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Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: Locations

Location codes (or 'I like to be consistent, sometimes')
Sun 26/01/14, 01:40
9 Replies
I had been meaning to say a bit about the codes used as abbreviations for locations on this website, and why they differ from those used in some other publications. Obviously bus garages have always had official one- or two-letter codes which are well known. At first there were relatively few other locations at which service vehicles were kept, and both LOTS and the PSV Circle assigned them two-letter codes (unfortunately not always the same, for example LOTS used LE for Lillie Bridge while the PSVC used LB). With the huge amount of garage codes that have been used over the years, plus the increase related to tendered bus operation, it was becoming hard to find meaningful codes for SV locations that did not conflict with these. There was also a growing number of SV locations being added or identified.

LOTS had already been using 3-letter codes for some non-garage locations, notably ALD for Aldenham and AEC for AEC Southall. Whilst I was putting together SUP15B for LOTS, I argued that 3-letter codes should become standard for non-garage locations, and these were duly used. In devising the codes I tried to make them as meaningful and straightforward as possible, for example Effra Road was given code EFR. However, I also applied a few rules, albeit not completely consistently. To avoid confusion with bus allocations combined with status codes (for example ACt would be used for a trainer bus allocated to Willesden), I tried not to use any codes that ended in T, U or W. A bit of a slip-up was my recent addition of EWT for Edgware Track Depot, where EWt is a potential current bus code. For bus stations, most were given codes ending in B, with D the last letter for most depots and S for Stations. Offices were generally given either H (for House) or O, while Emergency Response Unit locations ended in E. The result is some codes that may appear odd (for example MMO for Mitcham Offices) but also a clear relationship between groups of codes (for example SDB, SDD and SDS are the bus station, depot and railway station at Stratford). There are a few anomalies (such as Acton, Bollo House being ACB but not being a bus station) but hopefully the codes are fairly easy to either guess or remember.

Now, whilst it is quite easy to change the codes on the website (which I recently did when I discovered that 'Dollis Hill' was an office at Cricklewood Bus Garage rather than the Station - DHS was changed to DHO) it occured to me that this might not be sensible. The codes have been used in SUP15B, in numerous editions of The London Bus, and also in the newer TLB Extras published by LOTS. Changing them could lead to confusion for future readers. So, whilst I now know (for example) that neither AGS and SSS are actually at their respective stations, I won't be changing them.

What has brought all this to mind today is the discovery of yet another probable SV location. Silwood Triangle is a patch of open ground south of Surrey Quays Station and bounded by two branches of the East London Line and the Southeastern lines from London Bridge. Assuming it does become a long-term allocation, I am a bit stuck for a code. SWD would imply a depot, SWT would confuse with SWt, SQ-something (for Surrey Quays) would be OK but I can't decide what the something letter should be. Ah, SQY might suit. The Y relates to it being a yard and also fits in with the name Surrey Quays. Shame it isn't really at Surrey Quays....

Anyhow, enough of my rambling. I should really get to bed. Or maybe I'll just do a bit more history inputting first!


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London deep-level shelters
Fri 31/01/14, 14:32
Wikipedia gives details of the eight shelters (plus two others that were proposed). It seems that immigrants ex the mv Windrush were housed in the Clapham shelter for a time. By coincidence, the BBC London News had a story yesterday (30/1/2014) on the shelter, stating that, due to the advancement in LED lighting technology, the plant-friendly temperature found 100ft below ground, and with some support from celebrity chef Michel Roux Jnr, the damp Second World War air raid shelter is being transformed into the capital’s first underground farm (herbs etc.).

More on Clapham and Stockwell
Wed 29/01/14, 00:31
The Clapham Society text and the pictures on their site appear to come from the book on ''London's Secret Tubes'' by Capital Transport which is where I gleaned most of my information from. As for Stockwell Garage it was originally planned as a Trolleybus Depot so the L.P.T.B. must have owned the vacant part of the site before the war although I never realised it was used for shelter construction purposes. Interesting stuff!

Spoil from shelter construction
Tue 28/01/14, 23:35
Right, the answer to my last question is apparently 20 feet (see below), although this means it was not spread across the whole of Clapham Common! I wonder where this ''pile'' went? I lived near Clapham Common for my first 25 years and I don't recall anything that big. Anyway, the following text was lifted from, which is a long and interesting article.

One of the problems was what to do with the enormous amounts of spoil removed — estimated at 200,000 cubic yards (153,000 cubic metres) south of the river. London Transport negotiated the purchase of 130 second-hand lorries at £425 — £500 each to carry it away. The London County Council gave permission for 125,000 cubic yards (96,000 cubic metres) to be dumped on Clapham Common and the height of this dump rose to 20 feet (6 metres). A site in Nightingale Lane was identified for the deposit of 20,000 cubic yards (15,300 cubic metres) and this was close enough to allow a gantry for spoil transfer. A further 20,000 cubic yards (15,300 cubic metres) were similarly dumped at Clapham North on the site of three bomb damaged houses in Clapham Road after allotment holders there had been given £5 each to relocate.

Shelters on Clapham Common
Tue 28/01/14, 23:17
As this thread drifts somewhat further off-topic, Damon's comments reminded me of the ''humps'' in the western-most rectangle of Clapham Common. I'm sure these had access doors, suggesting they were shelters or similar, but I can't find any mention of them on-line. If they were shelters then they would have produced spoil rather than consumed it. Since Clapham Common is very flat I have no idea where the spoil Damon mentioned went. Mind you, it is 220 acres. What would 125,000 cubic yards spread over 220 acres look like???

Stockwell Shelter Construction yard
Tue 28/01/14, 23:08
I plan to review the 1939-1948 Advice Book after completing the current run of Variation Sheets, but I had a recollection of seeing Stockwell mentioned in it. However, a quick flick has turned up that many of the 2nd hand vehicles went initially to Battersea (where??), then some to Chalk Farm. In a couple of cases the vehicles have a company name next to them. This made me think that perhaps the 130 vehicles Damon mentioned were in fact the SVs in the number range 498 to 624. Both the quantities and the dates are roughly right. Anyway, I then found the transfer of no fewer than 61 SVs to ''CE (B&C) Deep Shelter Pool, 51 Lansdowne Way, Stockwell'' in the first few days of June 1941, with more soon after. There is a nice map of the proposed site of Stockwell Garage in Ken Glazier's ''LT Garages'' (Capital Transport 2006) and this shows number 51 being on a large triangular patch of land pretty much corresponding to the eventual main building of the garage.

Stockwell shelter construction yard
Tue 28/01/14, 20:13
I see this site gets a mention from Tom on this thread. Do we know where? Can we assume it was simply that roundabout thingy where one of the entrances currently stands brightly painted? During construction the L.P.T.B. dumped spoil from shelter construction in several sites. There was a corner of Regents Park for the North London shelters. Then there was apparently 125,000 cubic yards dumped on Clapham Common and a further 20,000 cubic yards found its way to a site at Nightingale Lane near to Clapham South. Moving on to service vehicles the L.P.T.B. allegedly took on 80 second hand lorries in February 1941 and another 50 in May 1941. These remained the property of the Ministry of Home Security however the L.P.T.B. were responsible for looking after them and they were actually used by contractors.

Silwood Depot - more detail
Tue 28/01/14, 19:34
More detail can be found at and includes a rather splendid map at This suggests depot buildings although they're not for putting trains in. Hopefully this clarifies the status of this site.
Note: Reply edited by Damon, 29/01/14, 00:43.

Silwood Triangle
Tue 28/01/14, 11:28
Excellent, thanks Damon. The sidings are not going to be covered, but there will be anciliary buildings, so I guess we could call this Silwood Depot with a code of SWD. SWS (for Silwood Sidings) is an option but I think I might need that later for Stockwell Shelter Construction yard (a wartime location).

Silwood Triangle?
Mon 27/01/14, 13:24
Is this not the location of new sidings for LOROL as part of the 5th car project? There is a photo in the January edition of Modern Railways (page 9). The caption to this photo refers to Silwood Depot and states that ten five-car siding are being installed.. Is this site actually known as Silwood Sidings or even Silwood Depot I wonder?
Note: Reply edited by Damon, 27/01/14, 13:32.