career in museums, but who did want the chance to
develop their general professional skills and do something a bit
different with their spare time.
The Museum was already involved in the FUSE festival, and we
decided to give our new volunteers this project to see through from
start to finish. The volunteers had the brief to design and deliver fast
and fun activities for our workshop tent at FUSE. The activities also
needed to capture festivalgoers’ memories of the tube map, as part
of reinterpreting this design icon for our 2012 exhibition about
London journeys.
From their first induction week and on Saturdays throughout June
and July, the volunteers worked with education specialists Evie and
Sarita, as well as SOTW Young Consultant Elvis, to get ready for FUSE
on 25th July. Through their workshop activities – and their general
From left: Elvis (Young Consultant), Tom, Shabana, Jakir, Moh,
Debraj, Anael, Nohman.
warmth and charm! - the volunteers encouraged over 160 people to
contribute their tube map memories to the Museum. These personal
stories will help the Museum display the map, and what it means to
people, in 2012 and beyond.
To understand what taking part has meant to the volunteers
themselves, here are some of their own words:
“Through this whole volunteering project, I have developed
confidence in a group by talking to new people...”
Debraj Choudhury
“By giving up our time, we helped young people and those of all ages,
as well as the Museum.”
Mohammed Haq
“I have encouraged young people and people of all age ranges to
come to the Museum and think [of it] as a better place that they
would want to come to, other than doing things like graffiti,
computer games, because it’s nice to learn and discover new things
that you haven’t seen.”
Jakir Hussain
To find out more about Stories of the World at London Transport
Museum, please contact Steve Gardam, SOTW Project Manager. To
see the volunteering project in pictures, visit London Transport
Museum on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ltmuseum.
AMR Report
Adrian Allum sends a further update on progress on the Acton Miniature Railway:
One of the locomotives that was in service on the railway when it
officially opened in February 2005 was the model of “Michael
Faraday,” a Met-Vick loco of the same design as the very well
known “Sarah Siddons”. Whilst the AMR’s own model of “Sarah
Siddons” is out of service, we have used “Michael Faraday” to
promote an interest in the AMR and, of course, the London
Transport Museum. In July, the loco visited the Great Cockcrow
Railway (for their Friends and Family Day) and the Spinney Light
Railway. As before (when we took “Sarah Siddons” to these
railways), the loco was very popular and in much demand, though
actual passenger loadings at both railways were quite light. This
model has imitation pick-up shoes (which “Sarah Siddons” doesn’t
have) and these had to be removed at the Spinney, because the
level crossing across the driveway to the house has rails below the
mean level of tarmac and the loco ‘grounded’. Fortunately, this was
where we were asked to unload the loco, and the problem was
identified before any damage could be done!
Another train from the 2005 opening is the 1938 tube stock, which
has also been raising awareness of the AMR and the Museum at
various events, with its portable track. Operating entirely
voluntarily, some funds have been raised this year, which have been
directed to the “Little Red Train’s” model of the G(23) single-car
unit. This model is undergoing a lot of heavy engineering, and we
hope to have it in service very soon. When the LRT’s owners (of
which I am one) bought the 1938 model, the “Ginny” as it is known,
was only partially built, but was included in the sale. It has been
deemed a longer-term project; but now that the 1938 model’s
centre-car is in service, it is time that the G(23) received some
attention!
On to the AMR itself: The Mess Room has been delivered to the
railway and, along with the Ticket Office, has received a little bit of
paint. This room will give the AMR Volunteers somewhere to keep
their personal equipment and clothing; have lunch without needing
to be too far from the railway; and provide a suitable home for an
Official Notice Board (as well as the relay rack for the station area’s
signalling). The track-circuit relays in the Signal Cabin have each
received a capacitor across the coil, to delay the relay’s operation,
thus overcoming the oscillating of the relays when stock with dirty
wheels enters or leaves a section!
As this newsletter’s copy-date arrived in late August, the AMR
volunteers had a “Fun Day.” This was an opportunity to operate
the railway, but without the pressure of the public demand for
trains. We had two trains in service: the 1938 Tube Stock and
“Michael Faraday” along with the AMR’s coaches. Six volunteers
made the most of this; and we were also able to reposition the
automatic signal onto a bracket (attached to the new Mess Room)
so that it does not need to free-stand on the road any more!
Come and see (and ride on) the AMR at the Depot Open Weekend on
16th / 17th October. There is the promise of a visiting loco. Page 3
Galleries Of Modern
London
On 12th July 2010, Friends from the four
London Hub Museums met at the Museum
of London for a private viewing of the new
Galleries of Modern London.
Friends were greeted on arrival by drinks and other
refreshments, which were available throughout the evening.
Kate Starling, the Museum of London’s Director of Major
Projects briefly described the thinking behind the new galleries
project - the most significant development at the Museum
since it opened in 1976. The new displays cover the Expanding
City (1660s to 1850s), the People’s City (1850s to 1950s) and
World City (1950s to Today). These are complemented by
the existing Victorian Walk shop-fronts display and by the
impressive technology of a digital clock running round the
entrance area, along with feeds from live web sites and images
presenting the 24-hour life of London in 24 minutes.
Rob Payton, Head of Conservation and Collection Care,
described the Museum’s most spectacular exhibit – the Lord
Mayor’s State Coach. This is believed to be the oldest
ceremonial vehicle still in regular use anywhere in the world. It
leaves the Museum every November for the annual Lord
Mayor’s Show. Rob explained how the coach is manoeuvred
out of, and back into, the Museum, using skates that can turn
through 360 degrees, inspired by the design of shopping trolley
wheels. The process requires a 23-point turn. The riding of the
coach is notoriously “lively”, due to its suspension, and many
of its distinguished users have complained of feeling seasick..
It has only been fitted with brakes since 1951.
Rob described some of the research projects that have been
undertaken on the coach, especially those relating to the
paintwork. The coach was built in 1757 and has been regularly
repainted and regilded. Full-scale restorations were undertaken
in 1905 and 1952 (for the Coronation). The only original
paintwork is on the panels depicting the Muses of the City.
Careful investigation on other sections revealed 83 paint
layers, including layers of blue, which was the predominant
colour (rather than red) from 1772 to1777.
Page 4
After this presentation, Friends were free to walk round the
new galleries. There is not space here for a detailed description
of all that is on view. You really should visit and see for
yourself. The galleries contain a wealth of relatively small, but
evocative, artefacts that sum up the respective periods. What
caught your correspondent’s eye?
Some are illustrated alongside, including: a 1908 Unix taxi; a
model of an LT-type bus; a J. Lyons shop-front; and the
banner carried daily along Oxford Street by Stanley Green (the
“Protein Man”) until his death in 1993. Not illustrated, but also
eye-catching, is a highly-decorative lift from Selfridges store,
dating from 1928, and quirky items such as a Liverpool Street
station train-dispatcher’s bat and a Heathrow luggage trolley.
Everyone will have his or her
different favourites. What is
certain is that the new galleries
very successfully extend the
interest of the Museum in a
way which engages directly with
visitors’ personal recollections.
Barry Le Jeune
Copy Date: The closing copy date for the
January 2011 newsletter is Friday 26th November 2010.
Friends’ Outing To
Seaton
Richard Moules describes the day.
Friends gathered at Waterloo Station on 12th June and travelled on
the new hourly South West Trains’ service to Axminster with its
reinstated second platform. There they were joined by Nick Agnew,
who was holidaying in the area with his family. Waiting to transport us
in glorious Devonian sunshine was an open top Leyland Atlantean,
Registration No. MSJ 499, in “Devon General” cream and red livery,
named “Admiral Blake”. (How many buses have names I wonder?).
This is currently owned by Devonian Motor Services of Paignton, and
was expertly driven by Graham Bailey, through winding roads over the
short distance to Seaton and the narrow gauge tramway terminus.
Here our reserved car No.10 was awaiting our party. We were warmly
welcomed by our driver, Mike Kay, who gave us some history of the
line and the locality as we progressed towards Colyton. Car No.10 is
one of three identical cars added to the Seaton fleet in recent years,
being built at Bolton and fitted out in Seaton’s own workshops. Each
is painted in a different livery, No.10 being resplendent in Glasgow’s
green, orange, and cream. On arrival at Colyton terminus, we were
each presented with a “goody bag” of information about the line and
its history, and the various options for using our time were explained.
Some opted to return on the “Special Car” to the depot at Seaton
for a guided tour and
inspection of the cars in the
14-strong fleet that were not
in operation that day; these
included Car 14 which has
the much re-built body of
Metropolitan Electric
Tramways’ open top
double-deck No.94 (LT
No.2455), now running as a
single-deck. Also of London
interest is Car 2, which is a
half-sized version of what
No.14 (94) originally looked
like; and in service was Car
12 which resembles a
London Feltham with an
open top deck! Some of
the party opted to remain
at Colyton and partake of
lunch from the excellent
café; there they could sit in
the sunshine and watch the trams come and go, making use of the
automatic trolley reverser each time. We were then free to ride the
line as many times as we could before departing at 16:30. The last
return car was slightly delayed by the driver allowing a seemingly
somewhat apprehensive Nick Agnew to take over the handles for part
of the journey!
Our thanks to Richard Meads and Nick Agnew for organising another,
most enjoyable Friends’ outing.
New Contact Arrangements
Now that Guy Marriott has joined us as
the Friends’ Office Administration
Manager, we are able to make some
changes and improvements to contact
arrangements.
For all membership enquiries, including
renewals, changes of address, requests for
replacement membership cards etc.,
please continue to contact Pat Tilly and
his membership team:
By email to:
[email protected]
By phone to: 020 7565 7296 (on Tuesdays
and Thursdays, if possible, but voice mail
available at any time)
By post to: Membership Secretary,
Friends’ Office, London Transport
Museum, 39 Wellington Street, London,
WC2E 7BB.
For all other enquiries about Friends’
activities, please contact Guy Marriott: by
email to [email protected]
Guy is usually in the Friends’ office on
Mondays, so phone enquiries (other than
membership matters) are best made to
him then on 020 7565 7296.
Or you can write to Guy at Friends’
Office, London Transport Museum, 39
Wellington Street, London, WC2E 7BB.
The Friends’ office is staffed by
volunteers and is not open every day.
Please be patient if you do not receive an
immediate reply. Following the guidelines
above will make it easier for us to reply
promptly.
For further information on Friends’
membership, benefits and events, please
visit the website: www.ltmuseum.co.uk/
friends.
Guy Marriott alongside his 1936
Austin Low Loader landaulette
taxi, with a Strachan body, which
is on display at the Museum.
Page 5
Lisbon Tram Museum
Michael Baker describes some of the
transport delights of the Portuguese
capital, including its tram museum.
Not only is Lisbon a particularly beautiful city, but it has an
unusually fascinating variety of transport delights for the
enthusiast. These range from ships of all sorts and sizes; through
a complex railway system, with one station which looks like a
medieval palace; through art-deco ones to an ultra modern one
which, in its breathtaking beauty, reminds one of a soaring gothic
cathedral; a Fairey seaplane of 1924, the first to fly from South
America to Portugal; buses of all descriptions; and, best of all,
little yellow trams, which have become as much a symbol of the
city as the red double-deck bus is of London.
The contemporary station, the Oriente, was completed in 1998,
the design of Santiago Calatrava; it is a series of steel and glass
arching curves, reminiscent not only of a cathedral but also of
palms. It would be inappropriate in northern Europe, for much of
it is open to the elements, exactly right for a temperature in the
mid 20s, which it was during my visit in early April 2010; but one
can imagine it would be unbearable, should a blast direct from
the Arctic ever come hurtling across its platforms. But, although
the locals were complaining that they had suffered an unusually
cold winter, the Portuguese definition of cold is somewhat
different to ours.
The interiors of the Lisbon area trains I travelled on were clean
and comfortable; but externally they could have done with a
brush up, some tender loving care and, above all, a determined
effort to get rid of graffiti, which, whilst not on the horrendous
scale one finds in Italy, was fairly widespread.
The trams were completely graffiti free, apart from the three
unique, quirky, and quite captivating funiculars, which are
basically trams but are held captive on their steep tracks, two
to each route, passing half way up; they have a central rail for
braking, which reminds one of London’s conduit. As they are left
unattended when they cease work at night, it is inevitable the
graffiti daubers get to work on them, although on one route they
have been given reflective panelling as part of a commendable
art project; but even these have been got at.
The street trams operate five routes. Route 15 runs along
the coast to Alges, where the terminus is a loop almost
overwhelmed by flowering tropical plants, passing Belem, a
favourite tourist destination with its superb monastery, maritime
museum, including afore mentioned Fairey seaplane, parks and
much else. Route 15 is worked by modern, 1995 vintage,
Siemens three-section cars. There are ten of these. For the rest,
some 40 four-wheel, 20-seat little yellow trams wind their way
up and down precipitous city streets, around almost impossible
corners, with barely room for an underfed mosquito to squeeze
An AEC Mark V Regent in 1990 (Gavin Booth).
Toast rack tram No.283 of 1901 in the museum.
between the tram and the buildings. These trams, which basically
date from the 1930s, although the design really goes back almost
100 years to the opening of the system, have been skillfully
rebuilt to cope with 21st century conditions; but they retain their
vintage ambiance and are simply a must, to quote the tourist
brochures. Unless you get up early in the morning, you’ll be lucky
to occupy one of the seats, but fortunately they also have room
for 38 standing passengers, though they are frequently full to
capacity. One of the pleasantest aspects of Lisbon is that the
inhabitants mingle unselfconsciously with the tourists; if you are
lucky enough to get a seat, you may well feel obliged to offer it
to an elderly, black-clad lady with her shopping.
You are unlikely to meet such a body in the tram museum. This is
at Rua 1 de Maio on route 15, but also some three minutes walk
from where route 18 diverges and turns away from the coast.
This was my preferred option, not only because it meant a ride in
a vintage tram on a route not much patronized by tourists, but
also because I used to travel to and from school in Norbury, and
then Croydon, on another route 18. Visually, a Lisbon tram may
not much resemble an E1 or an E3, to say nothing of a Feltham,
but the rattle and clatter as they negotiate junctions makes the
sort of music which was, and is, universal.
The museum is within the depot of Santo Aviaro. Many transport
museums inhabit former depots or garages, but this is the only
one I know where the depot and garage are still functioning,
which makes it all that much more fun. It is situated right under
the enormously high bridge which carries road and rail traffic over
the River Tagus. Incidentally it is worth taking a trip across the
Tagus, by ferry, where a brand new tram system operates,
worked by twenty four Combino Supra cars, built in Vienna in
2007, which provide just about the smoothest tram ride I have
ever experienced.
My visit happened to be on a bright, sunny April morning – clearly
not exactly a peak period for I had the place to myself. After
buying my ticket , for 2 euros and 40 cents, the attendant opened
up the first section which is devoted to small relics, models,
uniforms, documents etc, the usual sort of thing, helpfully all
labelled in English as well as Portugese. That duly inspected, I
was escorted out into the yard and my guide, who had little
English, indicated that I wait there, with a view of the depot and
thus no hardship; off he trotted, climbed aboard an ornately
painted, clerestory car which he duly drove out and brought to a
halt beside where I was standing. I climbed aboard, admiring the
well-upholstered seats and the velvet curtains, and off we went
A model of an
AEC Regal in
the museum.
Page 6
One of
the mirror
covered
funiculars.
with myself in isolated splendour; going to school on a
time-expired E1 was never like this! We fetched up at the
back of the depot, which is where the second part of the
museum, housing the full-size trams and buses, is located.
What, you may ask, is the connection with London, if any? There
certainly is one. There was a time when Lisbon was one of the
few European cities which operated a fleet of double-deck buses,
all British built. On my only previous visit to Lisbon, over twenty
years ago, not only were there Daimler Fleetlines, but also AEC
Mark V Regents. Being left hand drive, they looked rather odd at
first, with the cab on the ‘wrong’ side, but they were a real
reminder of home. Both Daimlers and Regents are preserved
in Lisbon. The collection of trams is comprehensive and
beautifully maintained, going back to the earliest of 1901, an
open toast rack, much like those which worked in Blackpool. The
early cars were built by Brill, some imported from the UK, but
most direct from the USA; the fleet was added to right through
the first half of the 20th century. A number of the museum cars
come out from time to time. The tourist route is worked by
four-wheelers in an approximation of what I imagine is a livery of
long ago, basically red. There is a bogie version, which is parked
on a siding in the city center at P. Comercio by the waterfront,
similarly adorned and used as a booking office. The retro livery is
certainly splendid, but I have to say I prefer the bright yellow with
white window surrounds and varnished woodwork carried by the
ordinary trams, which bear the Carris fleetname. Carris is the
Lisbon equivalent of London Transport, founded some 150 years
ago. The Carris name is carried by the bus fleet, in which the
predominant colour is also yellow, which emphasizes that the
trams are, like the buses, basically there to serve the residents
of Lisbon, rather than a tourist add on.
The modern bus era did not begin in Lisbon until 1944, but
gradually the bus took over from the tram and, as the suburbs
grew and grew from the 1950s onwards, they were served
exclusively by diesel buses, along with surface and
underground trains. Indeed, one gets the impression that the
tram very nearly disappeared and it was only the realization that
not only was the maze of main, but extremely narrow, streets in
the hilliest parts of the old city quite unsuitable for full size
buses, but also that the remaining little four-wheel trams were
both a great tourist attraction and had become a city icon. Thus
today they adorn postcards, some rather dodgy looking T-shirts,
plates, fridge magnets, badges etc. and garish paintings of the
kind seemingly favoured by tourists and no doubt very popular.
The enthusiast might prefer to buy an excellent 1/76 scale
model, which is on sale at the tourist office and the museum.
Either way, the little yellow four- wheelers will surely last as long
as the city itself.
The
photographs,
by Michael Baker
unless otherwise
credited, show:
Trams in
rush hour
in Lisbon.
There is more on Lisbon on page 8.
Elsewhere in London
Darren Tossell describes some forthcoming
London cultural events which may be of
interest to Friends.
The Ministry of Food at Imperial War Museum.
Rationing, frugal cooking, the rise of allotments and creative
uses of new ingredients, including dried eggs and Spam, are
revisited in this tribute to the nation’s resourcefulness in the
face of the hardships of wartime food production and cooking.
Exhibits exploring the challenging business of getting sufficient
calories and nutrients during WWII, and in its aftermath, include
recreations of a typical 1940s’ greenhouse, kitchen and
grocer’s shop, as well as economy recipes, posters, radio
recordings and film footage of gardening and nutrition advice
from Lord Woolton’s Ministry of Food. The exhibition also
celebrates the ways in which housewives, lorry drivers and the
Merchant Navy played their part in keeping the country fed.
Open daily. Admission to the museum is free. The exhibition
costs: Adults: £4.95 Children: £2.50 and runs until 3rd January
2011. Nearest tube: Lambeth North
http://www.iwm.org.uk
_________________________________
The Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons’
Headquarters at Lincoln’s Inn Fields is a remarkable, but little
known, gem. From tiny insects to huge giants, there are more
than 3500 specimens on display from John Hunter’s original
collection, beautifully displayed in a recently refurbished space.
A new exhibition ‘The Dreadful and the Divine: A visual
exploration of the surgical instrument’ takes a look at the
tools which surgeons wield. They can invoke powerful
associations; they inspire fear and awe; carry connotations of
butchery as well as healing; and are synonymous with intricacy
and skill – in manufacture as well as in use. They are the means
to open the body and put it back together – instruments of a
power simultaneously dreadful and divine.
Using photography, Artist in Residence Elaine Duigenan has
explored the instruments’ contradictory status as the
therapeutic extension of the surgeon’s hands and as objects
designed to destroy living tissue. Drawing on the rich historical
collections of the Hunterian Museum, and bringing together
the expertise of surgeons, historians and instrument
manufacturers, her work reanimates the instrument as a thing
of beauty and dread. Runs from 23rd September until 23rd
December.
Open Tuesday to Saturday 10am until 5pm. Admission is free.
Nearest tube: Holborn.
http://www.rcseng.ac.uk/museums/exhibitions
_________________________________
A trip to Lincoln’s Inn Fields would not be complete without
a visit to the much-loved Sir John Soane’s Museum, directly
opposite the Hunterian Museum. Home to the renowned
architect, Soane designed this house to live in, but also as a
setting for his antiquities and his works of art. After the death
of his wife (in 1815), he lived here alone, constantly adding to,
and rearranging, his collections. Having been deeply
disappointed by the conduct of his two sons, one of whom
survived him, he determined to establish the house as a
museum to which ‘amateurs and students’ should have access.
Highlights include Hogarth’s ‘ A Rake’s Progress’, Sir Robert
Walpole’s desk and The Sarcophagus of Seti I c.1370BC, with
fragments of its lid Canopic vase from the tomb of Seti I.
Open Tuesday to Saturday 10am until 5pm. Admission free.
Nearest tube: Holborn.
http://www.soane.org
Page 7
A T-Type: Or Is It?
David Wadley describes some more
“interesting (AEC) vehicles” seen on a
holiday to Madeira in 2009.
Last year, on holiday in Madeira, I was lucky enough to have a batch
of ten brand-new AEC “Regals” come my way, all in absolutely mint
condition! What an incredible event – where on earth had they been
hiding?
Of course, it wasn’t really quite like that, for the vehicles were
portrayed on the stamps I bought for my holiday postcards. What a
find! I bought another stamp for myself, thought I doubt whether
the recipients of the postcards would have been as excited as I was.
The single-deckers shown on the stamps were stated to be for the
inauguration of the Carris company’s bus service in Lisbon in 1944.
The “Compania de Carris de Ferro de Lisboa” dates from 1872. The
next year they started horse tram services, with electric trams
following in 1901 - the same year as London. There are still electric
trams running in Lisbon. Some are very modern; others are rather
more ancient, running on “historic services” rather like the RMs
running along the Strand - though they, the RMs, most certainly do
not look ancient!
Carris also operate “ascensors,” “funiculars” and an “elevador”. The
first two are provided by special trams working on short, but
incredibly steep, routes, difficult to walk up. The third is what we
would call a lift, rising vertically some 150 feet up the side of a hill in
the city centre. A lift operated by a bus company – whatever next!
Coming back to the postage stamp, there is a bit of a mystery, as
Carris are said to have received six Regals from AEC in 1940. They
looked like the one on the stamp, so why was the bus service not
inaugurated until 1944? Perhaps the war had prevented them from
getting enough vehicles to do so, though an operator would hardly
leave new vehicles “up against the wall” for four years. (Though LT
did in the 1950s! Editor.) A further batch of new buses could not
have got there before late 1945 at the earliest. Over the years, Carris
received hundreds of vehicles from Southall, though these were
badged “ACLO”. This was because the German AEG concern had
objected to the use of the AEC logo outside the UK.
An Interloper At The
Depot
Richard Lakin explains the history of the
green Southern Railway coach amongst
the red and silver Underground stock –
and outlines the Southern Electric Group’s
programme of work to restore this car and
its fellows to a potentially operational
condition.
Visitors to the Museum Depot at Acton over the last few years
cannot have failed to notice the presence of an interloper, in the
form of a main line railway coach. After its arrival in 2004, this was
initially under a tarpaulin outside the main hall, but from the middle
of last year it has been uncovered inside the Depot.
What then is the reason for this coach being there, and what is its
history? Many readers will probably know that it is a motor coach
from a 4-car electric unit known as a ‘4 Cor’. ‘4’ indicates the
number of cars in the unit, and ‘Cor’ is because of the through
corridor; this was the usual manner in which the Southern Railway
identified its electric units. A ‘4 Cor’ unit consisted of a driving
motor car at each end and two trailers in between. These units were
built in 1937/38 to run from Waterloo to Portsmouth, when this
line was electrified. This coach (number 11187) is one of five
coaches being restored by the Southern Electric Group (SEG). They
collectively carry the unit number 3142, although in fact only two
of the coaches were originally part of this unit from new, and the
one at Acton never ran as part of 3142 at all on the main line!
Portugal was at one time one of the AEC’s best markets and
received literally thousands of vehicles. What is even more
interesting is the Portuguese vehicle builder “UTIC”. In the 1950s,
they started taking “Monocoach” underframes and bodied these
locally. They also took engines and running gear from AEC and built
these into UTIC chassis or integral vehicles. Some vehicles even had
rear engines. On a previous visit to Lisbon, there on the tarmac at
the airport stood a lone UTIC airside vehicle, perhaps one of the last
of them. Should they want to build some more, they will sadly have
to go to someone other than AEC to buy the running units.
All this is a little removed from Southall, but look again at the vehicle
on the stamp. Oddly, it has right hand drive. Ignore the offside door
and, at a very quick glance, it could almost be the T-type Green Line
coach in the collection at Acton. Apparently some of the Carris
Regals were running until well into the 1970s - the “short, thin and
seemingly indestructible AECs”, ideally suited for use in the steep
and winding streets of parts of Lisbon. Sadly, there are no longer
thousands of AECs in Portugal, but the “foreign” vehicles in use
there today seem to be really solidly built premium vehicles, rather
in the manner of those that once had proudly carried the ACLO
triangle on the front of a British-built body. What colour was the
badge – does anybody know? Was it also blue?
So, should you also wish to be the proud owner of a mint Regal, you
can purchase one from Stanley Gibbons in the Strand, who are
perhaps AEC’s last remaining dealer. Also in the set of stamps is a
1928 “taxi-Oldsmobile” and a 1926 driving motor car for the
electrification, in 1926, of the railway to Cascais. It looks a little like
an early Met Car, though it carries a pantograph. Quite how the Met
had thought that their proposed AC overhead system could be fitted
into the tunnels is lost in the mysteries of time, so it is perhaps as
well that Yerkes won the battle and standardised on the four-rail
system.
All this is a long way from buying
postcards in Funchal’s Market, but
never mind! Some of the material for
this little piece was gleaned from Alan
Townsin’s book “Blue Triangle” and a
little more from a recent “Gazette” of
The AEC Society.
Page 8
The 4 Cor motor coach in its current position
inside the hall at Acton.
Can You Help?
The Friends are looking to expand their visits and meetings
programmes, to include speakers and venues of more general
interest, such as London’s social and industrial history, as well
as transport topics (which we will still cover).
To help organise this expanded programme, we are looking for
a volunteer, who would be willing to research possible
destinations and speakers, make the arrangements, take the
visits bookings and, if convenient, supervise the visit on the
day.
Is this something you could do? If you are interested, please
contact Guy Marriott in the first instance. (For contact details,
please see page 5.)
When the ‘4 Cor’ stock was withdrawn from service in 1972, the SEG
bought unit 3142. After initially being kept at Ashford (Kent), 3142
was moved to the Nene Valley Railway near Peterborough, where it
was used on the opening train. However, 11187, the coach now at
Acton, was sold separately to an enthusiast, who kept it in his
garden! After a number of years, this coach joined the others at
Peterborough, where all five were steam-hauled in passenger service.
The Nene Valley Railway specialised in air-braked continental locos,
so the air-braked ‘Cor’ coaches were ideal as hauled stock.
Maintaining the coaches at the Nene Valley railway proved
problematic and deterioration set in, especially when they were no
longer required for regular use. All five were laid up inside Wansford
tunnel, where damp caused their condition to worsen further.
The SEG therefore decided to bring 3142 home to the Southern, first
to the former Pullman car works at Preston Park near Brighton, and
later to the old DEMU depot at St. Leonards near Hastings. When
he heard that 3142 had “come home”, the owner of 11187 was
disappointed that his coach had been left behind on the Nene Valley,
where plans were mooted to ground the body and turn it into a café.
However, with the owner’s agreement, in 1991 the SEG brought
11187 to St. Leonards to join the other vehicles.
Where do you start to renovate five elderly, wooden-framed coaches
clad in rusting steel panels? We started out with great optimism;
surely within a few years we could have the unit running on the main
line? We decided to start with the spare coach 11187, and we are still
working on this one coach to this day. Progress was interrupted in
2004, when we were asked to leave St. Leonards; the owners of the
depot had started to take on much more main line work, and there
simply was not enough room for the ‘4 Cor’. The Bluebell railway
offered to take one ’Cor’ vehicle as a static exhibit, and so motor
coach 11201 was given a cosmetic overhaul, with one of the saloons
converted to a display area with a small shop. It is open to visitors at
Platform 1 at Horsted Keynes station most weekends.
The other motor coach and the two intermediate trailers were sent to
Shepherds Well on the East Kent Railway, where they remain under
tarpaulins; at present, we cannot do a great deal with them. We
needed a place where we could continue to work on what has
become our flagship coach 11187, Shepherds Well being too remote
for most volunteers to reach. We were fortunate that the London
Transport Museum Depot at Acton came to our rescue. We were
happy to accept working outdoors, and bought some heavy tarpaulins
to keep 11187 thoroughly water-tight. This did have the disadvantage
that we had to partly remove the tarpaulins before starting work, but
we soon got used to this.
splitting the timber. New or repaired steel panels were then fitted. A
significant amount of work has also been carried out renovating
electrical gear, and the motor bogie (at the leading end) has also been
taken out, cleaned and repainted. Just before we left St. Leonards,
we rushed to fit a new canvas roof ready to face an outdoor life.
As an aside, it is interesting to compare the ‘Cor’ with the Underground 1938 stock, with which it is, of course, contemporary. The
1938 stock is very much more modern, with all steel construction
and air-operated sliding doors, whereas the ‘Cor’ was built using
almost Victorian techniques, with steel panels screwed onto a
wooden frame. This is because the Southern Railway kept costs down
by building the ‘Cor’ stock in their own workshops, using the same
tried and trusted methods as for steam-hauled coaches.
When 11187 arrived at Acton, the interior was still pretty much
derelict. We have concentrated on bringing this up to the same
standard as the exterior, although we have done a certain amount of
finishing off on the outside too. This work on the coach has enabled
it to be open to visitors for each of the Depot Open Weekends since
November 2008.
I stated earlier that our original aim was to restore 3142 to full
working order, so that it could run on the main line. It has slowly
become apparent to us that the work involved in restoring all the
coaches makes such a task beyond the resources of a small amateur
group such as ours. Even if we could, it is unlikely that 3142 would be
allowed on the main line under modern safety regulations. Less
ambitious, shorter-term targets have therefore been forced on us.
Nevertheless, we are very happy to show off our pride and joy to the
many people who visit Acton for the Open Weekends, although we
remain keen for 11187 to be used once more carrying passengers, if
possible.
We feel that once we have achieved the goal of getting a coach into
use we will have “arrived” as a preservation group. We hope to be
able to build on this success by restoring another motor coach,
possibly 11201, now on static display at Horsted Keynes. We would
then be working towards having a pair of motor coaches which could
one day run as a unit. All of this is speculative at present and a lot
depends on how events unfold in the EMU preservation field
generally. One thing for certain is that we intend to keep going with
what we believe is a very worthwhile venture; the Brighton Belle
aside, 3142 is the only pre-war electric unit remaining in the south of
England.
For further details of the Southern Electric Group, visit the website at
www.southernelectric.org.uk
How then has work progressed on this coach? Serious rebuilding of
11187 began in about 1995. All the steel body panels were removed
to enable the wooden frame to be repaired, the damage having
resulted from the original steel bolts rusting, swelling up and
The coach at Acton
has a sister coach,
which is open to
the public as a
static exhibit at
Horsted Keynes on
the Bluebell
Railway.
Members’ Survey
Shortly after Friends receive this newsletter,
we will be sending out a separate
membership questionnaire.
The objectives are to identify:
•
•
The main reasons for joining the Friends;
Friends’ key interests;
The interior
of the coach
has been
fully rebuilt
while it has
been at
Acton.
•
•
•
Friends’ use of, and attitudes to, current and
potential membership benefits;
Preferred channels of communication;
Potential volunteers.
You will be able to complete the survey on-line, or by
post, although it would help us enormously if you could
complete it on-line.
Please let us have your views, which we will use to
improve and extend the services we offer to existing and
new Friends.
Page 9
Shop News
Sadly, writes Michael Walton, 2010 continues to be of limited interest
for new publications or models for London enthusiasts.
Books
A new title from Capital Transport is London Trolleybuses – a black
and white album, by Mick Webber at £19.95. Images taken from press
photographs, trade journals and manufacturers’ archives give the
reader a very clear image of the capital’s trolleybuses (though one in
which very few passengers appear: Editor).
Ian Allan’s output includes the hardy Buses Annual 2010 edited by
Stewart J. Brown (£15.99) which, while containing little of specific
interest to London enthusiasts, does at least contain a chapter on
Scottish Leyland Titans (all émigrés from London).
A new edition of London’s Underground by John Glover (£19.99) is
available, and is updated to include more recent events on London
Underground.
A more significant new publication by Ian Allan is the excellent
Olympian (Bristol, Leyland, Volvo) by Martin S. Curtis at £18.99, which
joins the previously published, and very popular, Titan and Metrobus
titles. The Leyland Olympian, the last of Leyland’s products, was
both a replacement for the venerable Bristol VR and a ‘cheap’ version
of the Leyland Titan. Many users of the Olympian were sufficiently
impressed to make the type a standard in their fleets, and London
Buses was no exception. The model was regrettably not enough to
save Leyland from extinction. A good book which is well worth the
investment.
LOTS never disappoints with its very eclectic, but thorough,
publications, and the annual London Bus Review 2009 is now available
priced at £9.00. If it happened in London’s bus fleets in 2009, then it
is recorded here. Good to see a firm favourite, well produced,
reasonably priced and authoritative.
Railway History by Andrew Roden, published by Aurum Books at
£18.99. A good read by all accounts.
Finally, a book by LRTA, Trams Through the Dunes 1885-2010, by
Geoffrey Skelsey and Yves-Laurent Hansart, documents the fine
Belgian Coastal Tramway system. Priced at £13.50, it contains some
excellent photographs of the system along with
well-written text. A good buy for all tramway enthusiasts.
Models
We are disappointed to record that, despite the long awaited arrival of
our special DM and DMS buses from EFE, all the previously gathered
information to fulfil our Standing Orders has been rejected by the
Banks, as their policy has been altered to keep such details for just six
months. We were unaware of this change of policy, and we will
expedite the commissioning of an automated standing order facility,
which will enable all users of the Internet to manage their own
accounts (as the Banks have now encouraged us to plan for). It
remains to be seen, as we write this, how we plan to manage the
accounts of traditional non-Internet users of our Standing Order
system.
This, and the continuing extensive delay in delivery of LTM
commissioned models from EFE, have been major disappointments
for the Museum and its customers. I apologise for the delays and
inconvenience; we will not advertise any new commissions until we
have made serious progress in overcoming the new and unexpected
bank problems, as well as delivering the models that so many have
ordered. We promise to hold the DM and DMS models and to ensure
all those who have ordered obtain these before the residue is
released
to the public.
A new Corgi OOC Catalogue has been announced, although there is
relatively little to interest the model bus collector. For London
enthusiasts, there will be a Wright’s Gemini double-deck bus in East
Thames livery on route 185 (two versions).
Moquette
The new RT/RF moquette will make its merchandise debut in late
September, and finally good news:
Irish bus and rail themes have taken much more of centre publishing
stage over the past few years, not least because this country’s
fascinating transport systems have been poorly documented over the
years. Two new books have been published, CIE Buses in the 1970s
and 1980s (single deckers) and the same for double deckers. Both are
published by prc publications at £22.50 each. Undoubtedly interesting
material has been substantially spoiled by the almost universal use
of simple ¾-view shots, without any effort to contextualise the
wonderful Irish street scenes and landscapes that would really bring
such material to life.
At last we can offer Friends’ discount on all web products from the
Museum’s web shop. This includes furniture (for which we cannot
offer discount in the shop). When you see the Discount code on the
“Your Basket” page, please type in:friendltm and then click “Use”
and you will have 10% automatically deducted from your order. No
discount is available on postage, packing or shipping.
The Great Western 175 anniversary has been marked by a number of
publications, and perhaps the most comprehensive is Great Western
Michael Walton
Friends’ Discount
New Acquisitions
The Friends sanctioned David Bownes
(Head of Collections) and Michael Walton
to purchase for the Museum collection a
selection of relevant posters that were sold
at the Malcolm Guest (Part 3) auction at
Morphet’s in Harrogate on 21st and 22nd
July.
Malcolm Guest spent much of his working life in British
Railways’ Publicity Department at Paddington; he amassed an
enormous amount of posters and ephemera, mostly from British
Railways (later British Rail) and Tilling Group bus companies. Malcolm
Guest died in mid 2009 and his collection was sold in three sales. The
third and final sale contained a large volume of items of particular
interest to London Transport Museum. A number of BR (and its
predecessors’) London Suburban Railways posters (some previously
unknown), a huge volume of bus and coach posters, some relating to
Victoria Coach Station (of which the Museum has a particularly sparse
collection) and some unknown London Transport posters, made a
visit unmissable.
Because of the volume of material, the relatively unknown Auction
House and muted publicity for the sale, the Friends were able to
Page 10
purchase a large quantity of fascinating and relevant material at
particularly reasonable prices. These acquisitions will enhance the
Museum’s archive, and contribute substantially to our capability to
stage new and interesting exhibitions in the future.
The Museum is extremely grateful for the
Friends’ assistance to capitalise on this
rather rare opportunity.
An example of a purchase, a fine Euston
rebuilding poster produced by BR (London
Midland Region) is illustrated.
Michael Walton
In a separate, Friends-funded purchase,
the Museum has acquired a George Dow
LMS (LT&S) carriage panel line diagram,
which is also pictured here.
Letters
Some London Trolleybus Memories
In a previous Friends News, a correspondent mentioned the busy
trolleybus complex at the Nags Head junction in North London. I too
recall this area because, as a youngster during the 1950s, my family
home was in Stroud Green, roughly in the Tee of the long east-west
Seven Sisters Road and the equally long north-south Green Lanes,
which was truly Trolleybusland.
Although the house was close to Haringey West station on the
ECML out of Kings Cross – a popular train spotting venue – when I
accompanied my mother on various shopping trips and visits to
relatives, she always chose to go by bus, which, of course, was a
trolleybus. Local trips were to the Nags Head and Wood Green High
Road, but sometimes as far afield as Moorgate and Holborn to the
south, to Barnet , Enfield and Waltham Cross to the north and
Woodford to the east. Up until secondary school, I seldom travelled
in a motorbus!
Then we would wander to the junction at the top of Jolly Butchers
Hill, where the Finchley and Enfield routes separated. If a 621
appeared, slowing for the left turn, we might point to the traction
pole indicator. If the driver nodded to us, we were tall enough and
strong enough to pull and hold down the frog, saving the conductor
from hopping off the platform and jogging around the corner to
re-board. This was no doubt “against the rules”, but the wave of
acknowledgement from the conductor gave a satisfying feeling to a
couple of 13 year olds of being somehow involved in the London
Transport system.
These perambulations led to an agreement to travel on every
trolleybus route end-to-end and to visit every existing depot, since
they were disappearing thick and fast. This was partly through
interest, but partly to take advantage of the 2/6d. half-fare Red Rover
at weekends, before we were classed as full fare. This was finally
achieved at the end of 1961, although a bit of cheating took place
during the Spring of 1962, culminating in a day out around Fulwell on
the last day. All my paper round earnings were spent and I had to
explain my absence on a school day to my form master. The irony, I
suppose, was that the last trolleybus, No.1521 (FXH521), was often
on route 521 and therefore no stranger to me.
Upon boarding a trolleybus for more than a few fare stages, the
M.O. was to run up the stairs in the hope finding a seat at the front
of the top deck. The attraction, of course, was the overhead wires.
They were like an inverted model railway, particularly at junctions,
where the wires would veer off to the left or right and then return to
the centre line, as if by magic. Although the route was predictable,
there was always the outside chance that the bus might follow
another set of wires.
Although the foregoing occurred 50 years ago, there seemed to be a
certain intimacy about trolleybus travel, which, I am told, is inherited
from the trams. Perhaps it was their frequency and reliability on
dedicated routes, whereas the replacing motorbuses tended to
fragment established travel patterns by their undoubted flexibility.
This may sound like a romantic view of the 1950s, but it seems to
me that people were much more tolerant of youngsters in those
days. For example, an adult might “shove over” or even change
seats, so that a couple of skinny kids could sit at the front. The
conductors were no less tolerant, knowing that ‘mum’ had paid the
fare downstairs; and I recall occasions when I insisted on offering my
own fare, when the conductor would let me punch my own ticket!
He would indicate the correct fare stage and then hold the machine
so I could press down the lever. “Ting!”
Australia House
Later on, I was able to make my own excursions with my school
friends, perhaps to the “Saturday Morning Pictures” always on the
top deck. A wise conductor would collect our pennies on the
platform before we bunked off upstairs! A vicarious excitement was
the occasional dewirement. There would be some rumbling and
clonking from the roof gantry and the bus would come to an abrupt
halt. This was the cue to nip down the stairs again and watch
proceedings from the pavement, because the bouncing wires often
depoled other nearby trolleybuses. I suppose that the conductors
could have said that by getting off the bus we had terminated our
journey, but they never did. Trolleybuses would ‘come unstuck’ on
the sweeping right hand turn into Seven Sisters Road at the
Manor House; these more spectacular dewirements could cause
much shouting and pointing between bus crews and motorists, when
it was prudent to stay put!
Turning to the actual vehicles, I was just old enough to recognise and
travel in some of the more interesting trolleybuses, helped by the
Ian Allan ABC; most popular was the dual entrance X4 No.754 on
the 621 out of Finchley, if it happened to be in service. The bench
seat facing the driver was a magnet, because of the unobstructed
forward view. I understand that the drivers did not like being under
constant surveillance by their youthful passengers and some
conductors would not let kids use this seat at all. Next was the
Kingsway Tunnel bus on the 627/653. The full width platform and
glazed offside doors created a mini observation platform at the foot
of the stairs. I recall a full-width seat across the rear upper deck
behind the straight staircase. Finally, there were one or two rebuilt
wartime casualties on the 641, with decorative ceilings in the lower
saloon, which reminded me of a cinema foyer.
I must admit that I only had a few trips on these trolleybuses and
then only by chance. However, anything vaguely out of the ordinary
tended to stick in the mind. During the first few years of secondary
school, I met a like-minded boy a little older than me, and certainly
more streetwise, who was very keen on bus travel. On some fine
afternoons after school in Muswell Hill, we would bus or walk down
to Bounds Green and take a 521/621 to Wood Green Depot, just to
watch the wheels go around. For some reason there was no right
turn wiring into Wood Green Depot from the north, so that incoming
buses would wait on Jolly Butchers Hill with the poles down and
then battery into the depot when traffic permitted. The method was
that a bus would pull out to the centre of the road, blocking
over-taking traffic and then be waved into the entrance by an
inspector, who seemed to take his cue from the traffic lights at the
foot of the hill. This practised manoeuvre was always fascinating to
watch.
Richard Broom - Enfield
_______________________________________
I thought the attached might interest Friends. It is the last page of a
Tasmanian magazine called Leatherwood, issue 1 of Spring 1991. No
source for the photo is shown and, since the magazine folded after a
few quarterly issues, it is probably impossible to track down.
The caption says: “London buses were once a highly visible
advertising medium for Tasmanian apples. This fine vehicular
billboard was photographed in the 1930s outside Australia House
in The Strand. Leatherwood would like to share your photographic
memories of early Tasmania. Please send in your old snapshots to
The Editor at the address on page 4.”
Australia House, completed in 1918, represented Tasmania at that
time, since it did not have its own London office. The bus appears to
be on a normal service 60 to
Cricklewood Garage with
passengers on board. The
advertisement reads: “Buy
Tasmanian Apples - British
to the Core”, which would
make current Tasmanians
cringe! But it is how they
saw themselves back then,
and probably helped sell
the produce.
John Hawkins
Sheffield (Tasmania)
_______________________________________
Green Line
I enjoyed the article about Green Line in the July 2010 Friends’
News.
However, as a part-time First employee, I was disappointed that only
Arriva’s current Green Line operation is mentioned in the final
paragraph. First have the very successful Bracknell-Legoland and
Legoland-Windsor-Slough-London services. These have seen the
re-introduction of double-deckers. First operated Routemasters on
route 702 in 2005 and, combined with this, introduced the last
Green Line service to be wholly Routemaster: route 718 (Windsor
to Savill Garden). This ran for six Saturdays in 2005 and on three
occasions used RCL2260.
Keith Nason - By email
I am happy to correct the oversight: Editor.
Page 11
What, When, Where?
Nigel Pitt was one of a number of Friends to identify correctly the
location of the puzzle picture in the July 2010 issue of the
newsletter. Nigel writes:
“The answer is that the sculpture is to be found in the frieze around
the plinth of the statue called ‘The Meeting Place’ by Paul Day on the
concourse of St Pancras International station. The frieze (also by
Paul Day) was added later and depicts different railway journeys.”
David Johnson was the only entrant to add further information.
David recalls that there was some considerable controversy, as the
frieze originally depicted a suicide attempt with the train driven by a
skeleton. These elements were removed prior to public display, as
they were in very poor taste and following representations from
other organisations.”
Nigel and David both win a book prize, kindly donated, as usual, by
Ian Allan Publishing.
And so to this time’s picture, kindly provided by Damon Cross.
Where is this relief sculpture to be found?
Your entries, please, by email or post to the Editor’s home address,
by the copy date for the January 2011 issue.
Wanderer Returns
Recent Events
Barry Coward reports on the arrival of
London trolleybus 1348 at Sandtoft.
The pictures below illustrate the recent Friends’
visit to the Spa Valley Railway including a trip on
this T-Stock car
(more on this
visit in the next
issue); and the
arrival of LT 165
in the Museum
at Covent
Garden.
In early July, London trolleybus 1348, donated to the Transport
Museum Society of Ireland by London Transport in 1961, returned
to Britain, where it is planned to restore it in time for the 50th
anniversary of the closure of London’s trolleybus system on 8th
May 1962.
Sandtoft now need to raise at least £30,000 for the materials needed
and, if the restoration is to be accelerated to meet the 2012 deadline, a further £20,000 will be needed to contract work out. A new
rear end, including stairs and platform, will be the biggest job.
For further details and a donation form, please visit the Sandtoft
Museum web site: http:/www.sandtoft.org
and the dedicated 1348 website: http://1348.eavb.co.uk
1348 is
seen at
Sandtoft with
fellow
London
trolleybus
1812 in the
background.
London Transport Museum Friends
Registered Charity 285108
39 Wellington Street . London WC2E 7BB
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