213 Memories


I’ve been using the 213 bus for 15 years

It is a link between my house and New Malden High Street and also friends who live in this area.

I have also taken the bus route from my stop to very near the end of the line (Sutton Civic Centre) when volunteering for a local museum there. It is a very long bus route that can be quite unreliable (I once waited nearly an hour for one!) It also seems to be always affected by traffic jams at most times of the day. When travelling on the 213 to and from Sutton I would always sit on the top deck by a window so I could look out as the streets and scenery passed by.

My bus stop is MOTSPUR PARK

I’ve been using the 213 bus for 2 years

An easy way to get to work in Kingston. As I don’t drive, this was the best way to visit my girlfriend and baby at Kingston Hospital. It will be the first bus my daughter travels on.

My bus stop is LINDSAY ROAD

I’ve been using the 213 bus for 3 (nearly) years

This bus has been a means for me to see friends, get to work, get to college and get to University. As well as getting me to the best place to be…home 


I’ve been using the 213 bus for 2.5 years (used)

I used to live in a flat nearby with an ex-partner. I do not have great memories of 213, it just reminds me of a failed relationship. Has a lot of arguments on this bus! It’s not so much the bus, it’s the journey it makes past my old flat that I don’t like.

My bus stop is NA

I’ve been using the 213 bus for – years

I walk past the Fairfield Bus Station on my way to University of Kingston and often see hte 213 bus, which makes me think of Amy who is doing a creative project on that bus route. In a sense, the bus has become to symbolise Amy – her creativeness and love for quirky things.

My bus stop is NA

I’ve been using the 213 bus for – years

Single deck buses ran up Traps Lane until the new bridge at New Malden Station, after a double decker was introduced ’213A’ going along the same route as now, the new double deck 213 still ran up Traps Lane and Coombe Lane for some time before it was withdrawn

My bus stop was LINDSAY ROAD

I used the 213 bus for 7 years

I grew up in Worcester Park, and for seven years (84 – 91) caught the bus – either the 213 or the 151 – to school in Sutton, from the Lindsay Road stop, by Jolley’s newsagent and the Indian restaurant; and coming home, I’d alight at the balancing stop outside St Matthias RC church.

My bus stop was GLOUCESTER ROAD/Coombe Road (?)

I used the 213 bus for – years

It was my mode of transport in 1956 to Cheam Village to see my fiancée,
having had to sell my 1938 Austin 12 to buy the engagement ring!   At that
time I would have travelled on the new underfloor engined RF buses.

However my main memory is of the previous LTL and T series with their crash
gearboxes and small engines, no heating and quite out-of-date, only running
on this route because of New Malden’s low bridge.   We moved in to the newly
built house in Arundel Road, K-u-T c. 1933, the 213 was the nearest to us in
Coombe Road, the alternative being the 604 trolley-bus in Cambridge Road
which I seem to remember we used, possibly because the 213’s were quite full
by the time they got to Gloucester Road.

My bus stop was THE PLOUGH/Rivington(?)

I used the 213 bus for 32 years

I lived from 1932 to 1964 in Fullbrooks Avenue which of course is just a stone’s throw from Malden Road (B283), near the “Plough” pub.  In the early days, both the 213 and 245 buses along Malden Road, were single-deckers, I imagine because the railway bridge was very narrow and of limited height  In fact, the road dipped considerably at this point even to give the clearance it did have.  This fact caused the road to become impassable after heavy rainstorms.  I believe there were similar limitations at Malden station for the 213, but the 245 (and later the 127) turned off before then (at “The Fountain” I think) towards South Wimbledon

When the war came, the 245 route (a round trip from South Wimbledon to Morden) was changed to the 127 and small double deckers were introduced for this service, though the 213 remained a single decker.  In those days the nearest bus stop was at “Rivington”, the house next to the drive in to the “Plough”,  though bus drivers then were not so restricted in where they stopped.  If one was lucky with a cooperative driver, it was possible to raise one’s hand and alight between official stops.  There were bus conducters, of course.

Soon after WW2, the B283 was the subject of extensive roadworks from Worcester Park station towards the New Malden which caused chaos and long delays for months.  Incidently, when we first moved to the area, it was known more often than not as “Old Malden”; my parents named their house “Maeldune”, the old name for Malden.

We always regarded it as very central for shopping, being nearly midway between Sutton, Kingston, Epsom and Wimbledon.  Kingston was the prefered destination and one could save one old penny on the journey by taking the 213 to “The Fountain”, New Malden, and changing onto a trolley bus, 604 or 605, to Kingston. The total fares were four old pennies for the straight run on the 213 to Kingston or three (one to the “Fountain” plus two on the 604 or 605) on the cheaper, broken, journey.

I do not know how the 213 has evolved over the past 50 years since I moved to Surbiton in 1964.  In my days, whilst the bus had one terminus in Kingston, at the other end there were two – I think Sutton Garage and Belmont.

My bus stop was THE PLOUGH

I used the 213 bus for – years

In the mid-1950s I lived in New Malden and went to school in Croydon. The 213 bus took me from the Plough to Sutton and each bus had a metal plate on the side with (I think) some letters and a number. If I was in time for no.10 I would be certain to catch my connection (Route 406) at Sutton. If it was no.11 I would probably be late for school!

My bus stop was  NEW MALDEN STATION

I used the 213 bus for – years

I spent many a time running for the bus having seen it whilst my train was arriving, heading into New Malden. Always ran, always missed it!

About 15 years ago whilst getting the 213 from Sutton to Kingston, a wasp that was annoying other users sat on my right shoulder at North Cheam, he stayed there ’til Fairfield then as the bus ended its journey, flew off through the window. Not only did I look like a rubbish pirate for 45 minutes, the wasp clearly was fair evading…


I’ve been using the 213 bus for – years

I had a friend who once caught the 213 to Kingston for a blind date. She was stood up, but got chatting to two guys on the 213 back home again. They exchanged numbers, and a little while later one of them phoned her back. After 3 years of dating they got married…. divorced now but every time I think of them, I think of the Hollie’s ‘Bus Stop’ tune.

My bus stop was NEW MALDEN STATION

I used the 213 bus for a couple of years in the early 2000s

I caught the 213 to work in Kingston. The bus used to be very crowded with girls from Coombe Girls School so it was a relief when they all got off just a few stops after I got on. Once the bus got to Kingston it would often get caught up in traffic so I frequently got off a few stops before the bus station and walked the rest of the way. If the bus driver was nice, and the traffic was very bad, they would let you off between stops even though they weren’t supposed to.

For a few months I lived near the Fountain in New Malden and then it became a bit of a gamble as to whether you got the 213 or the 131 into Kingston – as they crossed over at the Fountain roundabout they stopped at different stops so I would sometimes stand on the corner and make a run for whichever one I spotted first.


I used the bus for 7 years.

I travelled on the 213 bus for 7 years from New Malden (by St. James’ church) to Cheam village where I attended Nonsuch High School from 1965 to 1972.

I can’t recall anything specific except for memories of who got on and off at which stop and, of course, the route which became so very familiar. 

Just recalled that rumour had it that there was a deep underground bunker (with nuclear protection) at North Cheam with a secret entrance!


I used the bus for 1.5 years

I started going out with my boyfriend a year and a half ago. Up until last week, he lived by the North Cheam/Queen Victoria stop on the 213 route. He drove but I didn’t, and most of the time he’d come to collect me but occasionally I’d have to get the bus to his or from his to work super early in the morning. I hated it. It always seemed to rain when I was on the 213 and the journey just took forever. I had a really old iPod which only had Ed Sheeran on it, and now whenever I hear Ed Sheeran I think of the 213.


I’ve been using the bus for over 40 years

I’ve been using the 213 bus since 1971.  In those days there was the 213 and the 213A; the latter just travelling as far as Langley Grove (Coombe Girls’ School) but via Coombe Lane West rather than Kenley Road and Clarence Avenue.  The 213A was scrapped in the mid-1970s/early 1980s. 

 Back in 1973 as a child the bus fare was 2p from Kingston Hospital to Gloucester Road; I was only 8 years old and took the bus just one stop on the way home from school to avoid crossing the busy Coombe Lane West at the junction with Gloucester Road. 

I remember the really long queues snaking round a high wall at the old bus station in front of Kingston railway station; on Saturday afternoons you’d often have to watch one bus completely fill up and wait for the next one before being able to get on, such was the popularity of the 213 bus!

My bus stop is Oak Road?

I’ve been using the bus for years

I remember it so well i live near Clarence avue new Malden. The bus went by my road all day i grow up with that bus if my memory serves me right i can still remember the old type were it had the driver and the conductor until they intrados’ the buss we use today.

When the new bus came and you only had the driver it wasn’t the same.

Bring back the old days

I do remember that there used to be the 213 bus route which runs as it does today but also a 213a bus route which went the same route as the 213 but turned left at the traffic lights into Coombe Lane West and then right into Traps Lane where it joined the 213 bus route.   Such a convenient route don’t know why they stopped it

I’ve been using the 213 bus for 69 years
The sad memory I have is that in 1945 my  4 year old Labrador dog Bobby got run over and killed by a 213 bus in New Malden High Street. My mother originally told me that’ he had just run away’ to save me getting too upset. I heard later that the bus driver and the conducter were so upset they offered to buy us another dog out of their wages, although apparently it was the dog’s fault. My mother politely refused the offer as she felt a new dog could not replace Bobby.
On a happier note, in 1952 I experienced my first little kiss as a school girl teenager on the 213.  My friends and I used use the 213 to  sometimes visit NonSuch Park in Cheam after school. We became friendly with some boys who attended Sutton High Schoool ,(lovely Violet coloured blazers) and one of them (very handsome  with blond hair) used to accompany me back to New Malden on the 213-after knowing him for about 4 months, he suddenly planted a kiss on my cheek when I got up to alight from the bus . I walked the rest of the way home on cloud nine-the friendship did not materialise as he changed his affections to another girl  who lived nearer to home -probably cheaper than paying bus fares to keep escorting me to New Malden!!  Always wondered what became of him -perhaps he still accompanies ladies to New Malden!!
My enduring memory of the 213 was once when I had caught it from Worcester Park, heading into Kingston on a Friday or Thursday evening. Sadly there were some excited youngsters getting ready for a big night out. I was on the bottom deck, seat on the right behind the area for wheelchairs etc. Just approaching Kingston and the Cattle Market, we encountered some traffic and one of the boys decided it would be really cool to smash the rear exit doors and run out of the bus. His mates thought it hilarious and soon followed him out. The rest of us didn’t as the bus could no longer travel what with it being broken!
Sorry for the sad memory, but ‘normal’ bus journeys don’t tend to stick in the mind to they?!
You probably don’t know but way, way back in the years immediately after world war 11 for various reasons most of the bus routes around Kingston were worked by single deck buses and the 213 was one of them, probably because it served outer suburbia where they wasn’t sufficient demand to put on a double deck bus. Because of concentration on producing armaments few new buses were built in the war. Thus time expired ones had to be kept going but lack of maintenance, inevitably, during the war meant that these elderly buses were worn out. I can remember the 213 had plenty of these, the oldest dating back to 1929. They still had petrol engines, diesel was the standard by then, they were noisy, they rattled and sometimes they broke down. They were patched up and the last of these was not taken out of service until the early 1950s.

Does anyone remember the mad bus journies we used to have on the way to college. I was there doing A-levels from 86-88. Remember the Xmas we gave the bus driver a card and decorated the bus with bog roll? Friends Reunited


I used the bus to go from N.Cheam to Sutton in the 1940/50s
as I lived in Stoneleigh – 93 to N.Cheam ( now 293) and then 213.

The reason for the longevity of the single deckers was that – until
Nov 1962 – Worcester Park Stn bridge was extremely small and
even low-height d/deckers could not get through.

I have a set of 35mm colour slides showing the new bridge being installed.

Also, the route to what was Kingston Bus station was via Birkenhead Avenue
into Queen Elizabeth Rd and then into Cromwell Rd.  There was a bus stop
in B’head Ave outside Tiffin Boys School, which I attended and clearly
remember the single deck LTs that ran the route for so long.

As a regular morning user of the 213, I have looked at your blog and the info on it with interest (my husband says I am strange being interested in buses and tubes!) but being a non-driver public transport has been my way of life since I was 11. I have been using the 213 to commute from Sutton (Manor Place) to Kingston for 4 years now, and like you, doze, listen to conversations and muse my way through each morning journey, which, even at 6.45 am can take 40 minutes or 1 hour 40 minutes. I just wondered that if, during your research, you come across the answers to these strange musings, you could let me know via your blog.
Do you wonder, as I do, why ‘The Plough’ has suddenly become ‘Plough Green’ on the automated announcements on the bus – I have only noticed it this week (maybe I was asleep at that part of the journey before!)? Or why ‘St James Church/Kingston By-Pass’ is specific, but ‘Norbiton Church’ is not? It irritates me – I think it should be ‘St Peter’s Church, Norbiton’…or why ‘Manor Gate Road’ is two words on the bus stop and on the dot matrix board on the bus, but the road is actually Manorgate Road? And, also irritatingly, why the the specific destination of ‘Sutton – Bushey Road’ in one direction, but the very general ‘Kingston’ in the other – surely ‘Kingston – Fairfield Road’ would be better??
I think that 4 years of monotonous journeys spent studying Central Road in too much detail as the bus attempts to reach Worcester Park Station has given me too much time to think…



  1. The 213 bus route ran into West Croydon on Sunday in the early 1980’s. The 154 bus route did not run on Sunday at the time. Recently Night Bus route N213 also run to West Croydon.

  2. My house behind the Plough was built in 1937 and I have leaflet advertising the house that mentions the 113 bus route connecting direct to Kingston and Sutton.

  3. To the best of my knowledge the route number 113 was used by LGOC. When LTB reorganised services in July 1934 the route number was changed to 213.

  4. Does anyone remember when the 213a stopped and also the 57a used to stop at the top of traps lane and then turn left I remember

  5. To the best of my knowledge there was no variation of the 57 bus route and route 57A does not apply. The 213 originally ran via Coombe Lane and Traps Lane. In the 1960;s some buses started to run via Clarance and Kenley Drive the present 213 route. THis was give Route 213A to distinguish. When the original route vis Coombe Hill wqas withdrawn the 213A last its suffix and is now the present 213 Route.

    1. That is how I remember it – having used tgfe route from the early 60s when we moved to New Malden to when I left home in 1986. The 213a ran the current route, and the 213 ran up Traps Lane and along Combe Lane. The 213a became 213 when the Traps Lane route was scrapped.

      1. I drove the last 213 from Kingston to New Malden on the last day it opperated through Coombe Lane Traps Lane as far as the New Malden Police station. Happy days.

      2. Wow, thanks for sharing. Do you have any notable memories on the route, good or bad, that you’d be willing to share?! Amy

  6. In the mid 1950s there were two country bus (green) routes connecting Sutton to Croydon; the 408 Guildford to Warlingham and the 470 Dorking to Chelsham. In those days the 406 ran from Reigate to Kingston via Tattenham Corner and Epsom. God, I’ve become a nerd!

  7. I rode the 213A regularly during 1966 through 1970. I was a schoolboy at the time. Way back then, each bus had a conductor with a mechanical ticket machine slung around his neck. You paid the fare (in shillings and pence of course), he cranked the handle and out came your paper ticket. From the stop on Coombe Lane, just west of Traps Lane, I could catch a 213A to and from both Kingston and New Malden. I live in the US now, but in 2003 I returned to England for the first time in over 30 years. To my amazement the bus still ran the much same route. During that trip I relived my teenage years, once more boarding the good old red 213A London Transport omnibus at New Malden train station, headed north to my old neighborhood and then on to Kingston town center.

    I fully recognize that this will make me sound incredibly old to some readers. But just you wait. The years will pass you by quicker than you expect. Soon you will find yourself searching for web sites like this one… reminiscing about things that happened 40 years ago…. blathering on as I’m doing now….

    1. Hi Sonny! Thank you so much for your memories. I’m only 27 but this bus route is very nostalgic for me already – I stopped using it regularly a few years ago now and yet I’m still trying to write its history. Hope you are enjoying life in the US and continue to enjoy remembering your time in Kingston, See ya, Amy

  8. Hi Amy – fun blog – cheers for putting it up, I am reading it now.
    Lived on Duke Avenue then on the Groves from ’83-’99, so would catch the 213 between New Malden station and Kingston.
    Although the route was grimmer, I’d get the 131 more when heading to Kingston (and Wimbledon), but catch the 213 when I was coming back from Coombe Hill Infants. Remember the bus was p-a-c-k-e-d with Coombe Girls in the eighties and mum would get angry with how many of them would cram on and crush my brother in his pram. One of my earliest memories was jumping off 213 (1983?) in a thunder storm, and running up to our house on Dukes Avenue.
    Noticed the Shell garage opposite Chestnut Grove has gone – during mid-nineties, would get off the 213 and go in that petrol station to buy these square shaped Cadbury’s bars on way back from Tower Records in Kingston! Before I left New Malden, I used to walk from the pubs in Wimbledon Village back to New Malden under the A3 – saw some strange and scary things after midnight!

    1. Thanks for the memories! Very evocative and full of detail! I’m no longer on the 213 bus route (left Kingston myself in 2017) but glad you are enjoying the blog. One day I’ll get back and finish it up!

  9. I have memories of the 213 going back to the early 1950s when I was a toddler in a pushchair. Mum would wlk me up from Malden Manor where we lived to the Manor Park bus stop near the end of South Lane.. In those days the 213 busses were single decker TD class or sometimes T class busses. TDs had a single forwards facing seat behind the drivers cab and at the top of the steps. Mum would try and get that seat with me on her lap and the foldded push chair tucked in beside her.
    Tickets were dispensed from a clip board carrying all the fair categories and punched with a single hole in the punch the conductor carried on a very small leather apron at his waist, the ticket clipboard being carried on the shoulder strap. Only when the 213 was fully converted to RF class busses with the familiar flat front were the tickets dispensed fro the roller type ticket machine which was familiar on the trolley busses to Kingston and Wimbledon at thee Fountain. I have been reminded in another post here that fairs to the Fountain and Kingston were 1d and 4d, but if you changed to the Trolley at the fountain you could get to Kingston for 4d as the trollybus fair was only thrupence. ( for younger readers 1d was equivalent to slightly less than 1 New Penny but still called a “penny”, the “d” coming from the latin “denarius”. 12 d made a shilling and 240d, or 20s { written 20/-}, made £1)
    When the RF busses were introduced they were very strange as the seats at the front ran along the side of the bus so you sat facing people on the opossite side. This allowed slightly more room for standing passengers in the front half of the bus, but as a kid I tried to get the first seat on the door side from where i could watch the road in front, and the driver as he negotiated the road ahead.
    The only Double deckers we saw ( and sometimes took took the Fountain) were the route 127 RLH class low height buses which could pass under Worcester Park railway bridge.
    I used the 213 to get to Tiffin school but by that time the route was operated by RT double deckers which were introduced affter both New Malden and Worcester Park railway bridges were iimproved to allow high vehicles. I had started secondary school at Tolworth Boys and used the 72 and 152 routess to get there on the Kingston By-pass, going to Tiffin in 1965 after passing my O-levels. Sometimes I would change at tthe Fountain and go into Kingston on the trolly saving myself some fare (spent later on cigarettes!) and to get get close to a couple of girls I fancied but never plucked up the courage to ask out.
    One of them wore a grey uniform with a bright red Beret: I never found out which school she went to but was always taken by the way she kept her hockey stick between her knees as she sat in the seat! Ah, the imagination of youth! of course most of the girls travelling on the 213 ( 213a) wer gooing to Coombe Girls’ School but their uniform was rather drab to my eye, and none took my fancy so much as the girl in the red beret.

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