Worcester Park

Clapham Common heydayAlan B Cross - photographer


There can't be many bus enthusiasts who have not enjoyed Alan Cross's photographs over the years.  Like many, I have several in my collection that go back to browsing in Lens of Sutton in the 1960s; in those days Alan was already an established figure.


One of Alan's pictures that I purchased from Lens of Sutton in the 1960s.  An evocative reminder of the variety of buses that had been swept away by the mid-50s - Merton's roofbox STL2007 on the 118 to Raynes Park, Holloway's ST424 on the 4A to Finsbury Park and Merton's D180 on a 5A short to South Wimbledon, lined up at Clapham Common Old Town on Saturday 12 Feb 49 (with Alan's pictures, you knew what you were looking at).  At the time, the 4A was scheduled with STs from Q and STLs from J; the route became all STL-operated in early 1950.  The 5A (a North Cheam route) later became the 189 as part of the tram replacement programme.   Photo © Alan Cross


Recommended readingI'm sure many readers will have purchased a copy of Alan's wonderful recent publication 'London Bus Recollections - the Complete Chit-Chats' (Omnibus Society 2006).  A fascinating chronicle both of bus memoirs and of the development of our hobby itself.  Assiduous reading reveals not only that Alan hails from the area of our running day but that 2008 marks no less than 60 years since the purchase of his first camera - for the purpose of recording the extraordinary variety of buses to be found in south London at the time.


It is therefore with great pleasure that we feature on the site some of Alan's work, based on photographs kindly loaned by him.  I must apologise to Alan that the quality of the scans does not do justice to the real thing - so if readers want better quality, they will need to trawl the photographers' stalls at bus events for originals.