Woolwich High Street

RM 451. WLT 451. On route 177 in Woolwich High Street. 27 March 1970. Abbey Wood - Victoria Embankment. 

The advertisement on the side of the bus for the long gone Pan Am says, "Do your famous disappearing act". A thing which waiting passengers took to heart sometimes whilst waiting for a bus which didn't turn up due to it being stuck in traffic on the journey to London and back. This was especially bad in the days in the late 1960s before the new Blackwall Tunnel was opened. Often, a bus would be over an hour behind its time whilst queuing up in the traffic of Greenwich. This was worse in the dark days of winter in the busy period before Christmas. If there was a accident in the tunnel or a lorry got stuck. More than once a bus would be waiting in traffic in Greenwich when its timetable said it should be in the same place going the other way.

For more on Greenwich traffic problems

Photograph. John King

RT 1373 in the same place, The running plate SP4 show it could be only one of two routes 51 or 229. The 229 was extended from Bexleyheath to Woolwich to cover for the 698 trolleybus when it was withdrawn in 1959.
27 March 1970.
Photograph. John King

RM 738. WLT 738 in Woolwich High Street. 27 March 1970.

RM 738 had a louvered grill, and a padded engine compartment as part of a sound proofing experiment. While this bus was at Abbey Wood one of the drivers crashed it damaging the grill badly. It was replace with a standard one.

This part of the High Street was severely damaged in the bombing raids of WW2. This is what created all the space in the picture. The tall building is Riverside House. At this point is Market Hill, the site of the old trolleybus terminus, before it was moved to Parson's Hill. A few more yards along the road is where the trams changed from the overhead method of power collection to the underground conduit system.

This road is now dual carriageway with two lanes in each direction. This point is now a bus terminus.

Photograph. John King

Another view of Woolwich High Street, from the same point looking in the other direction. It is looking quite in this Sunday afternoon picture, in the days before Sunday shopping. The whole of the right hand side of the road has now been demolished and replaced with a dual carriageway, and the Waterfront Leisure Centre. This is the same bus as the top picture. 27 March 1970.

Photograph. John King

The same place in November 1935, when trolleybuses were brand new to Woolwich. There isn't a great deal of difference in the surroundings of the two pictures taken so far apart in time. The trolleybus terminus is in what is left of Market Hill. There was an unsuccessful attempt to move the market here from Beresford Square in the 19th century. The tram in the picture is at the change pit where power changed from overhead to underground on the way to london.

The same place as the above photograph taken in around 1977. RT 1347 (KLB 596) on route 75 is standing in more or lass the same place as the trolleybus. The Crown & Cushion pub can be seen behind in both pictures. This short piece of road outside the powers station was know as Market Hill.
Photograph. Peter Lapper.

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