London Transport
Central Area Routes 146–149

Last updated 24-08-10.

The 146 is now a rather short route and there would probably have been “E” plates only in the Bromley—and possibly Hayes—area, so this is therefore a rather rare plate.
This particular “E” plate came from East Street, Bromley, where it was seen until around the mid-1990s. It started life as a 146A plate, and therefore it must date from at least the last days of the 146A, and certainly the enamelling is of an older type. The A suffix has been officially ground off, leaving a small mark (visible in the picture). Apart from this, there is just slight weathering from its 50-plus years age.
Boxmoor by motor bus
◀ London Transport posters featuring a specific bus route are not at all common. This London General poster by “Padden” dates from 1921. This route 146 was a Summer Sunday service from Golder’s Green to Boxmoor (Station Hotel) via Hendon, Mill Hill, Edgware, Bushey Heath, Watford, King’s Langley and Hemel Hempstead that only ran in 1920 and 1921.
© LondonTransport Museum

In 1934 Route 146 ran daily from Lewisham to Westerham Hill via Catford, Southend, Bromley, Hayes Common, Keston, Leaves Green and Biggin Hill, with a Saturday afternoon and Sunday branch diverting at Leaves Green to Downe. By the end of 1934 the 146 had been reduced to Saturday and Sunday only, with Downe journeys running daily and renumbered 146A. By 1938 the 146 had been withdrawn entirely, partially replaced by weekday morning journeys on route 89, and the 146A ran daily between Downe and Bromley (Bromley North Station), with a Saturday afternoon and Sunday extension to Lewisham. In the late 1940s the 146A was renumbered 146. The route still runs over the same streets today (although no longer on to Lewisham), and the Sunday service has long since disappeared.

1971 omo buses leaflet
A 1971 leaflet introducing omo buses to route 147.

In November 1947 route 147 ran daily between Ilford Station and Redbridge Station via Cranbrook Road, The Drive and Eastern Avenue. (Prior to this date the route had run from Ilford to The Drive (Wanstead Lane).) In June 1954 it was extended on weekdays (Monday to Saturday) from Ilford to East Ham (White Horse) via Little Ilford Lane, Browning Road, Gladstone Avenue and High Street North, with a Saturday peak hour extension via Manor Way to the Royal Albert Dock, and further extended during Monday to Friday peaks to North Woolwich (Free Ferry); however, in October the Sunday service withdrawn (leaving The Drive section unserved on Sundays until March 1955, when new route 148A was introduced). In 1964 the Monday to Friday extension from Royal Albert Dock to was withdrawn. In 1971 Sunday service was reintroduced between East Ham and Redbridge Station, with an extension on that day only from Redbridge to Leytonstone. In 1978 service was withdrawn between East Ham and Royal Albert Dock and between Redbridge and Leytonstone, thus standardising the route between East Ham and Redbridge Station. In order to serve the new Newham General Hospital, in 1983 some weekday and all Sunday journeys were rerouted at East Ham Town Hall to the Victoria & Albert Docks via Barking Road, Upton Park and Prince Regent Lane. Two years later the 147 was rerouted at Victoria Dock Road to Kier Hardie Estate. In 1986 it was withdrawn between Ilford and Redbridge, and the terminus changed to the Hainult Street stand. A year later the route was lengthened to replace route 241 on Sundays, from Kier Hardie Estate to Stratford Bus Station via Victoria Dock Road, Freemasons Road, New Barn Street, Balaam Street, Plaistow, Plaistow Road and Stratford Broadway;with garage journeys operating from Ilford (Hainault Street) to Seven Kings Garage. In 1993 the Sunday extension was withdrawn when the 241 was reintroduced. In 1999 the route was extended from Kier Hardie Estate to Canning Town Station.

This destinated plate likely came from a bus stop in Dagenham: perhaps at Fords Works or Dagenham Dock.
This “E” plate would probably have come from a bus stop in Dagenham, possibly in Heathway, prior to 1991.

Route 148 ran daily between Leytonstone (Green Man) and Dagenham (New Road) via Wanstead, Gants Hill, Cranbrook Road, Ilford, Green Lane, Bennetts Castle Lane, Longbridge Avenue, Parsloes Avenue and Heathway. Some journeys were extended to Dagenham (Fords Works), or diverted to Dagenham Dock. In 1960 some journeys were introduced on Mondays to Fridays running to Fords Assembly Plant. In 1966 the Sunday service was withdrawn, but later in the year it was reintroduced, now numbered 148A and running via The Drive instead of Gants Hill. In 1971 Sunday service was reintroduced on the 148 between Ilford and Dagenham, and the journeys to Fords Assembly Plant were withdrawn. In 1977 the 148 was converted to one-man operation. In 1978 the Sunday service was extended from Ilford to Leytonstone. In 1982 an additional service was introduced on Mondays to Saturdays except evenings between Ilford Broadway and Barking Garage via South Park Drive. In 1986 the service via South Park Drive was withdrawn, and the daily service was rerouted between Redbridge and Ilford via The Drive instead of Gants Hill. In 1990 the Monday to Saturday serice was rerouted at Dagenham to terminate at Asda instead of New Road. In 1991 the journeys to Dagenham Dock were withdrawn, and the journeys to Fords Works were reduced to Mondays to Fridays only. In 1993 the route was withdrawn completely.

Today’s route 148 runs between White City and Camberwell Green.

Route 148A was introduced in 1955, running on Sundays between Leytonstone (Green Man) and Dagenham (New Road) via Wanstead, Redbridge, The Drive, Ilford, Goodmayes, Becontree, Bennetts Castle Lane, Parsloes Avenue and Heathway. The route was withdrawn in 1963 having lasted just eight years, but then reintroduced on Sundays in 1966 for five-and-a-half more years to replace the withdrawn 148 on this day.


149 MON.-FRI.
There is a slight mark on the front of this “E” plate from when the reverse of the plate was used and the front obliterated by a painted cross (since removed, but still visible).
The route ran in sections, and there were no through buses, so I believe this plate might have come from the segment beyond Waltham Cross when it ran on to Cheshunt and Flamstead End between about 1968 and 1970. Thus it is a very rare plate with this wording and appears to have been short-lived.
This plate probably came from the extension to Flamstead End, as the manufacture of new enamel “E” plates had ceased by the time of the Liverpool Street–Mansion House journeys.
“E” plates with the wording TERMINATING HERE are quite rare as they were usually made for specific stops.

Route 149 was introduced in 1961 as a replacement for trolleybus route 649 and ran daily between Waltham Cross and Liverpool Street Station via Ponders End, Edmonton, Tottenham, Stamford Hill, Stoke Newington, Dalston and Shoreditch. It was extended on Mondays to Fridays to Victoria via Bank, Southwark Bridge, Stamford Street, Waterloo and Lambeth Bridge. In 1968 some rush hour journeys were extended from Waltham Cross to Flamstead End via Cheshunt, but the route was withdrawn north of Ponders End in 1970. It was further cut back to Edmonton (Tranway Avenue) in 1971 apart from during Monday to Friday rush hours. It was re-extended to Ponders End at all times in 1978. In 1985 it was withdrawn between Waterloo and Victoria, and further cut back to Liverpool Street in 1991 apart from a few early Monday to Friday journeys to Mansion House Station. It was extended to Waterloo again during Monday to Friday peak hours later that year. It was rerouted at Liverpool Street to London Bridge Station in 1998. In 2004 it was cut back to Edmonton Green when bendy-buses were introduced.

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