Tram Crashes into Church, Stanstead Rd (1930s?)

I saw these astonishing photos in a gallery of Forest Hill covering 1900-1963:

Would be fascinating to know more about this incident - the year, the background and route of the tram system, the safety record (!) etc.


Oh wow. That’s at the end of my road.

I found this site for tram fans.

There is a route 66 Victoria Station – Vauxhall Bridge – Vauxhall – Kennington – Camberwell – Peckham – New Cross – Brockley – Forest Hill

Also a route 58 Victoria Station – Vauxhall Bridge – Vauxhall – Kennington – Camberwell – Dulwich – Forest Hill – Catford – Lewisham – Greenwich – Blackwall Tunnel

At a guess the 185 bus replaced these 2 trams. I went to school in Victoria and seem to recall the 185 went beyond Lewisham down to Blackwall.

I’d guess 1930s?


you can see the 66 at the front of the tram.

From other pictures of the erasure that part of Stansted Road also had a thriving high street with a variety of shops.

Looks like the tram didn’t quite hit the church.

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Yes, the 185 is the Tram replacement service for the 58.

Route 176 is the tram replacement service for the 62 which ran from Victoria Embankment to Forest Hill (and extended to the Blackwall Tunnel during the peaks).

Not strictly related, and I am sure there are some at the Transport Museum, but by coincidence we saw this London Tram at a museum nr the peak district last week, the #67 route, probably similar period. It’s funny how trams have become fashionable again in many cities, it is a shame the tracks on the routes linked above in this locality

have all gone now!


For interest, another tram pic. This is Lordship Lane, on the right is a Horniman museum gate, behind is the old railway bridge over Lordship Lane, part of the Crystal Palace High Level railway. The embankment for this bridge is still there, in the Horniman nature path. The building on the left is the Lordship Lane station, entramnce at ground level, climb stairs to the platforms. The line continued on its gentle gradient up the hill into what is now Sydenham Hill Woods.


The tram pictures were taken by my father, Norman D’Alquen who was a keen photographer and ran an electrical shop at 4 Sunderland Rd. in the 1930s and later when I lived above the shop at 8 Sunderland Rd… When I inherited these photos and more, I thought they should be shared so I put them on Flickr, and now they are everywhere! I don’t mind that but it would be nice if my Dad was credited as the photographer.


Hello @Margaret_Phipps and thanks so much for sharing this information with us. Your dad took amazing photos. I have added a credit to him at the top of this topic.

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Hi Chris

Good to hear from you so quickly. Yes, they are great. Have you looked at our Flickr page,

Some of the ones here are even older and would have been taken by my grandfather.



Brilliant photos, thanks very much for the link. A lot of forum members (including me) are interested in local history, and will be fascinated by this Flickr album.

we are so very fortunate that people like your Dad took photos of everyday life and buildings in our area at a time when that was relatively uncommon. Thanks for sharing the Flickr pages - had not seen the collection together before.


Thanks for uploading them Margaret. Your father and grandfather clearly had a really good eye for framing a photo.

There are more on Getty Images. Possibly moving footage, but I think they’re behind a paywall so I was reluctant to click.

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I remember the 108 bus going down perry Hill to and through the Blackwall Tunnel years ago. People at the bus stop said that was why it was often unreliable.

These photos are great, thank you for sharing them with us!

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Oh wow… thank you so much for including the link to these, @Margaret_Phipps. I hadn’t seen this Flickr account before. These pictures are fantastic and a wonderful record of how much the buildings/area has changed (or not, in most cases) in nearly 100 years. I live on Sunderland Road (albeit the section that isn’t part of the South Circular) and walk past where your family’s shop was all the time… I shall look at that section of the street with a new perspective from now on.

If anyone has any pictures of the “other” part of Sunderland Road, that would be great as I would love to see how my street looked in the past. There are a few photos I have seen (via links posted on this forum, actually) but they are either aerial photos from a distance, so not much detail, or they are of the Christmas Houses at the Perry Vale end.


Also, I love my electrical good/gadgets so I am pretty sure I would have been a customer of your shop if I had been around at the time…

I’m amazed to see that the All Inn One extension around the front and sides of the building was already in place in 1937. My guess would have been that it was much more recent than that.



Hi Paul

Yes, it used to be a nice little parade of shops but it got run down in the 80s and the people who bought no. 8 absolutely ruined it, putting in an extra floor, they were so greedy. If you look you can see the windows don’t line up.The council should have stopped it but somehow it got through.

I know the top end of Sunderland Rd. but I don’t think we have any old photos of it, only of nearby Christ Church where my family had lots of weddings & christenings. Also plenty of photos of Rockbourne Rd where my aunts lived.

It’s good to know people are interested in these old photos though.