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Friern Barnet Photo Archive

The Friern Barnet Photo Archive

This mobile canteen was based at Muswell Hill Garage and was usually to be found parked on the roundabout at Muswell Hill Broadway to provide refreshement to bus crews. See also image number 10482 for a more recent photograph.
Picture added on 24 November 2009 at 12:33
Mobile canteens were a feature of London Transport (LT) operation from pre war until the late sixties in some cases. During that time LT operated a substantial catering department that provided a full service food and drink service to cater for the almost 24/7 workforce. During the war the LT catering department ran special tube services to cater to the public that were sheltering in the tube stations from the blitz.To get back onto this picture which was taken at the Cobham Surrey premises of the London Bus Preservation Trust now known as the London Bus Museum. These premises no longer exits and in 2011 the museum moved to a new purpose built building at Brooklands. The former car racetrack in Surrey. The museum is worth a visit and their website will show you a better picture of this vehicle.
Mobile canteen services were provided from Muswell Hill (MH) garage to two locations.
Arnos Grove tube station was served from 1944 to 1950. Originally by a converted bus but post war by these purpose built vehicles. The facility was no longer required when a canteen was established at the tube station.
The second location was Muswell Hill Broadway as noted and this occurred until late 1961 when a canteen was established in the 'chalet' building on the roundabout bus stand. The initial service was provided by a converted bus and from 1948 with the vehicle type illustrated.
The vehicle illustrated is in fact made up of two separate parts a tractor and a trailer.
LT had 10 tractors and 13 trailers delivered from 1947 to 1949. All were disposed of by 1969 with the tractors going by 1967 leaving the remaining trailers to be moved by other tractor units.
This particular combination never saw service at either of the locations. However the tractor was based at MH garage with another trailer from 1948 to 1955 during the MH operational period.
After LT service this particular combination was sold to Liverpool Corporation and served as a mobile canteen for them from 1959 to 1974.
The combination has now been fully restored by the team at the London Bus Museum with the recent completion (April 2019) of the trailer restoration.
Added by Tony West on 19 June 2019
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Friern Barnet

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