Merton Garage centenary event

Sunday 17 November 2013

Page last updated 9 October 2013
Event page retained for reference

The London General Omnibus Co Ltd opened Merton Garage on 20 November 1913.  One of its first routes was the 88, which started on 18 December 1913 as Mitcham to Oxford Circus via Clapham Common, extended west to Acton Green 1914, south to Belmont 1924.  The route is now operated by London General (part of the Go-Ahead group), from Clapham Common to Camden Town via Oxford Circus.  The route was worked (wholly or partly) by Merton Garage for most of its first 50 years.


The centenary will be celebrated by Go-Ahead London General, in conjunction with the London Bus Museum, with a garage open day on Sunday 17 November.


Merton Garage's lowbridge utility Daimler D130 pauses in North Cheam on its way from Morden to South Wimbledon in 1948.

Photo © Alan Cross

The days of the Routemaster

The garage open day will be raising funds for nominated local charity Merton Mencap.  The day will include a bus display and stalls in a segregated part of the garage, guided garage tours, bus wash rides, and a free historic bus service 100 to Wimbledon.  The event runs from 1030 to 1630.  Other than the tours, the public will not be admitted to the operational part of the garage, and visitors should be aware that this is a busy working garage and should ensure they keep clear of moving vehicles.


The route 100 timetable is contained in London General's leaflet here.  The route will run from Merton Garage via Wimbledon Station to Wimbledon Village and cover the Wimbledon Tennis Special bus route.


RM2107 pulls out from Merton Garage to run the long 88 via Mitcham and central London to Acton Green.  After handing over the main part of route 88 to Stockwell in 1958, Merton returned to the route on Sundays only from 1981 to 1986.  The date is 10 May 1981, a couple of weeks after the new operation.

Photo © John Parkin


RTL1531 is seen at Tooting Amen Corner, in the days when the 88 reached its southern-most point at Banstead Hospital.

Photo courtesy Ian Armstrong/Bob Turner collection


It had been hoped to mark the centenary of route 88 with a special operation, but that has not proved to be possible.