This is a historical trail along London Transport bus route 47, initially created as a project for a Birkbeck College history course, ‘Digital Storytelling’ in 2011, and re-launched in July 2012 to mark the 100th anniversary of the route’s introduction on 20 July 1912.

In the same way a bus route works, this site principally acts as a way of getting you to a variety of destinations along the line of route, rather than a lot of original research, but articles will be added now and then.

I’m fully aware that there’s a lot of themes I’ve yet to touch at all (for example, churches and other places of worship, or pretty much anything within the ‘Square Mile’ of the City of London.)

What’s on the site now was pretty much a single term’s work – other researches will be added ‘as and when’.

The Map (On Google Maps)

Part 1 -Transport History

Part 2 -Other History

Part 3 – Voices, Sound and Film

see also Map Key

(Some themes currently overlap on parts 1 and 2)


A brief introduction – “why?” and so on.

Articles on particular sites / themes.

Your own Journey

Readers are welcome to make their own trail – a map showing just the route is available on Google Maps.

NOTE : This site has no connection with Transport for London, Stagecoach London, or any of their subsidiaries or predecessors.

I can not provide information about bus times, or deal with any complaints / lost property issues.  Please contact TfL or Stagecoach London direct.

Header Pictures

(from left)

  • former Tillings ST, ST922 (now owned by London Bus Preservation Trust) – in Kennington on 8 December 2005, as part of the events marking the last Routemasters in regular service.
  • ‘Bell Punch’ ticket from 1933-1939 era.
  • former London Transport RT 1702 (now privately preserved) re-creating route 47 in connection with London & Greenwich Railway 150 years event in Bermondsey, 1986.
  • ‘Bell Punch’ tickets from late 40s and early 50s
  • London Transport Routemaster RM 1079, Lewisham Bus Station c. 1982.
  • ‘Gibson’ ticket from mid 1970s
  • Stagecoach London Dennis Trident 18487, Catford, February 2011.

Background – seating material from RT type bus (in service in London 1939-1979.)

3 Responses to Introduction

  1. Great work in progress and a novel and different way of approaching local history of an area.

  2. Very good, I have been following the 47 for nearly 40 years, on a saturday during the 70’s Dalston garage put on extra shorts between surrey docks and D.

    There used to be an animal market in brick lane and on a sunday the top deck of a 47 heading back to SE london would be full of live chickens

    Also Godstone Garage put on 47 shorts between Bromley north to Bromley Garage using green buses.

    There is a very good early history of the 47 published by a husband and wife crew from TB, you might be able to get it from bromley libary

    • 47bus says:

      Thanks for that.

      (And apologies for taking a while to notice you’d commented)

      Yes, the book in question is ‘Bus Crew’ by Jim and May Cooke – I do have a copy.

      Did the Godstone shorts ran as 47s though, or as 402s? (the 402 then paralleled the 47 from Bromley to Farnborough) – I have seen a photo somewhere of a GD RLH operating a 402 to Bromley Common, presumably for a meal break. I would have thought that country buses operating extras on a central bus route would have caused consternation at 55 Broadway or with the TGWU!

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