We lived in S Kensington (known then as West Brompton, and certainly not the posh place in the 1950s it is now!). Mum had a sister living in Warlingham, and we used to pick up the Green Line at Victoria which took a route via Kennington, Brixton, Streatham and Croydon before just making it up the hill to Selsdon.
Thse Green Lines always gave me travel sickness, and for preventative purposes Mum always used to take a bag of barley sugars on the trip. (Anyone remember those?) Trams followed the same route as far as Croydon, and I well remember our being held up as a consequence of a cyclist crossing directly in front, getting his wheel caught in a tram line, and his legs being run over by our bus! On a lighter note, passengers on the return journey would indicate when they wanted to alight by alerting the conductor, who then tapped once on the glass partition directly behind the driver, and twice to signal time to move off. Sitting next to Mum in the front seat behind that partition, I quickly twigged and my six-year old sense of mischief took over. Mum said "Stop it, stop it", as quietly as she could not to attract attention, but there was no stopping me! Eventually the conductor strode up the gangway in frustration, demanding to know why the driver kept on stopping, and a ruddy great row ensued! After that we took the train!
Terrific photos Calum - yep, memories: mine triggered by 1950s movies such as Genevieve - ah, sky blue, bottle green, cadmium red and mustard brown, were there any other outside colour schemes available? - but especially the black and white griminess of The Lavender Hill Mob bring back the seediness and forever polluted visibility of post WW2 London. We lived down Redcliffe Gardens, the now south-bound extension of Earls Court Road to the embankment. Our piano tuner was appropriately named Mr Clapp; he was 90, a good age in those days, and told us he could remember Earls Court when it was still a village - hard to believe at the time, but subsequently verified in early photos of the district. Dad (b 1908) could remember horse-drawn buses and looking north across fields to the north of Ally Pally, but it's hard to make youngsters believe the roads around S Kensington were empty of parked cars in the 1950s except on football match days, and that our milk was delivered by horse-drawn milk float. He also sold delicious orange squash in half pint milk bottles, and a scrumptious cold milk chocolate drink called Lactachoc. Anybody remember that??
It's amazing how happy memories are the easiest to recall.