Route History

Date
Gar
Mon-Fri
Sat
Sun
01.02.61
HT
52RM
42RM
35RM

ALDGATE - Mile End Gate - Bethnal Green - Hackney - Clapton - Stamford Hill - Manor House - Finsbury Park - Holloway - Camden Town - Mornington Crescent Stn - TOTTENHAM COURT ROAD Maple Street
TROLLEYBUS REPLACEMENT ROUTE
for Route 653

RM417

RM417 seen in Maple Street shortly after the route was introduced as evidenced by the overhead

This image available with the
Nostalgia download

26.04.61
EM
23RM
16RM
26RM
 
HT
29RM
26RM
12RM

Daily Edmonton (EM) allocation added - buses running light to line of route.

11.10.61
HT
31RM
22RM
12RM
 
SF
21RM
20RM
23RM

Edmonton (EM) allocation withdrawn - Stamford Hill (SF) added.

08.01.72
CT
13RM
6RM
--
 
HT
8RM
12RM
16RM
 
SF
38RM
20RM
13RM

Mon-Sat Clapton (CT) allocation added.

11.10.75
CT
20RM
15RM
4RM
 
HT
--
5DM
12DM
 
SF
36RM
20RM
12DM/1RML

Mon-Fri Holloway (HT) withdrawn.
Sunday Clapton (CT) added DM and RML types introduced.

28.10.78
CT101+
16RM
14RM
8RM
 
D131+
15RM
--
--
D121+
--
12RM
--
HT331+
--
--
10DM
 
SF21+
22RM
10RM
14RML

Mon-Sat Dalston (D) allocation introduced.

RM1616

RM1616 at Finsbury Park

This image available with Routemaster family downloadat the Bus Photos page

27.09.80
CT101+
16RM
14RM
8RM
 
D131+
15RM
D121+
--
12RM
4RM
HT331+
--
--
10RM
 
SF21+
22RM
10RM
10RML

Sunday Dalston (D) allocation introduced.


25.04.81
AG91+
--
3RM
2RM
 
CT101+
15RM
15RM
11RM
HT331+
--
--
7RM
 
SF21+
38RM
19RM
11RM

Dalston (D) allocation withdrawn with garage closure.
Sat-Sun (AG) allocation introduced.

RCL2251

Between 1980 and 1984 the RCL type was allocated to the 149 but they sometimes strayed onto the 253 as seen here at Aldgate (RCL2251)

 

This image available with the Routemaster family download at Bus Photos

04.09.82
AG91+
18RM
16RM
7RM
HT331+
--
--
10RM
 
SF21+
29RM
18RM
11RM

Clapton (CT) withdrawn. Mon-Fri Ash Grove (AG) allocation introduced.

03.08.85
AG91+
19RM
16RM
--
HT331+
--
--
13RM
 
SF21+
29RM
18RM
11RM

Sunday Ash Grove (AG) allocation withdrawn.

RML2347

A sadly neglected RML2347 from Ash Grove (AG)

This image available with the Routemaster family download at Bus Photos


02.11.85
AG91+
19RM
16RM
13RM
 
SF21+
29RM
18RM
11RM

Sunday only Holloway (HT) allocation transferred to Ash Grove (AG),

21.06.86
AG91+
19RM
16RM
13RM
 
SF21+
20RML/9RM
18RML
11RML

RML type introduced at Stamford Hill (SF).

21.11.87
AG91+
21T
15T
13T
 
SF21+
37M
24M
14M

ONE PERSON OPERATION

11.05.91
AG91+
14T
14T
13T
 
SF21+
33M
23M
14M

ALDGATE - MORNINGTON CRESCENT STN
Withdrawn between Mornington Crescent and Warren Street.

T384

T384 seen here at Minories Bus Station

This image available with the
Titan download

23.11.91
SF21+
45L/M
38L/M
22L/M

Ash Grove allocation withdrawn.

253 extract from 02.12.91 allocation book

Extracted from 02.12.91 allocation book

Set of 25 1990's allocation books £6
£5 donated to Great Ormonde Street Hospital for children

05.09.92
SF21+
46L/M
39L/M
23L/M

ALDGATE - EUSTON STATION
Extended from Mornington Crescent to Euston via Eversholt Street.

M1182

M1182 is seen with the ultimate destination that was exclusive to this route

This image available with the
Metrobus download

13.05.95
CT21+
48L/M
39L/M
25L/M

Stamford Hill (SF) closes - operations transferred to Clapton (CT)

20.07.02
CT31+
19dd
19dd
13dd
 
SF1+
22dd
18dd
13dd

Part of allocation moved to re-opened Stamford Hill (SF)

L330

L330 seen in the Minories at the last alighting point

This image available on the
Leyland Olympian download

31.05.03
CT31+
24DLA
24DLA
16DLA

EUSTON STATION - HACKNEY CENTRAL STN
Withdrawn between Hackney and Aldgate - this section covered by new Route 254 running between Holloway and Aldgate.

14.01.06
CT31+
24DLA
24DLA
16DLA

Rerouted northbound in Camden direct via Eversholt Street instead of Harrington Square.

01.04.06
SF31+
25DLA
24DLA
16DLA

CT garage closure - reallocated to Stamford Hill (SF)

DLA104

DLA104 Camden High Street

This image available on Bus Photos page

01.12.07
SF31+
25DLA
24DLA
16DLA

Introduction of additonal turning point at Clapton Pond for buses from Euston

05.06.10
SF41+
27VLW
24VLW
16VLW

Contract renewal with Arriva

VLW199

VLLW199 Euston turn around point

This image available on Bus Photos page

03.09.11
SF41+
27dd
24dd
16dd

DLA - DW  and HV type now used

15.06.13
SF41+
27dd
25dd
17dd

Rerouted southbound at Hackney Central via Dalston Lane and Amhurst Road instead of Narrow Way. PVR increase

06.06.15
SF41+
28HV
26HV
19HV

EUSTON STATION - HACKNEY CENTRAL STN
Contract renewal with hybrid buses made reduntant when Route 73 converted to Boris Bus

HV52

HV52 takes a rest on the stand at Euston taken on my iphone so not the best quality

© Ian Armstrong


253 map
Extracted from TFL map
Click to enlarge

Arriva London LT818 


Current times for Route live stands Tender Specs Route 253 fares

Operating Garages

HT Holloway
Changeover point Nags Head.

SF Stamford Hill
Changeover point Stamford Hill Broadway

CT Clapton
Changeover point outside garage.

AG   Ash Grove
Changeover point outside garage

D Dalston
Changeover point - see email below

EM Edmonton
Changeover point probably Stamford Hill but buses ran dead from Stamford Hill on journeys to garage.

STAFF COMMENT


Hi Ian,

I was just looking at the histories of various London bus routes at your site "Buses at Work".

I started working as a conductor with London Transport at Dalston in June 1979 - and transferred to Stamford Hill in the autumn of 1980 - and left this job in about March 1981. The 253 was my regular "Road" at Dalston - and I also worked quite a lot on the 253 from Stamford Hill - which had a common rota in those days - i.e. you did not work on one regular route. In fact - I worked an early shift on the 253s on the first Sunday on which Dalston had

I notice that you have a question mark as to the changeover point for Dalston crews on this route. The point used was Hackney Well Street in both directions. Interestingly - I noticed that when I switched to Stamford Hill - the running cards for the 253 at this garage did not have a timing point at Hackney Well Street - while those from Dalston did - regardless of whether there was a changeover on that journey.

Strictly speaking - crews were expected to use the 236 bus to travel the appproximate half mile from Dalston Garage to this changeover point. However - the 236 was not a frequent route and - as I am sure you are aware - the bus service in London was crippled at that time by a tripple whammy of traffic congestion - staff shortages and frequent vehicle breakdowns. Consequently - there was no point whatsoever in waiting for the 236 when setting out since gaps of up to an hour used to occur on this service - so crews mostly used to make their way on foot to and from this changeover point. Dalston crews on the 253 would take their mealbreaks at Hackney garage canteen - this garage being just round the corner from the Well Street stop.

Of course - the first buses out in the morning set out in service from the garage - and the late buses returned in service to the garage. One well-kept secret was that garage journeys to/from Aldgate (or Mile End Gate) were actually supposed to follow the 236 route up to Dalston Lane then proceed along Graham Road and pick up the 253 route from Hackney Station. There was a time for Hackney Station on the running card for such garage journeys. I say this was a well-kept secret because the crews in practice just turned right when leaving the garage and went straight down to Cambridge Heath Road - missing out even the Hackney Well Street stop. The 253 blinds at Dalston even included the destination "Dalston Garage via Hackney Station" - one destination that I doubt was ever displayed - except perhaps by some rookie crew


At other times - the distance between the garage and changeover point was the cause of a lot of discontent for the crews on this route. The shortest way of getting from Dalston Garage to Well Street involved walking across a small park known as London Fields and through an alleyway. As you might appreciate - this was not a very salubrious part of London - and many crews preferred to take the longer walk along the 236 bus route. It was not so bad during daylight hours - but after dark the decision as to the best way to return to the garage always posed a dilema. As a conductor - it was not so bad if you were setting out to start a shift because you would not be carrying any money - but I remember there were a number of shifts that involved coming off at Hackney Well Street in the evening and then you had to make your own way back to the garage to pay in and sign off. You were personally responsible for the money until you paid it in. Crossing London Fields at night was too great a risk - and it is was still possible that you could be robbed while walking along the Road served by the 236. In theory we were supposed to be able to get an overtime chit for the time we had to wait for the next 236 to pass by and take us to the garage - but I remember that in practice getting a chit under these circumstances from the garage inspectors was like getting blood from a stone - especially if you were asking for something like 45 minutes overtime - even if that was the actual time you had to wait for the first bus to come.

Anyway - enough about Hackney Well Street. I would also like to point out that the changeover point for buses on the 253 operating from Stamford Hill (at the time I worked there in late 1980 - early 1981) was Stamford Hill Broadway - not Stamford Hill Common. At that time - all routes operating from Stamford Hill changed crews at the Stamford Hill Broadway stop - at which inspectors were on duty. It is true that the Stamford Hill Common stop was actually closer to Stamford Hill garage - and this is where staff travelling to/from work on that route may have alighted or boarded - and I am sure at times conductors on Warren Street bound vehicles may have stretched the rules and jumped off here - leaving the vehicle conductorless for one stop (although I never heard of this being done) - but this was not the official relief point at that time - I don't know if this changed later.

I hope some of these points are useful to you. I will look at your descriptions of some other routes I have worked on and see if there is anything I can add.


Regards,
Tim Drayton
Limassol - Cyprus

 

© Ian Armstrong 2015
Date of edit   Tuesday, 31.10.17