From Buses at Chelsham to Trolleys at Sainsbury's

The animation above shows 5 Buses from the 1980's through to the 1990's in London Country (Green), Kentish Bus (Cream), London Transport (Red), London Links (Two tone Green) and Arriva (Blue) Livery followed by a Sainsbury's llorry, now a part of the everyday scene in Chelsham and Warlingham. Note the change of the bus stop flag halfway through. The animation below 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.Animations by Alan Edwards

From buses to trollies

Preparation of Chelsham Bus Garage site for the Sainsbury's Supermarket

The building of the J Sainsbury Warlingham 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.



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.




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. Note that the hoardings were previously used for British Rail London Midland Region Civil Engineering works, Birmingham.



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.



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.



 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.



 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.


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 Chelsham Road.

On Monday 24th January a sign stating, "SAINSBURY'S Project Team" was placed on the top of the new notice board opposite Chelsham Close
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 Fruit and Vegetables.


In February 1994 I took early retirement and was now able to follow closely all activities related to the building of the Warlingham Sainsbury's


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, this view shows the scene along Chelsham Roadwith Sunny Bank at the extreme right..

MARCH 1994

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


MARCH 1994

 The New Norwood Aquarium Warehouse in Warlingham on the site of the old Postal Sorting Office opened 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 separated The Norwood Aquarium and Chelsham Bus Garage came down.


On Monday 28th March 1994 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.


APRIL 1994


On Tuesday 19th April it was noted that work had commenced on asphalting the Supermarket Car Park at the corner to the 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 Sainsbury's Recruitment Centre for staff at the new supermarket. New trees and shrubs were delivered and planted.

MAY 1994

The wooden framework for the two front gables of the new Warlingham Sainsbury's arrived "on the back of a lorry"


On Wednesday May 4th the first kerbing stones for the Chelsham Road / Limpsfield Road Roundabout were being laid, although a week later they had been taken up again, and were noted being relayed again the following week.Tiling work on the roof was well under way by now.

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

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

JUNE 1994

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


While drainage work was being carried out in the customer car parking area. The J SAINSBURY name was applied to the gables but was not made of large enough lettering, so it was all taken down and later replaced by much larger lettering. The person applying the larger letters was heard to shout out"Give me a "U".

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. It was spruced up with white paint well before the store opening day. The cars are all workers cars.



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 stop.

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

 On a couple of occasions during the building and before the store opened I was given a tour inside the forthcoming store

A look around before any shelving units had been put in place

The Delicatessaen counter look towards to In Store Bakery. Shelving was now being erected.

Here a friend of mine was leading the way past the Fresh Fruit and Vegetables aisles, looking towards the main entrance doors.

The Checkouts, Tobacco and Newspapers kiosk and Customer Services desk

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

Sainsbury's Limpsfield Road, Warlingham Opens Tuesday 13th September

These editions of two local free newspapers promoted the opening of the new Sainsbury's Warlingham with a special 4 page cover.

<< After demolition of Chelsham Bus Garage - What's next? >>

The Grand Opening of Warlingham Sainsbury's >>

<< Back to the Chelsham Garage contents page