Sunday, September 12, 2021

Alperton Bus Garage Farewell Open Day


London The Unfinished City
Alperton Garage Farewell Open Day
Saturday September 11, 2021

After 82 years of operation the Alperton Bus Garage ceased being operational on Friday September 10, 2021. The following day they opened up their doors and invited the public in to enjoy the various buses and chat with staff, for the final time.

London The Unfinished City
Keilyn takes Erin for a ride.

Myself, Erin, Keilyn and my uncle Martin arrived at the depot a few minutes before the gates opened. Joining the queue we didn't have to wait long. A £2.50 entrance fee for adults (accompanied children were free), which would go to local charities was a small price to pay.

London The Unfinished City
Centrewest (Preserved) BL81 (1977).

Greenline coaches, RT-type buses, RM (Routemaster) buses, Stagecoach bus, New Routemaster, Fleetline double deck bus and many more were all on show. Many of these you could climb aboard and explore, hang off the back support pole or climb into the driver's seat and change the destination boards.

London The Unfinished City
A Northfleet Greenline Coach & London Transport bus RFW14 (1951).

Inside the garage stalls offered the chance to own memorabilia, which included old timetables, route maps, postcards, photos, books, DVDs, VHS tapes, models, uniforms, badges and much more. Inderjit Puaar, who wrote two books for children, called Bradley the Bus, was on site signing copies. So, Erin and Keilyn had one each that she dedicated and signed.

Keilyn was in behind the steering wheel of every bus that she could, with Erin, who is slightly taller, could reach the handles to change the destination boards from the drivers seat. Sensibly, all of the drivers had disconnected the horns, which would surely have been going off incessantly otherwise.

London The Unfinished City
Me, hanging off the back of a Routemaster, which brought back many memories.

Free bus trips were being run from the garage out to Sudbury & Harrow School (route 18B), Wembley Park (route 46) and West Perivale & Perivale (route 79A), but this would have meant a rather long wait, as the crowds were, by now, in their hundreds.

We visited the garage canteen for refreshments and then took a final look around, before we made our way back along Ealing Road, in search of some lunch, before we made our way home.

It was a great day out and I wish all the drivers, staff and volunteers all the best and 'thank you' for inviting us in.

Brief History

Alperton bus garage opened for service on June 7, 1939. Initially it had an allocation of 58 double deck buses, none of which were new buses, but rather transferred in from other depots.

Throughout the years various routes were run from Alperton and more buses were added to its fleet. 

As times changed and other services began operating routes moved from depot to depot and the amount of buses at Alperton rose and fell.

  • 1952 - 7 routes & 88 buses
  • 1966 - 7 routes & 65 buses
  • 1987 - 8 routes & 72 buses
  • 2014 - 5 routes & 76 buses
  • 2021 - 4 routes & 76 buses
Route 83 was the only one that stayed with Alperton throughout the 82 years of service. 

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