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Friern Barnet Photo Archive

The Friern Barnet Photo Archive

Trolleybus crews have a chat at the trolleybus terminus alongside the Gaumont, North Finchley (Andrew Forsyth Collection)
Picture added on 11 November 2009 at 17:44
A lovely picture that brings back many fond memories. At its peak, the trolleybus station was the terminating point for 5 routes; 517, 617, 521, 621 and 660. Two other trolleybus routes, 609 and 645, passed through North Finchley on their way to Barnet in the north and Moorgate or Canon's Park in the opposite direction. Sometimes they would be turned short and enter the terminus, bringing the grand total of routes to seven - a busy station indeed!

The picture gives the date as 1962, but this can't be quite right, because routes 521 and 621 were withdrawn in November 1961. Route 660 was withdrawn in January 1962. Routes 517 and 617 were withdrawn in February 1961 and as there's no evidence of these route numbers in the picture, my guess is that it was taken in the summer of 1961. It could have been taken earlier than that, but not by a great margin. To the far left of the picture there are the letters AR on a shop front which are the last letters of WIMPY BAR, a well remembered after-school meeting place!

Roll back the years!
Added by Shamus on 03 December 2010
My Father was a driver on the 609 and 660 up to the 50's and before that a tram driver. I have all his driving medals. He drove all through the war years in London. I used to go in the Wimpy Bar.
Added by Martin Duwell on 22 March 2011
Your Dad would have no doubt, been the driver of the bus, I and my friends were passengers on board. I have many funny memories of Saturday morning pictures at the Gaumont. I was one of the little sods your Dad would have shouted at.
Added by Rufus Jones on 23 February 2015
I can just about (born 1955 so not even aged 6 by the time the trolley buses disappeared) recall the 660. We lived off Ballards Lane in Woodberry Way, and whilst journeys on them would have been rare (one that sticks in my memory was when one or both of the poles fell onto the roof - sounded a bit like a crash - and the conductor had to get out and using a pole hook them back on to the overhead lines); we would walk past the bus garage and then the bus station regularly to go to the shops with our mother - Sainsbury's, the Finchley Wholefood Store, Finchley Shoe Shop, Owen Owen ..... all come to mind. My first passport photos were from the photographer in the Grand Arcade .....
Added by Dominic Pinto on 07 August 2016
This old bugger, born 1942, rode the 607 from Friern Barnet to the Gaumont. There was a record shop in the Grand Arcade where one could buy a 78 of Elvis Presley "Hound Dog' which I still have as well as a player for it and others of the era; Tommy Steel, Little Richard etc
Added by Chris Barr on 25 January 2021
I haven't been in N. Finchley for a few years, and missed this story - did the Grand Arcade survive www.theguardian.com/music/2019/aug/27/kinks-dave-davies-grand-arcade-finchley-london Mention of the Wimpy Bar - I don't recall going in, but the fish and chip shop - the Fountain? - on the other side of the road at the bottom of the bus stands was a regular hangout.
Added by Dominic Pinto on 25 January 2021
The Grand Arcade is still here. You will find images by entering Grand Arcade in the Advanced Search box on the top right of the page
Added by David Berguer, Chairman on 26 January 2021
I spent only half a term at Hillside Sec-Mod School before moving to Kent. I used to catch the 521 or the 621 from Tally-Ho Corner. This phots brings back memories....
Added by Andrew Collins on 09 November 2021
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