Route 237 – Shepherd’s Bush to Sunbury Village
Another bus route scanned from my photograph albums compiled many years ago. The 237 went from Shepherd’s Bush to Sunbury Village for just nine years. Its Routemaster services finally ended in February 1987. The 237 and its sister route 37 (as well as those to Staines) meant Hounslow garage had quite a good stretch of bus services right across southern and south west London. By the time the 237 had ended it was just one of two London RM routes (the other being the 279) left to venture outside Greater London.
Originally the 237 was operated by single deckers (including the classic RFs) and ran from Hounslow bus garage as far as Chertsey. In 1978 it was converted to Routemaster operation and the route became Shepherd’s Bush to Sunbury Village. It became one person operated once again on 6th February 1987. In 1996 the route was curtailed at Hounslow Heath. These days it starts back from White City.
The two different types of London’s revered and classic designed buses on the 237 – RF’s and RM’s.
The service was operated by Hounslow with an allocation from Stamford Brook. Hounslow also had call of duty on the 37 (though buses rarely ventured to Peckham.) It was once where Hounslow Town station stood, before it moved to became Hounslow Central en route to Hounslow West – the Piccadilly Line’s original terminus in west London.
Various views including Stamford Brook, Turnham Green and Brentford (Watermans Centre.) Most buses ran between Shepherd’s Bush/Stamford Brook and Lower Feltham Chertsey Road, with a fair number turning at Hounslow Heath.
Two Routemasters seen at Hounslow Bus Garage on 27/5/86.
Scenes at Hounslow/Feltham before Xmas 1986. The 237 was well patronised – hence the overcrowding!
Upon cut back of the 237’s services to Hounslow Heath in 1996, Feltham lost its direct bus services to Central London.
Lower Feltham where the more intensive part of the route ended. That to Sunbury was every 20 minutes.
Views at the bottom of Church Street. Buses ventured round the one way system to regain the route to Shepherd’s Bush. The bus pictured on the left (RML 2549) is heading for Gunnersbury Roundabout.
Passengers could board (or stay on the bus) as it rested outside the Three Fishes, and thus enjoy the trip down Church Street and along the pretty stretch by the River Thames before returning up Green Street back towards London. This was the one redeeming feature I liked about the 237 route.
Last ‘Routemaster’ bus makes its final round. Brentford, Chiswick and Isleworth Times 13 February 1987.
Hounslow bus garage ironically lost the 237 route to bus tendering twenty years ago (1998.) The route is now operated by Metroline’s Brentford garage.