Service on route 698 introduced on 10 November 1935 and route 696 on 24 November 1935
Both these routes ceased on 3 March 1959
Service on Route 694 introduced on 16 May 1937 but was suspended 28 January 1940
It was re-instated the following summer and survived until 28 May 1944
The Bexleyheath routes were completely detached from the rest of the London trolleybus overhead
Diagrammatic Map of the Routes
There are several pages to this section [ 1 | 2 | 3 | Readers Memories | Roly Wilcox Reminiscences ]
|Map of the Woolwich area in 1959||Map of the Woolwich area in 1999|
Click on any thumbnail for a larger image but wait until all thumbnails have downloaded
Pictures JK22 and 405
West Street, Erith with Erith Corporation car #13 at the level crossing gates of the industrial railway from Parishes Loam Quarry. The same level crossing is seen in the adjacent picture but what a difference a decade [and more] makes. There was another level crossing further along this road near Erith town centre, near which the tram depot could be found.
Erith Road, Barnehurst. The picture was taken from the edge of Burstead woods, and apart from a mini roundabout, where the trolleybus is in the picture, the location has not changed at all to this day.
Pictures 398, 400, PH1 and D2.
Woolwich, Parsons Hill terminus. In picture 398 the trolleybus has just turned off from Woolwich High Street into Powis Street. For John Webb the electrical shop on the corner he knew better in the 50s as a toy shop - Dinky and Meccano in particular. Trolleybuses travelled for a few yards down Powis Street before turning into the Parsons Hill Turning circle.
The building with the two shuttered doors was Woolwich ambulance station. When the road was widened for the new ferry approach, this building was left in the middle of the new roundabout for a while until the new ambulance building was built next to the new ferry buildings.
It is interesting to see in picture 400 that the venue to the left was catering for 'teen-agers'; a term unheard of until the end of the 1950s.
The Enon Chapel and all the other buildings were also torn down to make way for the new ferry approach and buildings. The shop was pulled down to widen Parsons Hill into John Wilson Street making the Granada as the corner building. Today, the only buildings left in Parsons Hill are "The Castle" Pub and the Chinese Restaurant next door. More Information
Pictures 402, 403, BXD and CR185
Outside Bexleyheath Depot, which was LPTBs first completely new trolleybus depot that opened on 10 November 1935 with the commencement of route 698. [The tram depots at Erith and Bexleyheath were unsuitable for conversion to trolleybus operations]. During its 'electric' lifetime it normally housed 65 Trolleybuses - 2 war time rebuilds of class B2, 49 class D2 and 17 class H1. As an economy measure the garage closed in 1986 but re-opened two years later as the home of the low cost unit 'Bexleybus'.
'Bexleybus' lost all its contracts in 1991 with most of the contracts being taken over by London Central, now part of the Go Ahead Group. There are no signs that BX was once a trolleybus depot, even the old operating block was demolished a few years ago.
More Pictures and Memories
Market Hill terminus at Woolwich, probably on the first day of operation, or at least the first week. Most of what can be seen in the picture has gone along with the 698. About all that is left is the Granada in the distance and the pub, which is now boarded up. On the right of the picture is the Waterfront leisure centre. The road is now a dual carriageway.
A c1938 picture of the Market Hill terminus at Woolwich. [The adjacent picture is the same place but facing the other way]. The silver coloured roof of the trolleybus was thought to be too visible for wartime conditions and became brown instead.
Picture JK22 is from Toby & John's Local Transport History
All other black and white pictures were taken by on a very quiet Sunday afternoon with
the noticeable lack of road traffic and trolleybus passengers due, in part, to no Sunday trading in 1959.
Picture GW32 was taken by the late Sidney Perrier and is reproduced by the
kind permission of www.vintage-images.co.uk
Picture D2 is from an unknown source.
The remaining coloured pictures are from the Robert Harley collection and were taken
by the late Alan Watkins and are reproduced with the kind permission of Ann Watkins.
"Chris Cook" <C.Cook@btinternet.com>
, "John King" <JKing77189@aol.com> and "Bob Wingrove" <email@example.com> for caption information