The Twickenham Museum
Exhibitions : Road Rail and River

Buses and Charabancs
Before 1800 stagecoaches ran between London, Twickenham and Hampton and surrounding areas

A charabanc outing from Poupart’s jam factory in Third Cross Road, Twickenham, in the 1920s

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.

A horse-drawn bus from the London & Suburban Omnibus Company Limited having just completed its journey from Richmond to Hampton Court in about 1900. It has stopped to unload passengers outside the Greyhound Hotel (later the Lion Gate Hotel) near the entra

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.

Bus ticket for the 90B route via Twickenham

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.

A single decker on the 216 route to Staines via Hampton Station pictured at the stop near the roundabout outside Hampton Court Palace

Trolleybuses were withdrawn on 8 May 1962, replaced by the new Routemaster buses on the following day.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.

This 1971 view of buses at Hampton Court station shows a ‘DMS’ type bus on the 267 route to Hammersmith Broadway

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.

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