Buses and Charabancs
Before 1800 stagecoaches ran between London, Twickenham and Hampton and surrounding areas
Before 1800 stagecoaches ran between London, Twickenham and Hampton and surrounding areas. About 1850 The Richmond Conveyance Company increased services and by 1860 there were horse-drawn omnibuses at frequent intervals from 9 am to 9 pm. Vehicles left the Strand and Piccadilly for Hammersmith and Twickenham. Some travelled on through Hampton or Hampton Court to Sunbury or Chertsey, others through Teddington to Kingston.
The coming of the railways from the 1860s undermined the horse-drawn services, although some local ones survived. In turn the introduction of electric trams in 1903 eliminated horse-drawn transport. 1931 saw the introduction of trolleybuses and these continued until their replacement by diesel buses in 1962. There were still motor buses, known as ‘Generals’ throughout these years on longer routes run by the London General Omnibus Company, later the London Passenger Transport Board in 1933.
Charabancs were employed for organised outings by social groups: clubs and groups from work. In Edwardian times and later such a trip might be the only day out during the year for people without statutory holidays.
Trolleybuses were withdrawn on 8 May 1962, replaced by the new Routemaster buses on the following day. They started from Fulwell Depot/Garage, built for the trams. It continues in use to this day.
London Transport privatised its services in 1994 and what had been ‘Cardinal District’ became ‘London United’. Since then a variety of companies have operated on local routes.