SMET tram car 41 at the foot of Anerley Hill
drawing power from the new trolleybus overhead

Tram at bottom of Anerley Hill
Click on picture [JK13] for an enlarged version

Notes by David Bradley

SMET car 41 arrives safely at the foot of Anerley Hill and starts to draw power from newly erected overhead for trolleybus operations that will commence services in February 1936. The tower in the background, and a nearby twin, contained water for the numerous fountains located in the grounds of the 'Crystal Palace'.

While the destination blinds of the new trakless vehicles might have shown Crystal Palace during their lifetime, the glass structure itself was lost in a disastrous fire in the early hours of 30 November 1936. Only the twin water towers remained, but even these were demolished in the early war years as they provided an excellent navigational aid to the German bombers over London.

Trolleybus services were curtailed short of their destination at the foot of Anerley Hill for several days afterwards, which must have been quite problematical to turn the vehicles without auxiliary battery traction power. These experiences, and the problems of climbing Anerley Hill in icy conditions, lead to the construction of a turn back triangle into Versailles Road at a later date. There were only three such instances of this kind of overhead wiring on the entire London system, the other two being found on Bexleyheath area.