London Transport
Stop Fittings

Last updated
Information contributed by Andrew Colebourne and Mike Harris

These fittings used to sit at the very top of bus stop posts. I’ve never heard a definitive answer about their purpose, but believe they indicated to drivers and conductors that the stop was a timing point. The red and green colours represent London Transport and Green Line respectively. Although intrdouced earlier, the ones shown in the top row probably date from the ’60s—at the latest; the ridged red one is dated JUNE 64 on the base. I’m not sure of the construction material, but they’re fairly heavy for their size: approximately 312" (9 cm) by 512" (14 cm). The green one appears to be made from concrete. They are sometimes referred to as “apple cores” and “pineapples” (for obvious reasons).

Bus stop finials Bus & coach stop finials Bus & coach stop finials
Bus stop finial Bus stop finial Bus stop finial

Andrew Colebourne adds:

The design of these finials actually dates from circa 1938—see “London Buses before the War” by Ken Glazier, in particular pages 24 and 25 (where there are also pictures of experimental Bus Stop designs). I believe the ridged finial for Green Line services was designed to resemble the feathers of an arrow’s “flight” and was installed pointing downwards. Obviously it would have been painted green, but they do occur in red as in one of the illustrations. There is a red example in the Small Objects Store at the London Transport Museum’s Depot in Acton. Unfortunately, the guide on the occasion of my visit was not knowledgeable about such things so I do not know where it came from.
As far as I know there are now no London Transport concrete bus stop posts in use for their original purpose in the Greater London area. However, they do still survive in surrounding counties. I can report that there were still some with both red and green finials of the types illustrated north of Ashstead in Surrey on the road from Epsom to Leatherhead. Of course the Bus Stop flags are of the Ministry of Transport design and not LT ones. I rode this way on an RTW during the Dorking Vintage Bus Running Day on 3rd September 2006. Surrey County Council now erect rather nice modern signs by Trueform (the same manufacturer as produces the present TfL signs), so I suppose it is just a matter of time before the old LT ones disappear. Incidentally the new SCC signs have “E plaques”: like the LT ones but smaller, there being four across the width of the flag which itself is narrower than the LT flag. The design is also used elsewhere in the UK.

Enamel bus stop reference number plates were affixed by means of two screws to a shallow recess on the underside of bus and coach stop flags to show the stops number for reference. They are rarely found nowadays, having long since fallen out of use and been replaced by vinyl stickers. They are approximately 234 inches (70 mm) wide by 34 inches (20 mm) deep, with rounded ends. These ones were made for, but never actually made it onto, the bus stops and so are in perfect unused condition. Only one plate was made with each number, so each one is unique.

Ref. Mº plates 4387 / 11762
◀ I have no idea where either of these two number plates came from as the records no longer exist. They are particularly unusual as they are cream with black numbers, and the style of the characters is not LT’s Johnston typeface. I believe they are much older as I have seen very few of this style around.
◀ Another unusual number plate, also not in Johnston Underground Block. Note particularly the 180° loop on the 2, the 9’s straight (rather than curved) down-stroke, and the curved (instead of straight) stem on the 7.
Stop 1219 is in Finchley Road at Finchley Road & Frognal Station.
Bus stop 2041 is in Glenthorne Road, Hammersmith.
There is no record of stop 2078, so I still have no idea which location that number was allocated to.
Bus stop 2092 is in Stoke Newington Road at Belgrade Road.
Bus stop 2126 is no longer in use and the location is unknown.
Bus stop 2297 is in Regent’s Park Road at East End Road.
Bus stop 2321 is no longer in the records, so the stop might have been withdrawn or could have even been in the Country Area.
Bus stop 2594 is no longer in the records, so the stop might have been withdrawn or could have even been in the Country Area.
Bus stop 2933 is in Woodford New Road at Waterworks Corner.
Bus stop 3219 is in Lea Bridge Road, Leyton at Elm Park.
Bus stop 3367’s location is not known as it has been deleted from the system.
Bus stop 3504 is no longer in use.
Bus stop 3598 is in Jarrow Road, Tottenham Hale.
Bus stop 4570 is in Pinner Road, Northwood Hills.
Bus stop 4575 is in Southall Broadway at Herbert Road.
Stop 4720 is in Camden Road at Camden Park Road.
Stop 4740 no longer has records on file.
Bus stop 4830 is in West India Dock Road at Asda.
Bus stop 4920 is in Kilburn High Road at West End Lane.
Bus Stop 12034 is in Finchley Road at Hillgrove Road.
Stop 13389 is in Lordship Lane at Dulwich Common.
Stop 13390 is in Lordship Lane at Dulwich Common.
Stop 15387 is in Burlington Lane at Russell Kerr Close.
Thanks to Peter Figg, we now know that stop 16562 westbound is in the North Circular Road, 10 metres east of Durand Way; while its eastbound mate is 80 metres east of Brentfield in the slip road.
Stop 16947’s location is not known as it has been deleted from the system.
Stop 17938 is in Larkshall Road, Chingford at New Road.
Bus Stop 26388 is in Harrow Weald High Road opposite Aspri Medical Centre.
Stop 26741 is in Old Kent Road at Mandela Way (near the East Thames Bus Garage).
Number 33478 is in Wilton Road, Victoria, at Hudsons Place.
Stop 34190 is in St. Botolph Street at Middlesex Street.

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