From Buses at Chelsham to Trolleys at Sainsbury's

Don't forget to see the animation of it all, at the bottom of this page, (click here to see it)

  Demolition of Chelsham Bus Garage

MONDAY 20th AUGUST 1990

Demolition of Chelsham Garage began. The relatively modern Canteen and Office block were the first to fall to the hands and machines of Callaghan Demolition Ltd of Kingswood Surrey.

WEDNESDAY 22nd AUGUST 1990

Wooden hoardings were being erected around the Bus Garage

THURSDAY 23rd AUGUST 1990

Demolition of the rear northern/left half of the garage commenced

FRIDAY 24th AUGUST 1990

Remainder of the front northern/left half of the garage including the northern/left side wall and northern/left front doors were demolished.

WEDNESDAY 29th AUGUST 1990

Demolition of the southern/right half of the garage commenced.

FRIDAY 31st AUGUST 1990

The only remaining buildings were, The original Offices and toilet section, and the Old Garage Superintendents building.

TUESDAY 4th SEPTEMBER 1990

The original Office and toilet section was demolished, The National "N" sign crashed down along with the remaining front brickwork.

WEDNESDAY 5th SEPTEMBER 1990

The Old Garage Superintendents building was demolished. This left the whole site just a pile of rubble and twisted metal, truly a very sad sight indeed.

One interesting point worth noting was the re-use of some of the planking from the southern front garage doors, these were being used as battening for the top edging of the hoardings along the Chelsham Road.

After demolition - what next?

HOUSING

Between September 1990 and December 1991 there were numerous attempts to obtain planning permission for housing and the final application by the developers, St George, was for the erection of

15 x Studio Flats,

25 x 2 bed Flats,

66 x 1 bed Flats,

21 x 3 bed Houses,

Notice Boards were fixed to the hoardings surrounding the site on Christmas Eve 1991.

From this date right through to the first week in May 1992, when the housing notice boards were taken down, no work had taken place on the site.

SAINSBURYS

MAY 1992

Rumours were spreading locally that Sainsbury's were looking at the possibility of building a Supermarket in the Warlingham area, in fact canvassers had been to ask local residents of their feelings, and during the week ending 16th May 1992 it had been reported in the local newspapers that Chelsham Bus Garage was one of the options.

JUNE 1992

On 10th June 1992 a questionnaire, along with full details, also an artists impression of the proposed Sainsburys supermarket, was sent through the post to local residents.

JULY 1992

On 1st July two gates were erected in the fencing at the north entrance to the old bus parking area, and a mobile exhibition display trailer unit was parked inside.

Friday 10th and Saturday 11th July brought a Public Exhibition into Warlingham Village Hall which showed full details of the proposed Sainsbury's Supermarket, including an architect's model.

During Mid July 1992 and through to February 1993, editions of the local newspapers were full of for's and against's regarding the new Sainsbury's store.

SEPTEMBER 1992

On 7th September a deep trench was dug inside the fence of both the parking area and the Bus Garage sites, this work was followed by a renewal of some of the hoarding panels.

JANUARY 1993

After two refusals for planning permission, a Local Public Enquiry was held at The Council Offices in Oxted starting on Tuesday January 19th 1993, lasting three days.

FEBRUARY 1993

The final outcome of this meeting was known on Thursday 18th February when it was announced that permission had been granted to build a supermarket on the old Chelsham Bus Garage site.

Champagne flowed in Warlingham Village Hall on Tuesday 23rd February when Gerald Knight and representatives from Sainsbury's met local residents to thank them personally for their support.

Building of J Sainsbury Warlingham Supermarket

PREPARATION OF CHELSHAM BUS GARAGE SITE FOR SAINSBURY'S SUPERMARKET

MAY 1993

Much activity was taking place locally on Thursday 27th May 1993 when it was noted that No. 11 Chelsham Road was now empty, The bungalow (No.9) had been vacated for some time. Hedges were removed along the edge of Chelsham Road and Limpsfield Road and replaced firstly by temporary steel fencing, then a new wooden fence gradually replaced all the old green hoardings.

JUNE 1993

New steel gates were erected at the entrance to the old Bus parking area opposite Chelsham Close on Wednesday 9th June, and the most of the old Green hoardings were removed on Friday 11th June, the only remaining part along with the low brick wall and steel bus company poster board holder was alongside the southern boundary between the Norwood Aquarium and the old Chelsham Bus Garage site.

DEMOLITION OF HOUSING IN CHELSHAM ROAD & SUNNY BANK

OCTOBER 1993

On Monday 4th October 1993, Contractors commenced demolition work on No.s 9 to 15 Chelsham Road and No.1 Sunny Bank. Work was also taking place on altering the Old Bus Park Site entrance to make it suitable for the movement of contractors lorries. Monday 18th October saw the final remains of No. 1 Sunny Bank falling to the hands and machinery of the demolition men.

NORWOOD AQUARIUM - DEMOLITION OF WARLINGHAM POSTAL SORTING OFFICE

It was necessary for the Norwood Aquarium warehouse which stood on land adjacent to the old Chelsham Bus Garage to be demolished and re-located elsewhere, it was agreed that the Postal Sorting Office situated opposite Warlingham Library would close down and all sorting office business would be transferred to Caterham Valley, then the Warlingham Postal Sorting Office could be demolished to make way for the replacement Norwood Aquarium warehouse which would be built on the site.

A notice was fixed to the Royal Mail sorting office door stating that after 16th October 1993 all mail operations will be dealt with from the sorting office in Caterham Valley.

On Monday 18th October, hoardings were being unloaded and posts were being erected around the Old Sorting Office, and by Wednesday 20th were all in place.

Demolition commenced on Wednesday 20th October and the last bricks of the Sorting Office fell on the morning of Friday 22nd. The rubble was taken by lorry to the Old Chelsham Bus Garage site.

WORK CONTINUES CLEARING THE OLD CHELSHAM BUS GARAGE SITE

OCTOBER 1983

On Tuesday 17th October at 11 a.m., a board was erected on the corner of Limpsfield Road and Chelsham Road proclaiming

SAINSBURY'S Supermarket Opens Autumn 1994.

Work on breaking up the old Bus Parking area and clearing the site continued during the following weeks.

NOVEMBER 1993

AMEC arrived on the site of The Old Chelsham Bus Garage on Monday 29th November 1993, with Three Orange Portacabins and a toilet, these were sited in the old bus parking area next to the Ambulance station.

ERECTION OF NEW NORWOOD AQUARIUM WAREHOUSE

NOVEMBER 1993

Higgs and Hill, the builders arrived and erected notice boards around the old Postal Sorting Office site on Monday 1st November 1993. On Monday 29th November 1993, the first girders for the New Norwood Aquarium Warehouse were noted to be in place.

WORK CONTINUES ON BUILDING SAINSBURY'S NEW STORE

DECEMBER 1993

Seven more Portacabins arrived at the south end of the old bus parking area on Friday 3rd December and were placed in position, and the original three were moved alongside them. The fencing by the site of old bus shelter was rearranged and moved back on Wednesday 8th December. At this time it was noted that foundations for the Supermarket were being laid along the rear of properties in Sunny Bank.

JANUARY 1994

The Request Bus Stop flag fixed to a lamp post, originally part of and just within the boundary of the old Bus Garage in Chelsham Road was resited on Thursday 6th January 1994, to the next lamp post down the road.

Further activity took place on Thursday 13th January, when an additional notice board was being erected at the contractors entrance to the site, also two poster boards, and two large notice boards were being put up, one of each boards close to the Norwood Aquarium building and the other two near to the Ambulance station. On Monday 24th January the Coal Tax post had been dug up from the corner of Limpsfield Road and Chelsham Road, and a sign stating, "SAINSBURY'S Project Team" was placed on the top of the new notice board opposite Chelsham Close, with space below for individual signs which eventually stated :-

AMEC

Archictects, Douglas Mariott Worby & Robinson.

GLEEDS CHARTERED QUANTITY SURVEYORS.

Consulting Civil & Structual Engineers, John Allen Associates, New Ash Green.

The two large notice boards stated in Orange and Dark Blue

SAINSBURY'S Supermarket opens Autumn 1994. Good food costs less at SAINSBURY'S

The two large poster boards showed posters stating :-

SAINSBURY'S Supermarket Opens here Autumn 1994.

One poster also showed a SAINSBURY'S carrier bag with a variety of fish, while the other showed a SAINSBURY'S carrier bag with an assortment of bakery items, these posters were periodically changed with two other versions showing varieties of Fresh Vegetables and Fresh Fruit.

FEBRUARY 1994

On a bitterly cold and snowy Valentines Day, Monday 14th February 1994 the first girders of the shell of the Sainsbury's Supermarket were erected.

MARCH 1994

By the 4th March the whole of the steelwork for the Chelsham Road frontage and half of the rear backing onto Sunny Bank was in position

OPENING OF NEW AND DEMOLITION OF OLD NORWOOD AQUARIUM WAREHOUSE

MARCH 1994

The New Norwood Aquarium Warehouse in Warlingham on the site of the old Postal Sorting Office opened for business on Monday March 7th 1994.

Demolition of the old Norwood Aquarium warehouse commenced on Monday 7th March 1994, and was seen to be completed on Wednesday 16th March, when the low brick wall which originally seperated The Norwood Aquarium and Chelsham Bus Garage came down.

The Caterham Advertiser newspaper of Friday 18th March 1994 stated that Sainsbury's were interested in acquiring the Warlingham Surrey Ambulance Station and using the land for additional car parking space for the supermarket, but no suitable alternative site for the Ambulance Station could be found, so the plans were dropped.

On Monday 28th March the first roofing tiles were being layed on the roof facing the Chelsham Road, The Car Park entrance was taking shape and the island seperating inwards and outwards car park traffic was being built, a temporary parking area for construction workers was made on the site of the old Norwood Aquarium warehouse building.

 THE FINISHING TOUCHES ARE MADE TO SAINSBURY'S NEW STORE

APRIL 1994

On Tuesday 19th April it was noted that work had commenced on asphalting the Supermarket Car Park at the corner to rear of the Ambulance Station, this space was then used for repositioning the orange portacabins which included the site office, staff canteen and toilets, additional cabins arrived in the form of a Recruitment Office for staff at the new supermarket.

MAY 1994

On Wednesday May 4th the first kerbing stones for the Chelsham Road / Limpsfield Road Roundabout were being layed, although a week later they had been taken up again, and were noted being relayed again the following week.

A new footpath was in use on Monday 23 May around the corner of Chelsham Road / Limpsfield Road, and SEEBOARD erected the first two street lamps on the Roundabout site on Tuesday 24 May.

Work on the associated road alterations commenced on Tuesday May 31st.

JUNE 1994

The Chelsham Road / Limpsfield Road Roundabout was first used by road traffic on Monday 6th June 1994

JULY 1994

Buses first called at the new southbound bus layby on Tuesday 5th July 1994.

The new road direction signs for the new roundabout were put up on Thursday 21st July.

The Coal Tax boundary post was positioned in its new location on Wednesday July 27th at the corner of the new pedestrian walkway between the bus layby and the supermarket entrance.

AUGUST 1994

The Northbound bus shelter was taken up on Wednesday 24th August, to be replaced a few yards further north to the new pull-in bus stopping place.

The AMEC Canteen cabins were removed on 26th August, this saw the last of the "Orange Boxes" being towed away from the site.

The First Sainsbury's delivery lorry L321GYW arrived when non perishable goods were unloaded at the new store on Wednesday 31st August 1994.

WARLINGHAM SAINSBURY'S GRAND OPENING DAY

SEPTEMBER 1994

The Grand opening took place on Tuesday 13th September 1994 at 9.30 a.m., when the then Deputy Chairman of J Sainsbury, David Sainsbury and Kevin Plant, the new store Manager greeted the first customers (who were My Wife and Myself) that had waited at the doors from 8 a.m. with A bottle of Champagne and Gift Vouchers.

On Wednesday evening 28th September, as a gesture of thanks to those who gave their support, many local residents were invited to "See behind the scenes" and were given a guided tour, which included seeing the cold stores, meat preparation area, the delivery bays and all the places not generally open to the public. The evening concluded with an excellent buffet which was enjoyed by all those present

Warlingham Sainsbury's, known by the company as "023" includes It's own In-Store Bakery, Fresh Fruit and Vegetables, Flowers and Plants, Newspapers, Magazines and Cigarette Kiosk, Delicatessen Counter, Toilets including a Disabled Persons Toilet, Baby Changing Room and has 21 checkouts.

Since 1994 there have been many improvements to the store and plans are in hand for further expansion of the store

From Buses at Chelsham to Trolleys at Sainsburys

(Please click on the thumbnails below to see a large picture)

EARLY MORNING AT CHELSHAM GARAGE

A classic 1987 view of the forecourt at Chelsham Garage with a line up of "AN" Leyland Atlanteans ready for the busy day ahead

ALMOST GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

Friday 24th August 1990, Demolition was well under way, there is only half of the old garage left and it was to be another twelve days before the whole site was just a pile of rubble

J SAINSBURY - WARLINGHAM STORE

This view shows that the Supermarket stands further back than the old Chelsham Bus Garage. There is also a new roundabout at the junction of Limpsfield Road and Chelsham Road. Only the road direction sign remains as shown in the other photographs. Shopping trolleys and customers cars now stand where buses once proudly stood.

BUS & TROLLEYS AT SAINSBURY'S

Here is the rare chance of seeing a route 403 shuttle bus outside the entrance of Sainsbury's Warlingham. This service operated on several occasions during 1997 when roadworks between Chelsham and Warlingham Park Hospital prevented the use of full size buses. London Links 851 is seen turning round in the supermarket car park.

From Buses at Chelsham to Trolleys at Sainsbury's

From buses to trollies

The animated graphic above shows Chelsham Bus Garage in the 1980's. Followed by the final closing of the big blue doors and the demolition in 1990, also shown is the green fence with the yellow planning application notice, which enclosed the site prior to the building and opening of Sainsbury's Supermarket on September 13th 1994.

(Animation by Alan Edwards)

CHELSHAM COINCIDENCE

Sainsbury's Warlingham store built on the site of Chelsham Bus Garage is allocated the store number 023 by Sainsbury's. This same number 023 was often displayed in the destination screens of Dunton Green's Leyland Nationals and Atlantean buses when displaying a leading zero as part of the route number when working on Kentish Bus Route 23 which passed Chelsham Garage during the 1990's

Back to the Chelsham Garage contents page

THERE IS EVEN MORE !

Please click below to view my other web page that gives full details of every individual bus and coach route that has operated in the Chelsham and Warlingham area from 1921 right through to the present day.

Bus Routes in Chelsham and Warlingham

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All photographs, graphics and animations are by Alan Edwards