London Trolleybus crossing the A3 at Shannon Corner, New Malden

Shannon Corner - 1962
Click on picture [293] for an enlarged version

From: "Tony Kerr" <kerr_tony@hotmail.com>

Shannon Corner, New Malden where Burlington Road bisected the Kingston-by-pass. This was in the days when you could have traffic lights on the A3! Nowadays there maybe a flyover but dense traffic often means that your journey is not that much quicker.

The amazing thing about these photographs is the sparseness of the traffic. I can remember that between New Malden and Kingston the trolleybuses would belt along hindered only by the compulsory bus stops.


From: "Andy Kyriakides" <anconky@yahoo.com>

What a fantastic site! Being from the Raynes Park area, and just the right side of 30, this was a great insight for me, I know Croydon well and especially knew the route that trolleybus 601 took, I've walked it enough times. It's amazing to see the changes that have taken place in such a short space of time.

The quality of your pictures is so good; it felt like I was there, only the old cars giving it away. I'm not really a bus enthusiast but I am a nostalgia freak, having vague memories of Shannon Corner without the flyover and the Rialto cinema in Raynes Park [now an office block for Eve Construction or something in that field], I ended up staying on your pages for 4 hours last night, such was the quality of it.

Who would have thought when you took those photos over 40 years ago, the effect they would have on complete strangers?

Notes by David Bradley

 Police Box In picture 293, the public house forecourt sports a Police Box which was a common piece of street furniture from the early thirties throughout Britain. They were phased out, from 1969, with the issue to foot constables of personal 'walkie talkies'. The few boxes that survive today, in their original locations, are in Glasgow although in the 1990's a handful of boxes were re-introduced back into London.

In the 21st century it seems absurd that Police HQ contact with the beat bobby was through the flashing light on top of these boxes with the police constable using a whistle to summon urgent assistance from a nearby colleague.

More information: Police Boxes.

Pictures at this location 40 years later

Shannon Corner - 1999
Click on picture [1005] for an enlarged version
 
The Duke of Cambridge Public House - December 2001
Click on picture [H1] for an enlarged version

Picture 1005, is the same position viewed in November 1999. The flyover maybe a huge benefit for travellers on the A3, but at a high cost to the general amenity to Burlington Road below. The graffiti enhanced concrete gas bunker, with ancient spoils from construction works long past, hardly makes this a nicely landscaped area for overnight guests at the Duke of Cambridge Public House. However, in early 2000, the flyover was refurbished with the area beneath the flyover used for a storage area for construction materials. With these works now completed, it is possible that the area beneath the flyover is now in a better state.

The construction of the flyover that followed soon after the demise of the trolleybuses meant the loss of much of the forecourt of this public house and indeed a foreshortening of the building itself; what a war time bomb failed to achieve a couple of decades earlier was overshadowed by a road 'improvement' programme!

Ian Howard's web site provides the picture of the public house as seen in December 2001. So much of the character of this public house has been lost over the years, with patrons now suffering from the constant roar of traffic on the A3 trunk road instead of yesteryear's gentle swish of a passing trolleybus.

Notice also, how mobile communications have swept away telecommunications street furniture replaced with today's forest of road signs and safety barriers. If trolleybuses ever returned to this area, so much would be spoken of the 'unsightly' overhead wires, but is this really justified when the area has already been disfigured so much?

From: "Richard Burmingham" <Richard.Burmingham@tfl.gov.uk>

As mentioned by your other contributors, the flyover carrying the A3 above Shannon's Corner has completely changed the nature of this busy junction.

Very recently the pub has been taken over by a Krispy Crème donut franchise, and Champion Timber & Builders Merchants, along with Tesco PLC occupy much of the land west of the A3 and north of Burlington Road. However, if I can refer you to picture 292, featuring a westbound route 605 trolleybus travelling towards Wimbledon, I think you will find that, if you begin counting from the corner, by the Police box, the fifth [or possibly sixth] westbound traction standard, is still in situ, complete with faded green paint, plenty of surface rust and the remnants of it's span wires, hanging forlornly down. As far as I can tell, some re-definition of public/private boundaries, has left this standard on private property, where it stands adjacent to the vehicle entrance of some business or industrial units in Burlington Road.

Again, thanks for a terrific and nostalgic [on many levels] site.

From: "Bill Pocock" <bill@blue-team.co.uk>

How brilliant is your site.

I was, innocently, looking for info on Shannon Corner and came upon your trolley bus photos. A picture can tell a thousand stories.

What I am trying to establish is the origins of the name Shannon for this corner of the A3 and Burlington Road. I have found the name Shannon Typewriter Company and feel this is perhaps it. I always remember Decca as the major land mark at this junction. Any thoughts?

Thanks for sharing your amazing photos with us.

Bill Pocock
Resident of Morden, but grew up in Wimbledon.

From: "Jill Truman" <jill.truman@btinternet.com>

Shannon Corner was so called because a company by the name of Shannon Systems was on the corner of the A3 and Burlington Road where B&Q is now.

The Shannon Building was a lovely Art Deco design [it would have been built in the Thirties] and should really have been preserved. It was surrounded by an attractive planted area.

Shannon Systems produced filing systems [possibly typewriters too at some stage] and I believe they one was a type of 'roladex' whereby you could quickly flip through cards to quickly find details of ones clients. Possibly Wikipedia may have more information on the company.

From: "Cathy Pugh" <cathypugh206@yahoo.co.uk>

My brother has just sent me a link to your webpage with a photograph of the trolleybus at Shannon Corner. This has brought back many memories for me from my childhood. We lived in Colliers Wood and my father worked in Kingston and then Wimbeldon [Eagle Star Insurance]. We regularly used the trolleybus to get to my Grandmother who lived in Tolworth. Also, my mother was Secretary of the Merton and Morden Chamber of Commerce, so I spent many early childhood school holiday hours visiting members and delivering flyers to them, the area stretching down to include all the businesses on the 'Merton and Morden' side of Shannon Corner and Raynes Park. Happy memories and rekindled by the photograph, thank you.

Catherine Pugh [now installed on the banks of the Canal du Midi in Southern France!]

From: "David Theobald" <obald@ihug.co.nz>

I have no idea how I ended up on your trolleybus page [do you ever know why you are looking at some obscure part of the web?] but your pictures of route 604 and 605 just leapt out of the screen to someone sitting in rural New Zealand. In particular picture #293 and, to lesser extent, #291, 292, 294 and 295. Even though only nine years old at the time, I can recall the 604 and 605 being replaced by the 131 and 285 Routemasters and remember that this was the end of trolleybuses in London and not just the cessation of these two services. This is confirmed by your encyclopedic resource.

#293: I lived in Belmont Avenue from the mid 1950's until 1964. Belmont Avenue is the first road on the right past the traffic lights which has the more pink brick building on the corner. That building was a branch of Champions, the timber merchant, who at that time had premises on both sides of Burlington Road. The pink building housed their offices. The main [and now, I think] only part of their operation was behind the Duke of Cambridge which, as has been already pointed out, is now some ghastly doughnut franchise. That is the back of Champion's yard to the left of the pub. The next road down on the right [towards Raynes Park] is Cavendish Avenue and the white building on the corner was a dairy - a proper dairy selling milk in bottles. Next to the dairy was a hardware shop called Brookers. Opposite was a newsagent called, I think, Brewers - now Enterprise Car Rentals. This was next to Sacred Heart school which had a playing field as its frontage to Burlington Road. Further down Burlington Road on the same side was the Bradbury Wilkinson bank note printing works [overseas banknotes only] whose land is now a vast Tesco. Bradbury's only visible security were locked gates and a very thick, high privet hedge; certainly no razor wire or, god forbid, CCTV.

The picture was taken with your back to what was then still the cinema [Odeon or Gaumont, I can't recall] before it was purchased by Decca and opposite that would have been the white art deco Shannon Systems building that gave the crossroads its name; this long since demolished to make way for a characterless home improvement depot of some flavour.

Also of note is that the first shop [a converted private house] past the advertising hoardings at the traffic lights on the right [the Guinness advert on the first billboard] is already an auto electrical supplier as it was for many years. I think it is now a tattoo parlour. It is also interesting that the A3 is a concrete road and there are no 'filter left' arrows on the traffic lights. I cannot recall when the traffic lights were replaced by the flyover but I think it must have been mid 1960s.

#291: Nothing much to add that hasn't already been mentioned; Carter's Seeds, Bushey Primary School [which I attended] and the White School [which I didn't - Rutlish School, Merton for me some years after John Major had left]. Again, in your picture, where is all the traffic?

#292: Only thing to add to comments on #293 would be the sign on the filling station outlined against the white dairy wall. This is the 'new' National sign that was introduced in 1959 when the 'Benzole' was dropped from the National Benzole marketing name. As the trolley buses stopped in May 1962 this dates your picture to a window 1959-62.

#294 & #295: he store to the rear of the trolleybus in #295 is Ketts, an electrical appliance and bedding retailer where I purchased my [mono] copy of Sergeant Pepper in 1967. Frederick Paine the undertakers is still trading from the same premises today [or was last year, 2011, when I last visited New Malden] but the police station is boarded up [and covered in graffiti] to be replaced by a shop hours police 'shop' between the Fountain pub [attached to the Off license in #294] and a newsagents. The brick police station has, in addition to the graffiti, a notice attached to it declaring it a heritage building. Of note in #295 is the green Southern Region sign on the lamp post directing pedestrians to New Malden station.

My life at Shannon Corner is now a very long time in the past but your excellent photographs of the area make it seem as vivid as if I were still there. Thanks for the website.

From: "Hugh Smith" <hughsmith1@icloud.com>

I have been looking at your photo of Shannon Corner. I was a pupil at the Sacred Heart school 1939-1940 with breaks as an evacuee. I travelled to school from Worcester Park on the 213 to The Fountain at New Malden then trolley bus to Shannon Corner. I remember that the inn sign of the Duke of Cambridge had bullet holes from German planes strafing the by-pass.