CR6 helps out on the 156Worcester Park 2008

Route 156

The Morden circular, introduced with the opening of Morden Underground station and serving North Cheam and Sutton.  Home over the years to a delightful selection of buses.
The 156 was a double-deck route, well from 1927 at least.   But as with the better known examples on the trunk routes, after the war the little CRs helped out here too, working from both Sutton and Merton.  Here, CR6 is seen in its (temporary) home town of Sutton in December 1948.
Photo © Alan Cross
1955 bus map (c) LTRoute
MORDEN circular via North Cheam, Cheam, Sutton, St Helier.
Buses will run an irregular service over parts of the route, with a few through journeys.  The revised timetable is attached
Main boarding points
Morden Station stops B (clockwise) and H (anti-clockwise), North Cheam stops C and D, Sutton  Library stop V, Police Station stop K and Post Office stop S, Sutton Garage, St Helier Avenue Middleton Road.
Click on the map to enlarge
Route history
One of the original Morden Station feeder routes introduced in 1926, the 156 initially ran to Cheam via North Cheam.  In 1928 it was extended to form a circle, running to Sutton and then direct back to Morden via St Helier. 
Pre-war solidity?
And now for something completely different.  No, not an ex-Tillings bus, but ex-independent operator Sphere.  This is petrol-engined Dennis Lance DL31 with Dodson body (hence the Tilling look), at Morden in 1937.  This whole class was transferred to Sutton at the end of 1936 to replace ancient NSs, but were themselves withdrawn in late 1937 as standardisation on STLs continued.
Photo JF Higham collection, © Alan Cross
February 1934 saw the route diverting to take its characteristic 'back route' from Sutton Green via Colllingwood Road to Rose Hill, a routing swapped with the 157.  This routing was retained right through until the route ceased on 10 Oct 61.
The 156 was interesting however for its short workings.  The intensely busy section between North Cheam and St Helier meant that substantial augmentation was needed in the peaks.  Achieving this under union limitations on spreadover duties meant that 'joint compilation' with the 164 and 164A were required.  In addition, certain journeys ran off-route up Morden Road to South Wimbledon.
The basic circular route may have stayed the same for 27 years, but the buses working it were anything but as constant.  From the early days of Ks and Ss, soon replaced by NSs, the routed worked from Sutton Garage, but from 1934 to the end, Merton also provided a small minority allocation, usually buses shared with a major route. 
Sutton in 1952
Merton replaced its NSs with STLs in 1935, but Sutton continued running NSs during the week until late 1936, when its NSs were replaced by the transfer of all 33 of the DL class from Potters Bar.  These were a stopgap, however, and were replaced by STLs before the end of 1937.
'Leaning-back' STL504 has just turned left into Sutton High Street at The Cock.  The date is 7 Jun 52, before the route was formally allocated a few of the class alongside Daimlers.
Photo © Alan Cross
Daimlers were officially allocated, from Merton in 1945 and Sutton from 1946, until Sutton reallocated STLs briefly at the end of 1952 before the RTLs and RTs arrived.  However, during the post-war period, all sorts of buses worked the route, including hired coaches.  Sutton's RTLs arrived in early 1953, replaced by RTs before the end of the year, and the route was then RT-operated until the end.