The Bush & Twiddy LTWorcester Park 2008

North Cheam – a suburban crossroads

Transport history by Derek Fisk


Route 213 has served North Cheam since 1934.  Here, LT1131 is seen on 11 Oct 52 at the Cheam Common Road stop at North Cheam crossroads.  This bus was damaged during the war and rebuilt by Bush & Twiddy of Norwich in 1944, giving it a unique appearance.                                                              Photo © Alan Cross


Derek Fisk's article is set out on the following pages in four parts:


  1. Early days
  2. Development
  3. Post-war
  4. Up to date


An extract from the Ordnance Survey map from the early twentieth century (1920?) is given here, note that the Wimbledon to Sutton and the Chessington railway lines have yet to be built and Morden has not started developing.  Derek's sketch of the succession of development in North Cheam in the 1920s and 1930s is here.


Derek's article is based on a talk given to the London Historical Research Group of the Omnibus Society by Derek Fisk in 2005. Derek grew up in the area in the 1930s and 40s. is indebted to both Derek and the LHRG for permission to reproduce the item.


David Hurley adds the following memories:


I used to live on Cheam Common Road (which runs from the Queen Victoria down to Worcester Park) and well remember riding on the lowbridge Daimlers to infants’ school towards Stonecot Hill. I just remember a ride on a D which still had slat seats, but whether it was a 127 or another A or AL Daimler on another local route, time has extinguished!


I actually got caned, after a passenger complained to our headmaster about a group of us running backwards and forwards on the upper-deck offside gangway going home one afternoon. .. admiring the back ..We were all lined up outside the Head’s office – the only identity parade I have taken part in!  What I do vividly remember, is waiting at the bus stop opposite my house one evening to go to Cubs, forgetting to put my hand out because I was so amazed at seeing this new shiny RLH coming towards me with a bright radiator and a curved roof. Only when I finished admiring the back, did I realize what I hadn’t done and legged it up to the Queen Vic. I don’t know if it was unusual but the 127 had two stops at the QV – the 1st at the top of Cheam Common Road before the lights and a second immediately after turning left in London Road where the 93, 156 &151 also picked up. It was at the second stop that the out-of-breath sprog boarded!


Mid-50s, and a not-quite-so-shiny RLH runs along Cheam Common Road on the 127.

Photo © Vic Youel


My interest in old buses was also triggered by the varied vehicles on the 213 on Saturdays before the RFs arrived, Ts of all classes (and condition!), LTs, CRs, Qs, TDs. Going back to the 127 I had the good fortune to ride on green Godstone STLs and ex-National Short bodied STs when the original lowbridge Ds were getting their periodic overhauls – when the RLHs went through overhaul at Chiswick Tram Depot we had green ones – RLH 13 seemed to be a frequent visitor.


I know it is sacrilegious but having been weaned on such a rich variety, by the time in the late fifties when LTE standardization had been completed I was reduced to finding all the old service vehicle fleet.  I did however ride on RM2 on the 406 - was it the fitters joke at RG to have it always as RG13.