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LTSV-LTA Home > About

What is this website?

The LTSV LT Archive website is a collection of thousands of London Transport documents dating from the mid-1940s to the mid-1990s. These documents were all scanned several years ago by Mr John Marshall, and had latterly been available on-line on Picasaweb. When that service was closed down, I offered to host the files here, and to create tools to enable the documents to be filtered, searched and viewed.

The original collection amounted to over 40,000 image files. The actual number of documents contained is hard to quantify, since many had two or more pages, while others were small enough for two to fit on a single scan. Work to catalogue and add the files is still ongoing. At the time of the launch of this site, about 30,000 files had been added, and the remainder should be completed by the end of 2020.

It must be pointed out that the original scans were done at a very low resolution, and this has resulted in some being quite hard to read, particularly those that feature handwriting rather than typed text. The viewing page on this website presents the images considerably enlarged (depending on the users screen and window size), as this helps improve legibility. A long-term aim is to re-scan the documents at a much higher resolution but, with so many to do, this will take quite a long time.

What documents are included?

The documents in this website nearly all relate to the road vehicle fleet of London Transport (and of London Country Bus Services from 1970 onwards) and most are from a smallish set of document types. For example, almost half of the entire collection is 'Variations in Rolling Stock' documents (often referred to just as Variations), these being issued daily and listing all changes to the bus and service vehicle fleets. Other document types include several dealing with the output of Aldenham bus overhaul works, memos about bus transfers, changes to bus route allocations, etc. A list of the document types, together with an explanation of their contents, can be found here.

The documents provide fairly comprehensive coverage of the period from the mid-1940s to the mid-1990s, but there are some gaps. For example, Variation sheets for August 1948 to May 1949 and for January 1950 to August 1951 are not included. In most cases, these gaps are the result of the original documents not having been preserved. It may be possible (in the long term) to fill some of the gaps using other sources. There are also smaller gaps where a day or two is missing from an otherwise complete period. This can be due to the same cause, or it can be because no document was issued. For example, if there were no changes to report on a given day, the Variations sheet would not be issued. The next day's sheet would usually (but not always) mention the fact that a sheet for the preceding date had not been issued. Another potential cause is bank holidays, as very few documents were issued on these days. Finally it should be remembered that Aldenham works had a 2-week shutdown each summer for staff holidays.

How to use this website

Using this website is pretty straightforward, as there are really only two functional pages. The gallery page (accessed by clicking on the 'Search/View' button above) shows small versions of the image files. By default it will show the entire collection (one hundred at a time) arranged in date order. Controls are provided to enable the results to be filtered, searched and sorted, making it easier to find documents of interest. Clicking on any image in the gallery page will open the view page, in which the chosen document is shown at a much larger size. Included here is information about the file and links to related information.

Downloading the documents

Users are free to download copies of any of the files on this website, so long as they are for personal use only. In fact, downloading is encouraged as a means of preserving the documents (if something happens to me, this website will no longer be available). Individual files can be downloaded by right-clicking them. I have also packaged up sets of related documents (such as all the variation sheets from a given year) into zip files, making it much quicker to download large quantities. Links to the zip files (where available) can be found on the view page.

Spotted an error?

I spent quite some time cataloguing the files contained in this website, to enable them to be filtered and sorted (Searching is also available but only on the document title; I was going to enable content searching but this would have been an even more gargantuan task). It is quite possible that I made some mistakes in inputting the dates and titles of the documents. If you see something that you think is wrong, please let me know so that it can be rectified. You can send me a message using the contact page, accessed using the button in the top menu. This can also be used if you have a comment, question or suggestion.