Post by The Historian on Mar 11, 2009 9:48:58 GMT 1
The 109 bus from Penge.
Any one know the route this bus would have taken, I believe it was the fore-runner to the 227. The reason I ask is because I have an image of the 109 outside what looks like a pub. At first I thought it may be The Alexandra but it is not.
Post by The Historian on Mar 22, 2009 10:23:22 GMT 1
I asked the question to the person who runs this site www.trolleybus.net/ and here is the answer..
The Route 109 was the predecessor to London Transport route 227 and was introduced by Thomas Tilling in 1914. It ran from Penge to Chislehurst Queens Head and used single deckers because of the retricted clearance at Chislehurst Water Tower as well as the railway bridges at Clock House and Shortlands. The Penge terminus was the Crooked Billet. By 1924 it was numbered 109A to run from Penge to Chislehurst. In 1926 it was renumbered 109 and extended from Chislehurst to Eltham High Street. It was renumbered 227 in 1934 and the route number 109 remained unused then until it was used for a tram replacement route in 1951.
The photograph is very interesting as it shows LT1188 operating route 109D (the letter suffixes were used for short workings but I have not traced a record of this specific one). The 109 and later the 227 were mainly the province of Bromley Garage (TB). The photograph shows the bus is allocated to Elmers End (ED) Garage and it is in the livery of the London General Omnibus Company, which ceased to exist in 1933. LT1188 was delivered new to Elmers End Garage in October 1931 and remained there working the 109 and then the 227 until May 1951.
The Water Tower at Chislehurst was a severe restriction on the route and a special built of T class 4-wheel buses was delivered in 1932 to work the 109 because of this. Therefore I think that the 109D was probably Penge Crooked Billet to Bromley as the larger 6-wheel LT class probably could not pass through the arch at that time. The photograph definitely appears to be at a terminus because the bus is unstaffed and also there is a traditional water can in the corner for topping up radiators! It does not fit with anywhere I can recognise in Bromley so I suggest it is the Penge terminus and the driver has not changed the destination blind for its next journey.
As to dates, we can pin that down pretty closely if that would help to identify the location. The bus was new in October 1931 and the LGOC ceased to exist with the creation of the London Passenger Transport Board in July 1933. Looking closely at the photograph, the bus carries the legal owners name (in full) of LGOC Ltd.. Even if buses could not be repainted immediately into the new LPTB livery, the police required the legal owners name to be correct so all of these would have been changed to LPTB within a week or so of 1st July 1933.
The use of LT class was rare because Elmers End Garage received extra 4-wheel T class buses in 1932 for the route 109. This adds to my view that the 109D was a peak hour short working restricted to the western end of the route (Bromley to Penge, Crooked Billet).
The bus looks in reasonable condition although some driver is going to have trouble over the dented mudgard. It is probably not taken in the first few weeks of service. My conclusion (although I do not have access to historic photographs of the area) would be that it is taken at the Crooked Billet terminus some time between December 1931 and July 1933.
Hope this helps with the research. I believe other bus routes used the Crooked Billet so you may find other photographs with a better view of the pub. The other terminus from memory was Penge, Pawlayne Arms but I do not think this was used by the 109/227.