Catford Bus Garage open day, 10 May 2014

This is arguably a little south of my patch but since I’ve been passed this info and it doesn’t appear to be among TfL’s online press release archive I thought I’d share it. After all, virtually all the bus routes based at Catford Bus Garage serve Lewisham town centre!

Pic by Eddie, on Flickr (licensed by Creative Commons)

TfL say the following, occasional bits of which you may wish to take with a pinch of salt and/or contrast with their current Chair’s approach to the bus service (raise fares, freeze virtually all expansion, pour money into a vanity bus staffed by a health+safety inspector):

On Saturday 10 May 2014, the Catford Bus Garage in south east London will open its doors to members of the public in the first of a series of bus garage open days across the capital in celebration of the Year of the Bus.

Visitors to the Catford Bus Garage, which is operated by Stagecoach London and celebrates its centenary this year, will get the chance to:

  • Take a free ride on vintage and other interesting buses – 54v (Catford Bus Garage to Elmers End Station) and 47v (Shoreditch to Farnborough via Catford Bus Garage);
  • View the Year of the Bus mobile exhibition which tells the story of the London Bus and looks to its future;
  • Ride on a bus as it goes through the bus wash;
  • See behind the scenes in the maintenance area;
  • Take part in family activities about how to use the transport system safely and responsibly with the Transport for London (TfL) Safety and Citizenship team and pick up your free bus-themed family activity pack;
  • Get up close and personal with objects from the London Transport Museum collection and find out more about the stories behind them with the Tickets Please! handling collection;
  • Browse the London Transport Museum pop-up shop selling exclusive Year of the Bus gifts, and stalls selling centenary merchandise and bus-related memorabilia.

The bus garage open days are part of TfL’s celebrations to mark the Year of the Bus, in partnership with London Transport Museum and the capital’s bus operators.

Events and activities are being held throughout 2014 to celebrate the role that London buses, bus drivers and the staff who support them play in keeping the capital moving, and mark a number of important anniversaries. These include 60 years since the creation of the original and iconic Routemaster, 75 years since the launch of its predecessor the RT-type bus, and 100 years since hundreds of London buses were sent to the Western Front to play a crucial role during the First World War.

Catford Bus Garage was opened on 11 May 1914 and closed under a year later when it was commandeered by the War Department for use as a repair depot for buses during the First World War. It re-opened in October 1920 and in the early 1930s had its roof raised to accommodate double decker buses and again in 1948 to make space for the RT-type bus. It has been modernised a number of times over the years but its attractive exterior remains the same as it was 100 years ago.

Buses are a vital daily service for millions and one that is very local, with the vast majority of Londoners (95 per cent) never more than 400 metres from a bus stop.  Buses link homes to jobs, schools and hospitals in every part of the capital.  They are the backbone, and often the forgotten workhorses, of London’s transport network.

Other London bus garages opening their doors on Saturdays this summer are Alperton Bus Garage (7 June), Stockwell Bus Garage (21 June), Fulwell Bus Garage (28 June), Potters Bar Bus Garage (5 July) and Walworth Bus Garage (19 July). There will also be an open day at Dartford Bus Garage on Sunday 7 September.

Further information about bus garage open days and other Year of the Bus events can be found at and

They also provide some ‘notes for editors’, or ‘additional information’ as I like to call it before pasting it below:

  1. Catford Bus Garage has 152 buses operating on 17 routes. There are 450 staff based there. The bus garage has operated route 124 continuously since 1938.

They don’t list the routes, so I will, thanks to 47, 75, 124, 136, 178, 199, 208, 273, 354, 356, 380, 621, 660, P4, N47, N136. (Yes, that is only 16 routes, not 17 – I wonder if the 54’s moving back there on 3 May when Stagecoach take it over from Metrobus?)

  1. Free vintage bus rides are available throughout the day from Catford Bus Garage on Saturday 10 May. Timetables for both services – 54v and 47v – are available at
  2. The 54v will leave Catford Bus Garage every 20 minutes for Elmers End Station between 11:00 and 15:00 (journey time: 21 minutes). Buses will travel back from Elmers End Station to Catford Bus Garage every 20 minutes from 11:21 to 15:21.
  3. The 47v will leave Shoreditch High Street stop N at 08:03 and travel via London Bridge, Canada Water Station, Lewisham Station, Catford Town Hall, Catford Bus Garage (arriving 09:01), Bromley South Station, Bromley Bus Garage and terminate at Farnborough Village at 09:37. The 47v will then leave Farnborough Village for its return journey at 09:52 arriving at Catford Bus Garage at 10:30. It then leaves Catford Bus Garage at 16:18 and arrives at Shoreditch at 17:25.

Since I found this canvas cruelly discarded in my block of flats’ bin room, and obviously rescued, fixed and hung it, I feel a particular affinity for the 47 route of days gone by, so you’ll no doubt find me on the 47v!

I should probably nick this (broken) from the bin room before the refuse collectors come tomorrow, shouldn't I?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: