London Trolleybus running along Tolworth Rise, next to the A3

Adjacent to the Kingston By-Pass - 1962 Adjacent to the Kingston By-Pass - 1999
Click on picture [301] for an enlarged version Click on picture [1001] for an enlarged version

Notes by David Bradley

In the early 1960s, I left the daily grind up to Leicester Square, from Thornton Heath, and instead opted for the journey down to Guildford. Quite a pleasure to be able to have a seat, in a virtually empty train, instead of a very crowded ride to Balham and thence onto the underground. Various routes to Guildford were investigated, including the line from West Croydon to Wimbledon, but in the end, opted for travel via Streatham to Wimbledon and then onto Guildford.

With three changes of train, it was not long before the 50 minute trip by road was regularly used, using for much of the journey, the A3. Returning one day this shot was obtained of the terminus loop of Route 601 at Tolworth, adjacent to the Kingston By-Pass.

Viewing this picture almost 40 years later, I find it very hard to believe that traffic on the A3 was so very light compared with the nose to tail conditions of today. In October 1999, Guildford to Croydon over the same route, the early evening journey can take almost two hours! However, it has to be said that it would be no quicker by train, as all connections involved the maximum waiting time.

In November 1999, I returned to the same road and took a similar picture. I was unable to capture any public service vehicles in the shot, in fact I am not sure that any local routes use these roads anymore. What was previously a service road for the houses is now a slip road onto the A3, it would even appear that the houses lost some depth to their front gardens to provide this facility. A few parking bays now provide short term parking, but how long before these become residents parking bays for an annual fee?

From: "Julian Walker" <>

I am surprised that you didn't see any public service buses; bus 281, the direct successor to trolleybus 601, still uses this stretch of road as part of it's terminal loop working at Tolworth Broadway. This road is also used by bus 265 [Tolworth, Red Lion - Putney Bridge Station] which still provides a service along the Kingston By-Pass eastwards from here. However the Green Line coach route 715 shown here has long gone, and there are no longer any local bus services west of here along the by-pass.

From: "Arthur Arculus" <> (December 2004)

How lovely to be able to view the old 'snub nosed' trolleybus of the 601 602 etc route at Tolworth.

I moved to Tolworth (Ravenswood Avenue) at the age of three in 1929 from Fulham. Remember the trams and the commencement of the trolleybus. Waited such a long time for this photo, hope it copies well.

I am now 78 and active in WW2 Aircraft and Aircrew Research, after a life with aircraft, have been in NZ 38 years.

Thanks for the memories, Arthur W. 'Digger' Arculus. (Digger is family nickname circa 1926).