London Transport
Central Area Routes 100–106

Last updated 21-09-08.

There were very few routes that had “E” plates with a red background.
On this plate the word VINTAGE has been signwritten onto the space where it previously read TOURIST. Many of these plates were officially altered by grinding off the original word and signwriting the new text on top.
The later style of enamel “E” plate, with original VINTAGE BUS lettering on two lines.
184 MON-FRI RUSH HOURSA further version was made in vinyl which appears to use New Johnston or one of the look-alike typefaces of the period at a time when it was not commercially available or released outside London Transport’s main letterpress printers. These stickers were affixed onto old “E” plates—note the white enamel peeking out along the left and right edges. This one was made out of a 184 MON-FRI RUSH HOURS plate.
D 142
On a summer day in 1980, 55-year-old Dennis D142 [XX 9591] approaches the B(C)E9 stop at Charing Cross station.
Kevin McCormack photo; HLB
Vintage Bus tickets
Three punch tickets from London Transport’s Vintage Bus service 100. It was operated in the 1970s with several different routings, normally by ST922. It was sponsored for a time by Johnnie Walker whisky, and the bus and these tickets carry an advertisement for the company.

Leon Daniels (former Director of Obsolete Fleet, operator of Vintage Bus route 100) writes, “Route 100 first ran from 1972 and existed many (but not all) summers from then on. In fact, the routings often changed each season and had little in common, although the route number and the use of ST922 was consistent. Following the opening of the London Transport Museum at Covent Garden [in 1980], the last iteration of the service—from Covent Garden to Oxford Circus (and subsequently Marble Arch)—ran using ST922 mostly, D142 from time to time, and RT1 a little towards the end.”

An earlier route 100 (using conventional black on white “E” plates) ran daily between Barking (St. Paul’s Road) and Beckton Gas Works via Gascoigne Road, East Ham By-Pass and Jenkins Lane, providing an irregular service catering to workers at the gas works. In 1971 the Saturday and Sunday service was withdrawn and the Barking terminus was changed to London Road, and the route was withdrawn completely in 1972.

The route number 100 was reused again in the 1990s for a service between Shadwell and Liverpool Street Station via Tobacco Dock, Wapping and Aldgate. In 2000 it was extended to Elephant & Castle via Barbican and Southwark.

Route 100A was a planned variation to the service in the late 1970s which never operated, but some “E” plates were produced. The letter As were added to stock route 100 “E” plates in preparation, and then subsequently obliterated to be used for the regular service.

This is an astonishingly rare “E” plate and the 100A didn’t appeared in any other form. In addition, red backgrounds were rarely used for route number “E” plates, being confined to the Vintage/Tourist Bus, and some of the City of Oxford routes. The edge chip is possibly caused by this being a very thick plate and therefore a tight fit in the bus stop runners.


Route 101 tickets
Two SPECIAL RETURN punch tickets from East End service 101—3d and 4d values.
RM 944
Routemaster RM 944 [WLT 944] sits at the Woolwich Free Ferry with its blinds set for a short working to Upton Park (garage) via Barking Road. The “G” plate on the4 other side of the stop flag would have borne the legend FORM QUEUE THIS SIDE.

In 1949 route 101 operated between North Woolwich Free Ferry and Wanstead LT Station via Royal Albert Dock, High Street South, East Ham, High Street North, Manor Park and Aldersbrook Road using Guys and STLs. From 1950 (when RTs were allocated to the 101) through 1954, the route was extended on summer Sundays to Lambourne End via South Woodford, Woodford Bridge, Grange Hill Station and Chigwell Row. Other than Routemasters replacing RTs in 1971-72 and the subsequent inevitable progression of Metrobuses, Titans and low-floor single-deckers, there have been no other changes since.

Route 104 was first introduced as a tram replacement route in about 1950, operating from Clapham bus garage [CA] as a peak hours and weekend operation. It ran from Tooting (The Mitre) to the Victoria Embankment via Tooting Broadway, Tooting Bec, Balham, Clapham South, Clapham North, Stockwell, Vauxhall, Lambeth and Westminster Bridge. The allocation was seven RTL buses. It fell victim to the cuts after the 1958 bus strike.

Thanks to Jim Butt for the information, who went on to add, “I lived in Clapham during the 1950s, and spent many a happy childhood hour watching the buses run into Clapham garage at the end of the rush hour. I went on to work for LT in various capacities until the mid 1980s.”



A new route 104 was introduced in 1961 as part of the trolleybus replacement programme—specifically for route 609—and ran between Barnet Church and Moorgate (Finsbury Square) via Whetstone, North Finchley, East Finchley, Highgate, Archway, Holloway, Highbury, Islington, City Road and Old Street Station. In 1971 it was withdrawn between North Finchley and Barnet and replaced over this section by new route 263. In 1985 the route was withdrawn and replaced by changes to routes 17 and 43.

Today’s route 104 runs between Stratford and Manor Park via Upton Park and East Ham.

Route 105 ran daily from Shepherd’s Bush (Wells Road) to Southall (Brent Road) via White City, Westway, East Acton, Western Avenue, Park Royal, Hanger Lane Station, Perivale, Greenford, Ruislip Road, Mornington Road, Somerset Road, Cornwall Avenue, Allenby Road, North Road, Carlyle Avenue, Lady Margaret Road and King Street, with a Sunday extension to Hayes Station via North Hyde Road. In 1958 it was extended daily to Hayes, replacing part of withdrawn route 83. In 1959 it was extended during Monday to Friday peak hours to Hayes North via Church Road and Lansbury Drive. In 1965 it was withdrawn completely between Hayes and Hayes North, being replaced by new route 195, and withdrawn between Southall and Hayes except for Sunday and Monday to Friday peak hours; however, just a year later it was extended on Saturdays from Southall to Hayes North Station, replacing route 195. In 1967 the Saturday service was extended from Hayes North to Charville Lane Estate, and a year later the Monday to Friday service was similarly extended, replacing the 195 on those days. Later that year Monday to Friday rush hour journeys were diverted from Brent Road to Arrow Switches Factory. In 1971 Monday to Saturday service was withdrawn between Southall (Brent Road) and Charville Lane Estate, and Sunday service was withdrawn beyond Southall (Town Hall), all replaced by a reintroduced route 195. In 1973 it was diverted at Southall (Western Road) to run to Heathrow Central via Cranford Lane, Cranford and Harlington Corner. At the same time the Arrow Switches journeys were withdrawn. In 1975 the route was split, with some Monday to Saturday journeys terminating at Southall (Havelock Estate). In 1982 the Shepherd’s Bush terminal was changed from Wells Road to Caxton Road, and the Monday to Saturday service was split into two sections: Shepherd’s Bush–Southall and Greenford Station–Heathrow. In 1983 it was converted to one-person-operation, and in 1984 diverted in the Dormers Wells Lane area, now running between Allenby Road and Southall via Dormers Wells Lane, Burns Avenue and Lady Margaret Road. In 1986 the route was extended from Heathrow Central via the Cargo Tunnel to Heathrow (Terminal 4). In 1988 the Havelock Estate service was withdrawn, replaced by new route E5. At the same time the Greenford terminal was moved from Greenford Station to Greenford (Red Lion) on Monday to Saturday evenings. In 1989 the 105 was withdrawn between Heathrow Central and Terminal 4. In 1992 the Monday to Saturday Shepherd’s Bush to Southall section was renumbered 95, the 105 now running between Shepherd’s Bush and Greenford on Sundays only.

RT 1401
RT 1401 in 1973 or 1974 at the East Acton stand, where a B(C)E6 stop is in the background.
Peter Relf photo, from
105 MON.-FRI.
This “E” plate likely came from Brent Road when the Arrow Switches Factory rush hour diversion ran, from 1968 to 1973.
105 MON.-SAT,


Route 106 ran daily from Finsbury Park Station to Becontree (Chittys Lane) via Brownswood Road, Lordship Park, Stoke Newington, Clapton, Hackney, Bethnal Green, Roman Road, Grove Road, Mile End, Burdett Road, Timothy Road, Limehouse, Commercial Road, Poplar, Canning Town, Beckton Road, East Ham & Barking By-Pass, Movers Lane, Ripple Road, Barking, Longbridge Road, Bennetts Castle Lane and Green Lane. In 1958 the Sunday service was rerouted at Barking to Dagenham and renumbered 106A. In 1959 the route was rerouted at Mile End direct via Burdett Road instead of Timothy Road. In 1971 it was withdrawn between Poplar (Blackwall Tunnel) and Becontree, but Sunday service was reinstated, although terminating at Plimsoll Road in Finsbury Park rather than the Underground station. In 1983 it was extended Monday to Saturday shopping hours from Poplar to Isle of Dogs (District Centre) via Manchester Road and East Ferry Road. The following year the shopping hours extension was rerouted on the Isle of Dogs via Marshwall and Limeharbour instead of East Ferry Road. In 1986 the 106 was further extended during the Monday to Friday morning peak extended from Isle of Dogs District Centre to the Asda Store. In 1989 it was withdrawn on Monday to Saturday between Mile End Gate and Isle of Dogs. In 1991 the route was rerouted on Monday to Saturday evenings to Poplar from Bethnal Green Station over the Sunday routeing, and was further extended during early evenings to Isle of Dogs (Asda). In 1992 it was withdrawn between Bethnal Green (Mile End Gate) and Isle of Dogs, but was extended from Mile End Gate to Whitechapel (Durward Street) a year later.

Over the years the 106 was operated by STDs, STLs, RTs, RTLs, RTWs, Routemasters (RM), DMSs, Titans (T), Metrobuses (M), Darts (PD) and Trident 2s (TAS) operated from most of the east-end garages: Ash Grove [AG], Clapton [CT], Clay Hall [CL], Dalston [D], Hackney [H], Leyton [T], Poplar [PR], Tottenham [AR], Docklands Transit and Stagecoach East London (Stratford Base [SD]).

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