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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 ACC/1271
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1911-1957
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 0.33 linear metres
Name of creator(s): East Surrey Traction Company Ltd | bus service operator


Administrative/Biographical history:

The company was incepted in 1911 by Arthur Henry Hawkins. The first service ran between Reigate and Redhill but operations expanded rapidly and by 1914 twelve vehicles were serving destinations between Sevenoaks and Caterham. An association was formed with the London General Omnibus Company Limited {LGOC} and by 1923 East Surrey was working more LGOC buses than its own and had changed its company livery from blue to LGOC red.

Throughout its time East Surrey kept careful control of its territory - rival operators were quickly bought out or allowed to fail and the company became the most significant operator in the whole of the area that came to be termed 'London country'.

On 12 June 1929 the LGOC secured control of East Surrey, a move prompted by the 1928 Transport Acts which allowed Southern Railway to acquire rights in the bus field. Southern Railway intended to make East Surrey part of a new Southern General Omnibus Company Limited, but LGOC frustrated this plan and East Surrey became formally part of the Underground group.

Arthur Hawkins continued as managing director as East Surrey, in its new guise as London General Country Services, took over operation of country services north of London as well on 1 March 1932. However, the East Surrey livery virtually disappeared when the London Passenger Transport Board came into being on 1 July 1933. Arthur Hawkins retired in 1946 after seeing his empire grow from two buses in 1911 to a vast operation encircling London.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the East Surrey Traction Company, 1911-1957, consisting of minute and agenda books, agreements, register of members, newspaper cuttings books, memorandum and articles of association, annual reports, correspondence relating to the purchase by London General Omnibus Company Limited and menu of first annual staff dinner.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Arranged in two series, Corporate and Miscellaneous.

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Received in 1975.

Allied Materials

Related material:

For the main archive of London Transport including London General Omnibus Company Limited see ACC/1297.

Publication note:

The motorbus in London country by Kenneth Warren (Allan, 1984) {LMA Library Reference: 27.24 WAR}

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
July to October 2009, updated August 2017.

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