London Trolleybus in West Barnes Lane, Raynes Park
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|Click on picture  for an enlarged version|
From: "Tony Kerr" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
West Barnes Lane, Raynes Park. To the right is the up line of the
Dorking branch between Motspur Park and Raynes Park. In the background is the LSWR main line between Raynes Park and
Out of the picture on the left would have been the magnificent Carter's Tested Seeds factory and nurseries which regrettably have long since given way to a housing estate.
From: "Ian McIver" <email@example.com>
A memory evoked by slide 291, where the traction pole on the right has a particular impact, as I collided with it when riding my tricycle on the footpath at the age of about 6, bending the frame and earning a severe rebuke for my excessive speed from my father. I now understand it was not so much the tricycle about which he was alarmed.
From: "Martin Cox" <Xocmm@aol.com>
West Barnes Lane towards Wimbledon was a favourite stop to allow 604s & 605s to be got back into correct running order. If a trolley had got out of order at the Kingston Bridge junction it would be dewired at West Barnes Lane. We would come straight out of school, jump on the first trolley and then sit there as the conductor left it to the last minute and the following one [or more] would sweep past. Some conductors were more informative than others!
From: "Ian D Smith" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
My infants school was Cottenham Park Infants in Peyps Road, just over the
road from the now vanished but none the less notable Rialto cinema, and the
equally notorious skew bridge under the LSWR mainline, just on the Wimbledon
side of Raynes Park. We watched the progress of the trolleys from our
playground, and noted when 'our' trolleys disappeared and strangers appeared
with odd numbers. I also remember coming out of school to find EVERY [why
everyone?] trolley pole had the dread yellow notice announcing the
abandonment, and several bus stops in Raynes Park and Worple Road were also
moved on the conversion night too.
Several weeks later the dewiring team had reached our school and for a day the wires finished abruptly outside the school gate causing us great excitement. Equally interesting was the discovery one day just before the end, of a trolleybus parked in the part of Worple Road not even served by electric traction, parked on the offside of the road, it disappeared a day or two later as mysteriously as it had appeared. I used to be taken shopping in Kingston by my Mother on the 604/605, and the ONLY seat I would ever countenance sitting in was the front near side downstairs, RM's on the replacement 131 were no good at all and it had to be RT's on the short lived route 286 over Coombe Lane. Oh happy days.
West Barnes Lane is on the Kingston side of Raynes Park about a quarter of a mile away, after the 604/5 had turned out of Coombe Lane, and I spent many an hour on the 'White Bridge' that spans the road and the Epsom line, just behind the photographer watching the Trolleys, the coming and goings of the resident 4Sub's and the freight trains shunting Raynes Park yard every afternoon after school, plus the mainline in the background [as seen in the photo].
Today in Burlington Road [east of Shannon's Corner] one trolleybus pole survives, still painted LT green, with possibly the remains of span wires still attached, though the pole number [and paint] has faded away over the years.
Sadly I was too young to actually photograph to trolleys, so it's just memories, although I did manage to travel on the Vancouver trolleybuses during the February before last. Though single deck through out the system is quite complicated with some large junctions, even boasting on some stretches some 'double track' wiring on the freeways, one can almost imagine . . .
From: "Tim Miles" <email@example.com>
The West Barnes Residents' Association website can be found at: http://www.RPWBResidents.org.uk where a link to this page has been provided.
From: "Alan Payne" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I was born and brought up near Shannon Corner and have fond memories of the trolleybuses.
I went to primary school in Grand Drive and so I often caught the trolleybus home from Raynes Park Station.
When I was older we used to cycle behind the trolleybuses, using them as a windbreak from the Fountain about as far
as New Malden library [we had run out of puff by then!].
The advantage of the replacement Routemasters? I could get a bus direct to Heathrow airport and go out on the public viewing gallery to watch the planes and note their numbers!
From: "Stewart Kevill-Davies" <email@example.com>
What an excellent site, waves of nostalgia washed over me as I looked at the pictures of the 604 route
Wimbledon - West Barnes Lane - Shannon Corner etc. I went to school at Bushey Primary and then to the secondary school
next door [called the "white" school because of its colour] and left school in 1961. Then started work at
Porter Brothers in Hartfield Road, a wholesale newspaper and magazine distributor. So often used to catch the 200 bus to
Raynes Park and the either the train or trolleybus to Wimbledon. I always remember the amazing turn of speed these
vehicles had especially along Worple Road before personal transport took off in a really big way.
For the last twenty three years I lived in Queensland Australia with my wife and three daughters of which two still live at home. I have many boxes of slides of trolleybuses which I bought from a second hand shop in Hartfield Road, have no idea who took them and I haven't even opened them for many years so hopefully they are still OK.
Thanks again for a wonderful site and will come back to again and again as it takes a long time to navigate at peak times and especially when you don't have broadband either.
From: "Jenny Dasey" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I was interested to see the pictures of West Barnes Lane [1962 & 1999]. I used to go to school at
the Sacred Heart in Burlington Road and walked along that stretch of road every school day for 5 years, indeed I still
go along there quite often. Carters had a pond with goldfish and my brother and myself liked to go and have a look when
the doormen were looking the other way.
I also remember the trolleybuses stopping near Bradbury Wilkinson's and the driver getting the pole from the bushes to put the arm back on the line.
From: A Non
I love your website. Very interesting picture of West Barnes Lane in 1962 and 1999. However I
question your text that says "Regrettably" Carters' Tested Seeds gave way to a housing estate, and you feature a
picture of the estate with graffiti all over one wall.
I live on Carters Estate, and there is nothing regrettable about my estate. This is a wonderful place to live. Granted it is not as pretty to look at as Carter's Tested Seeds, but it is the lowest priced local affordable accommodation, and is a very pleasant, low crime rate estate. There is a care and residential home on the estate, giving a local home to many elderly Londoner's, and many key workers, the kind of people who keep London going, live here on this estate. My husband works for the underground and I work in the care home, and my neighbours downstairs are a bus driver and a care assistant [to give only a few examples].
If Carter's Tested Seeds were still there, it would be very pretty, but it would means all the London key workers would not have anywhere to live, which would affect London society generally.
Every time any graffiti appears on this estate I phone the council and harangue them to get it removed. And if you pay attention to the walls around the estate, they are remarkably graffiti-free. I take pride in this estate as do many of the residents here. Please reword your text to reflect this? And take a more recent picture for the "Now" part?
Proud owner of a flat on this estate!
Comment by David Bradley
|Click on picture [M22] for an enlarged version|
|Click on picture [M18] for an enlarged version|
The "Regrettably" contribution was made by a visitor to the site and the 'modern day'
[November, 1999] picture attempted to capture on film the same stretch of road some 40 years later. There was no
ulterior motive to comment upon the housing estate that is there now, only to lament upon the passing into history, not
only of the environmental friendly trolleybus but also of, a long established famous business that was unique and
respected far and wide.
As with every change that takes place there are winners and losers and while well renowned seed merchants such as Carters Tested Seeds of Raynes Park no longer supply the gardener with their horticultural needs, the land fortunately now provides much needed affordable housing for the growing family instead.
I never visited Carters Seeds but a fellow trolleybus enthusiast has come up with a couple of shots of the same stretch of road that shows a little bit of Carters grounds. In retrospect, all trolleybus enthusiasts who were out and about with their cameras in the early 1960s question themselves why they never took more pictures at the time. But of course colour film then was very expensive and so we had to be somewhat selective in the pictures taken. We would all love to go back and take the pictures we never did, but sadly that is impossible. They are all a little bit of history now and in some cases the area my have changed for the better, but letter us not forget what it was once like.
From: "Martin Cox" <Xocmm@aol.com>
Thanks for your reminder about the site. Pleased to see that visitors comments on this page have
grown. How we hark back to the "golden age".
A story highlighted by photograph M22:
About 150 yards beyond the bridge was (is) a sharp right hand bend. One foggy [remember them] morning, the 604 I was on, travelling from Wimbledon had to swing out to pass a removal van parked on the corner. The inevitable happened and the arms came off the wires The conductor got the pole out and replaced the arms. We moved forward and, as we passed a Wimbledon bound trolley just before the bridge, there was, to say the least, a lot of noise.
The conductor, in the fog, had placed our trolley arms on the opposite set of wires with dramatic results when we hit the arms of the oncoming trolley. The arms of both trolleys were entangled and the gossip [unconfirmed, as I had to get to school] was that the arms had to be "amputated".
From: "Brian Foster" <email@example.com>
Before the war I lived in South Lane, New Malden [our house surrounded by fields!] and made my
way to Tiffins in Kingston on [I think?] trams at first then trolleybuses. Most of the names here are familiar
though I can't remember much about it!
Thanks for web site.
From: "George Wilson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Has anybody seen phantom riders crossing West Barnes Lane going into the old Carters site? On two occasions when cycling home from New Malden to Wimbledon I saw [during the early hours] a number of horses with riders go across the road a little way in front of me, I was not drunk having been playing in an Old Time Orchestra in New Malden then spending time at a friend house in New Malden.
From: "NEIL MACGREGOR" <email@example.com>
May I take this opportunity to thank you very much for making my day!
Allow me to explain. I was "doodling"" on the Internet and suddenly became nostalgic. I had the sudden urge to trace my old hunting grounds where I was a youngster. After a few attempts I succeeded. Purely by accident I stumbled across your web sight and what a revelation! My interest in your web [particularly the trolleybus routes 604/605] stems from me having spent 14 very happy years in Seaforth Avenue [the end nearest the West Barnes Lane railway crossing]. These were the years of 1938/1952. My family then moved to Southend and the Raynes Park days faded into the past. Until today. I cannot thank you enough for showing those wonderful photographs of the long gone, but much loved Trolleybuses and for bringing back some of my memories of yesteryear.