Catford is a district of south east London and the administrative centre of the London Borough of Lewisham. It is located south west of Lewisham itself; the majority of Catford is located in the Rushey Catford South wards. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London; the name derives from the place. It is said that the name originates from all-black cats, associated with witchcraft, being thrown into the ford to drown during the witch hunts. Catford was part of Kent until 1889, when it was absorbed into the new London County Council, along with the majority of the present day London Borough of Lewisham. Catford covers most of SE6 postcode district; the area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London. Broadway Theatre is an art deco building adjoining the town hall, it is a curved stone structure decorated with shields and heraldic emblems and topped with a copper-green spire. It is now a Grade II listed building; the interior is in art deco style.
The last cinema in the borough stood diagonally opposite the theatre until its closure in 2002. Catford boasts a large Gothic police station. In 2006, a large blue pipe sculpture was unveiled outside Eros House, another former cinema, the Lewisham Hippodrome theatre; the 1960s and 70s had a considerable impact on the architecture of Catford. The old Town Hall of 1875, was replaced by the current Civic Suite in 1968, soon after the merger of the metropolitan boroughs of Lewisham and Deptford. Laurence House, where many of the Lewisham Council offices are housed, is on the site of old St Laurence's Church; the original Gothic C of E St. Laurence Church was located where Laurence House is today, but as part of the urban renewal of Catford in the 1960s, the church is now housed in a more modern style building 200 metres down Bromley Road. In Rushey Green the old village water hand-pump from the 1850s survives. At the end of World War II, the 188-bungalow Excalibur Estate was laid out in Catford, by 2011 this was the largest surviving prefab estate in Britain.
However, it is now planned that all but six of the prefabs will be demolished and replaced by new housing, although many residents voiced their opposition to demolition. A few examples of Brutalist architecture survive including the Catford shopping centre and Milford Towers, designed by the architect Owen Luder in 1974; the design was to make it the Barbican of the south. Architecture critic Ian Nairn praised Eros House, now Grade II listed as: A monster sat down in Catford and just what the place needed. No offence meant: this southward extension of Lewisham High Street badly wanted stiffening. Now there is a punchy concrete focus both close to and at a distance, from the desolate heights of the Downham Estate, where it stands straight to the afternoon sun. Rough concrete is put through all its paces, front convex eaves on Sainsbury's to a staircase tower, either afflicted with an astounding set of visual distortions or is leaning. Again, no offence meant. Unlike many other avant-garde buildings in the universities, this one is done from real conviction, not from a desire for self-advertisement.
The gaunt honesty of those projecting concrete frames carrying boxed-out bow windows persists. It is not done at you and it transforms the surroundings instead of despising them; this most craggy and uncompromising of London buildings turns out to be full of firm gentleness. Current plans put forward by Lewisham Council are to demolish Milford Towers, as the estate has fallen into disrepair and the land can be better used to meet the needs of local residents. Catford's most prominent landmark is the Catford Cat, a giant fibreglass sculpture of a black cat above the entrance to the Catford Centre; this is a small shopping centre, housing Tesco and Iceland supermarkets as well as other high street stores. There is a street market on Catford Broadway. Catford has a variety of non-chain restaurants and cafes. Catford's oldest pub is the Black Horse and Harrow and Karl Marx is reputed to have been an occasional patron. Between 1932 and 2003, Catford Stadium was a successful greyhound racing track, but was closed and destroyed by fire in 2005 and demolished to make way for a new housing development.
The Catford Bridge Tavern is another heritage listed building close to the old dog track. Nearby, is St Dunstan's College; the area was once home to the Catford Studios. Catford use to have a cinema diametric to the theatre. Catford was satirised in The Chap magazine in a series called'A Year in Catford' named after Peter Mayle's best-seller A Year in Provence; the magazine poked fun at Catford's mundanity. Catford is a priority area for regeneration in the London Borough of Lewisham. Several key sites around the town centre have been identified for redevelopment - Milford Towers, Catford Dog Track, Catford Island, The Civic Centre, Lewisham Town Hall & The "Wickes" site have all been highlighted for significant change in the proposed Catford Plan. Previous attempts to regenerate Catford have been hampered by various complex issues such as the number of different landowners in and around the town centre. However, in 2010, as a sign of commitment to ensuring a regeneration of the area, the Council seized upon the opportunity to buy Catford Shopping Centre, thereby giving it greater influence over future plans.
The Council's aspiration is for the complete redevelopment of the
West Croydon station
West Croydon is a combined railway, bus station and tram stop in Croydon, south London. It is served by National Rail, London Overground and London Buses services and is in Travelcard Zone 5; the East London line, part of London Overground, was extended to the station in 2010. On the National Rail network it is 10 miles 35 chains measured from London Bridge; the main entrance is on a short distance from the main shopping area. There are ticket barriers protecting the platforms. Trains run to London Victoria, London Bridge, Highbury & Islington, Sutton and from there to west Surrey and West Sussex. By December 2009 station remodelling and tracklaying were completed for the southern extension of the East London Line, of which West Croydon is a terminus; the space occupied by former bay platform 2, out of use since the Wimbledon service was withdrawn in 1997 and replaced by Tramlink in 2000, has been utilised to extend platform 3, the London-bound platform. Bay platform 1 has been retained. In April 2012 a new entrance was constructed in Station Road, allowing direct access to the railway station from the adjacent bus and tram stops.
A short distance from the main entrance is Station Road, where West Croydon bus station and tram stop are located. The tram stop is next to, but was for a long time physically separate from, the rail platforms, until the construction of the new entrance. All Tramlink routes use West Croydon, a single platform stop on the unidirectional loop around central Croydon; the bus station is a hub for London Buses, with 25 bus routes passing through. A new bus station opened in 2016. From 1809 to 1836 the site was the terminal basin of the Croydon Canal; the canal was drained and became part of the route of the London & Croydon Railway, opening on 5 June 1839. In 1845 the L&C inaugurated the atmospheric system of propulsion. On 23 September 1846, a fire broke out in a lamp room damaging the station and destroying thirteen carriages. Damage was estimated at £10,000; the station was named Croydon. The canal basin was served by a short private branch from the terminus of the Surrey Iron Railway at Pitlake. From 1855 the station was the terminus of the West Croydon to Wimbledon Line, which followed much of the route of the SIR.
This line closed on 31 May 1997. Platform 2, the terminal bay for the Wimbledon line, was trackless until 2008. Little remains of this platform apart from a little section at the western end, as most of it was filled in to extend platform 3 to allow trains to stop closer to the stairs. In 1912 the composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, a resident of Croydon, collapsed whilst on the station; this was due to pneumonia. He died at home a few days later. During the 1930s the station saw reconstruction. A new ticket office was built on London Road; the original station buildings, ticket office and entrance in Station Road were closed and are still standing, converted to a shop. Trains are provided by London Overground. West Croydon is Croydon's second station, used by suburban trains: the main station is East Croydon, served by express trains to London and the South Coast and suburban trains; the typical off-peak service from the station is: 2tph to London Bridge - semi-fast 6tph to London Victoria: 4tph via Streatham Common and Balham 2tph via Crystal Palace and Balham 4tph to Highbury & Islington via New Cross Gate and Dalston Junction 6tph to Sutton 2tph to Epsom Downs 2tph to EpsomAt peak hours, there are direct trains to Guildford and London Bridge via Streatham and Peckham Rye.
West Croydon tram stop on The Trams website Transport for London information on the East London line extensionTrain times and station information for West Croydon station from National Rail
Lewisham is a National Rail and Docklands Light Railway station in Lewisham, south-east London which first opened in 1849. On the National Rail network it is 7 miles 61 chains measured from London Victoria and is operated by Southeastern. There are four platforms for main-line trains: 3 and 4 on the North Kent Line, 1 and 2 on a loop off the South Eastern Main Line; the current station which dates from 1857 is constructed of yellow stock brick with stone dressing and has an unusual survival of a wooden clapboard building at the back. The facade has a pleasing symmetry of three windows, three entrance doors, three windows. Original doors sash; the original corniced ceiling of the main hall is concealed by a lowered fake ceiling. Platform 3 has kept its original canopy with its elaborate cast iron brackets; some of the original chamfered wood and cast iron supports of the original canopy survive on platform 2. The station has similarities with other listed stations built at around the same time such as the listed Ladywell railway station, Blackheath station and Gravesend railway station which has the same elaborate cast iron supporting brackets as can be found at Lewisham.
Platforms 5 and 6 are served by Docklands Light Railway trains to Stratford. The Docklands Light Railway station opened in 1999 following a southward extension from Island Gardens; the original canopy over platform 4 was demolished at some point post 1990. The original canopy over the main entrance was demolished in 2009 at a cost of £790k and replaced with a steel version. From December 2009, Lewisham was fitted with electric ticket gates, in line with the Government's new strategy to give all Greater London National Rail stations Oyster card accessibility and closing access to those who attempt to travel without tickets; this was controversial as it involved the closure of the gate on Platform 4 and led to a petition signed by over 1,000. British Transport Police maintains a neighbourhood policing presence at Lewisham; the North Kent line opened on 30 July 1849 by the South Eastern Railway linking Strood with the London and Greenwich Railway route to London Bridge. The original station was located east of the Lewisham Road overbridge with access off Lewisham Road.
With the opening of the mid-Kent line in 1857 a new station was built to the west so both lines could be served. The station was built to enable interchange between the north mid Kent lines; the Mid Kent line was opened on 1 January 1857. For a period Old Lewisham Station was kept open Eleven passengers were killed in the Lewisham rail crash when a train ran into the back of a stationary train. In 1898 the South Eastern Railway and the London Chatham and Dover Railway agreed to work as one railway company under the name of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway. Following the Railways Act 1921, Lewisham became a Southern Railway station on 1 January 1923; the Mid-Kent line was electrified with services commencing on 28 February 1926. The North Kent Line was electrified with the system. Electrification was to Dartford and was extended to Gillingham by World War Two. In 1929 large-scale remodelling of the junction was undertaken to enable cross-London freight traffic to be routed via Nunhead and Loughborough Junction.
The new route included a flyover. The loop between Lewisham and the main line towards Hither Green, which had opened in 1929, was electrified on 16 July 1933 allowing Sidcup and Orpington local electric services to call; the Nunhead line was electrified in summer 1935 and opened to electric traffic on 30 September 1935 with services from the Bexleyheath and Sidcup to St Paul's. This service was cancelled during World War 2 as an economy measure recommencing on 12 August 1946. After World War II and following nationalisation on 1 January 1948, it fell under the auspices of British Railways Southern Region. On the 4 December 1957 the Lewisham rail crash occurred to the west of the station with 90 fatalities; as part of the London Bridge re-signalling a new loop line was opened with a reversible track down to the west side of St Johns which opened up on 1 April 1976. Upon sectorisation in 1982, three passenger sectors were created: InterCity, operating principal express services. Following de-nationalisation of British Rail on 1 April 1994 the infrastructure to St Johns station became the responsibility of Railtrack whilst a business unit operated the train services.
On 13 October 1996 operation of the passenger services passed to Connex South Eastern who were due to run the franchise until 2011. On 22 November 1999 Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott opened the 4·2 km Lewisham extension of London's Docklands Light Railway with trains running through to Bank. Following a number of accidents and financial issues Railtrack plc was sold to Network Rail on 3 October 2002 who became responsible for the infrastructure. On 27 June 2003 the Strategic Rail Authority decided to strip Connex of the franchise citing poor financial management and run the franchise itself. Connex South Eastern continued to operate the franchise until 8 November 2003 with the services transferring to the Strategic Rail Authority's South Eastern Trains subsidiary the following day. On 30 November 2005 the Department for Transport awarded Govia the Integrated Kent franchise; the services operated by South Eastern Trains transferred to Southeastern on 1 April 2006. The loop line to St Johns was d
National Rail in the United Kingdom is the trading name licensed for use by the Rail Delivery Group, an unincorporated association whose membership consists of the passenger train operating companies of England and Wales. The TOCs run the passenger services provided by the British Railways Board, from 1965 using the brand name British Rail. Northern Ireland, bordered by the Republic of Ireland, has a different system. National Rail services share a ticketing structure and inter-availability that do not extend to services which were not part of British Rail; the name and the accompanying double arrow symbol are trademarks of the Secretary of State for Transport. National Rail should not be confused with Network Rail. National Rail is a brand used to promote passenger railway services, providing some harmonisation for passengers in ticketing, while Network Rail is the organisation which owns and manages most of the fixed assets of the railway network, including tracks and signals; the two coincide where passenger services are run.
Most major Network Rail lines carry freight traffic and some lines are freight only. There are some scheduled passenger services on managed, non-Network Rail lines, for example Heathrow Express, which runs on Network Rail track; the London Underground overlaps with Network Rail in places. Twenty eight owned train operating companies, each franchised for a defined term by government, operate passenger trains on the main rail network in Great Britain; the Rail Delivery Group is the trade association representing the TOCs and provides core services, including the provision of the National Rail Enquiries service. It runs Rail Settlement Plan, which allocates ticket revenue to the various TOCs, Rail Staff Travel, which manages travel facilities for railway staff, it does not compile the national timetable, the joint responsibility of the Office of Rail Regulation and Network Rail. Since the privatisation of British Rail there is no longer a single approach to design on railways in Great Britain; the look and feel of signage and marketing material is the preserve of the individual TOCs.
However, National Rail continues to use BR's famous double-arrow symbol, designed by Gerald Burney of the Design Research Unit. It has been incorporated in the National Rail logotype and is displayed on tickets, the National Rail website and other publicity; the trademark rights to the double arrow symbol remain state-owned, being vested in the Secretary of State for Transport. The double arrow symbol is used to indicate a railway station on British traffic signs; the National Rail logo was introduced by ATOC in 1999, was used on the Great Britain public timetable for the first time in the edition valid from 26 September in that year. Rules for its use are set out in the Corporate Identity Style Guidelines published by the Rail Delivery Group, available on its website. "In 1964 the Design Research Unit—Britain’s first multi-disciplinary design agency founded in 1943 by Misha Black, Milner Gray and Herbert Read—was commissioned to breathe new life into the nation’s neglected railway industry".
The NR title is sometimes described as a "brand". As it was used by British Rail, the single operator before franchising, its use maintains continuity and public familiarity; the lettering used in the National Rail logotype is a modified form of the typeface Sassoon Bold. Some train operating companies continue to use the former British Rail Rail Alphabet lettering to varying degrees in station signage, although its use is no longer universal; the British Rail typefaces of choice from 1965 were Helvetica and Univers, with others coming into use during the sectorisation period after 1983. TOCs may use what they like: examples include Futura, Frutiger, a modified version of Precious by London Midland. Although TOCs compete against each other for franchises, for passengers on routes where more than one TOC operates, the strapline used with the National Rail logo is'Britain's train companies working together'. Several conurbations have their own metro or tram systems, most of which are not part of National Rail.
These include the London Underground, Docklands Light Railway, London Tramlink, Blackpool Tramway, Glasgow Subway, Tyne & Wear Metro, Manchester Metrolink, Sheffield Supertram, Midland Metro and Nottingham Express Transit. On the other hand, the self-contained Merseyrail system is part of the National Rail network, urban rail networks around Birmingham, Cardiff and West Yorkshire consist of National Rail services. London Overground is a hybrid: its services are operated via a concession awarded by Transport for London, are branded accordingly, but until 2010 all its routes used infrastructure owned by Network Rail. LO now possesses some infrastructure in its own right, following the reopening of the former London Underground East London line as the East London Railway. Since all the previous LO routes were operated by National Rail franchise Silverlink until November 2007, they have continued to be shown in the National Rail timetable and are still considered to be a part of National Rail.
Heathrow Express and Eurostar are not part of the National Rail network despite sharing of stations. Northern Ireland Railways were
Penge is a district of south-east London, in the London Borough of Bromley. Penge was once a small town, recorded under the name Penceat in an Anglo-Saxon deed dating from 957. Most historians believe the name of the town is derived from the Celtic word Penceat, which means'edge of wood' and refers to the fact that the surrounding area was once covered in a dense forest; the original Celtic words of which the name was composed referred to'pen', as in the Welsh'pen', and'ceat', similar to the Welsh'coed', as in the name of the town of Pencoed in Wales. Penge was an inconspicuous area with few residents before the arrival of the railways. A traveller passing through Penge would have noticed the large green with a small inn on its boundary. Penge Green appears as Pensgreene on Kip's 1607 map; the green was bounded to the north by Penge Lane, the west by Beckenham Road and the southeast by the Crooked Billet. On a modern map, a small area, but the modern-day Penge Lane and Crooked Billet are not in their original locations, Beckenham Road would have been little more than a cart track following the property line on the west side of Penge High Street.
Penge Lane was the road from Penge to Sydenham, now named St John's Road and Newlands Park Road. There was an old footpath crossing the Green leading to Sydenham, known as Old Penge Lane. After the London and Dover Railway was built, Penge Lane crossed the line by level crossing; when this crossing was closed, Penge Lane was renamed and Old Penge Lane became the present-day Penge Lane. The 1868 Ordnance Survey map shows the Old Crooked Billet located to the southeast of the current location; this earlier location was on the eastward side of Penge Green, which disappeared as a result of the Penge Enclosure Act, 1827 which enclosed the whole Green. This left the Crooked Billet with no frontage to Beckenham Road; this was damaged by enemy action in the Second World War, subsequently rebuilt. The Crooked Billet is by far the oldest public house in Penge. Peter Abbott states that it was there in 1601, speculates that it might be much more ancient. In modern times it is well known for lending its name to a bus route terminus.
From 1914, General Omnibus routes 109 and 609 operated, along different paths, between Bromley Market and the Crooked Billet. The 109 was renumbered 227 by London Transport, continued to terminate at the Crooked Billet.. Around 1950, some services were extended past the Crooked Billet to Crystal Palace. Nearly all buses travelled the extended route; the 354 buses now use the terminus, as do short-running buses on routes 194 and 358. William Hone wrote about a visit to the Crooked Billet in 1827 and included a detailed sketch of the last building on the original site; the London and Croydon Canal was built across Penge Common along what is now the line of the railway through Penge West railway station, deviating to the south before Anerley railway station. There is a remnant at the northern corner of Anerley. Following the closure of the canal, the London and Croydon Railway was built along the same course, opening in 1839. Isambard Kingdom Brunel built an atmospheric railway along this alignment as far as Croydon.
The Crystal Palace pneumatic railway, which ran underground between the Sydenham and Penge entrances to Crystal Palace Park, operated for a short while but proved not to be economically viable. In the Victorian era, Penge developed into a fashionable suburb because of the railway line and its proximity to the relocated Crystal Palace, it became a fashionable day out to visit the Crystal Palace during the day and to take the tram down the hill to one of the'twenty-five pubs to the square mile' that Penge was reputed to possess, or the two music halls—The King's Hall and, established in 1915, the Empire Theatre. By 1862, Stanford's map of London and its Suburbs shows large homes had been constructed along Penge New Road, Thick Wood Road and Anerley Road; this all came with the notorious Penge murders. In 1875 Frederick Hunt murdered his wife and children in 1877 a wealthy heiress, Harriet Staunton, together with her infant son, was starved to death by her husband and his associates. In 1934, Elizabeth Jenkins published the novel Harriet, based on the case, whilst Forbes Road was renamed to Mosslea Road because of its connection with the murders.
Penge formed a part of the parish of Battersea, with the historic county boundary between Kent and Surrey forming its eastern boundary. In 1855 both parts of the parish were included in the area of the Metropolitan Board of Works, with Penge Hamlet Vestry electing six members to the Lewisham District Board of Works; the Local Government Act 1888 abolished the Metropolitan Board, with its area becoming the County of London. However, the London Government Act 1899 subsequently made provision for Penge to be removed from the County of London and annexed to either Surrey or Kent. Accordingly, an Order in Council transferred the hamlet to Kent in 1900, constituting it as Penge Urban District; the urban district was abolished in 1965 by the London Government Act 1963, its former area merged with that of other districts to form the London Borough of Bromley. With the creation of the Penge Urban District, Penge New Road was renamed Penge High Street. From 1885, the Hamlet of Penge was part of the Dulwich parliamentary con
Lee known as Lee Green, is a district of south east London, within the London Boroughs of Lewisham and Greenwich. It is located west of east of Lewisham town centre. St Margaret's Church is the burial place of three Astronomers Royal: Edmond Halley, Nathaniel Bliss and John Pond; the Manor of Lee was a historic parish of the Blackheath hundred and existed up to 1900 when it was merged with the parish of Lewisham to create the Metropolitan Borough of Lewisham. While modern Lee is centred on Lee railway station and the road of Burnt Ash Hill, the parish was based around Lee High Road which today stretches into the town centre of Lewisham; the River Quaggy formed much of the boundary between the two parishes, though at Lee Bridge it is now completely hidden. The Lee Manor Society have produced a comprehensive history of the area; the Domesday Book describes Lee as a small area of cultivation set in extensive woodland. The earliest map available shows a cluster of about a dozen houses around a triangular village green.
This hamlet was surrounded by fields. Lee Green Farm occupied the south-east quadrant from the 1660s; the farm was rebuilt as Tudor House further east. The place where Robert Cocking in 1837 died in the first parachute accident is part of Lee; the Old Tigers Head and the New Tigers Head pubs are important and striking features of the crossroads. Confusingly, the original Tiger's Head is thought to have been built on the site occupied by the New Tiger's Head; the original pub is thought to have been built before 1730. It was rebuilt on its present site, the north-west quadrant, in 1750–1770 and rebuilt in 1896 – the date carried on its frontage, it became an important coaching inn. The New Tigers Head started life as a beer shop known as the Tiger Tavern in the 1830s, it was situated in the end of four cottages known as Prospect Terrace built around the same time. Three of these cottages remain, housing a hairdresser. In 1868 it is referred to as the Tiger's Head Inn; the present building is thought to have replaced the original cottage a few years after 1896 – the date of the rebuilding of the Old Tigers Head.
The New Tigers Head has now closed down. In 1815 cavalry and foot regiments passed through Lee Green on their way to the Battle of Waterloo: "The space in front of the Tiger's Head and the Green were commodious for the transfer of baggage to the waggons of the farmers from the other side of London to those of the farmers in this neighbourhood which were pressed for that purpose, to convey them 15 miles further on the journey to Dover." In the early nineteenth century boxing matches took place at the Old Tiger's Head. Horse racing and foot racing took place in the 1840s but the police put a stop to these events under pressure from local citizens. At that time the green was the centre of village life with cricket matches, bare knuckle boxing and other entertainments. In the 1850s further house-building prompted the installation of proper sewers and the Lee Green horse pond was filled in. In the 1860s John Pound, a developer, erected houses in the south-east quadrant, Orchard Terrace on Eltham Road and Crown Terrace on Burnt Ash Lane.
The opening of Lee station in 1866 prompted more house-building at the crossroads. The site of Lee Green Farm was built on as Carston Mews. In the same year Charles Henry Reed, a linen draper, moves into 1 Orchard Terrace and established a department store. Reed died in 1895 and in 1903 the business was taken over by Griffith & Co. In the south-west quadrant the Prince Arthur pub was built at 422 Lee High Road in 1870, it was one of a row of early nineteenth century cottages of which three – nos 424–428 – survived behind modern shop fronts. In 1898 No 345 Lee High Road was built in front of the former Old Tiger's Head stables, it incorporated a fire station but the London County Council built a replacement in 1906 in Eltham Road. It is still in use. A police station was built at 418 Lee High Road in 1904, replacing one built before 1860, it was converted to apartments in 2003. In the early 1960s the south-east quadrant, including Carston Mews, was demolished to make way for Leegate shopping centre which went into decline following the opening of Sainsbury's on the opposite side of Burnt Ash Road in the late 1980s.
Owners of the centre, St. Modwen Properties have proposed a £40m regeneration plan for the centre, including the demolition of the current shopping precinct to be replaced with an Asda supermarket as well as the conversion of the existing office block into a hotel. Sir Francis Baring, founder of Baring Brothers Bank, bought the Manor House in Manor Lane in 1796. Henry Thomas Buckle, English historian and author of A History of Civilization was born in Lee. Poet Ernest Dowson was born in Lee. Actor James Robertson Justice was born in Lee in 1907. Actor Jude Law Musician Manfred Mann lived in Southbrook Road in Lee. Philosopher and economic historian Karl Marx lived at Lee for a short period during the 19th century John Mayall lived in Lee Green. Eric Clapton stayed with him during the recording sessions of the album Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton Sir Gregory Page built a large mansion house at Wricklemarsh in Lee. Mechanical engineer John Penn died at his home, The Cedars, Lee on 23 September 1878, was subsequently buried at nearby St Margaret's Church.
Reggie Schwarz, South African
The Optare Olympus is a double-decker bus built by Optare. It could be built as a body available on Alexander Dennis Enviro400, Volvo B9TL or Scania N230UD/N270UD chassis with the 2-axle and 3-axle variants, it is the double-decker equivalent of the Optare Esteem. Some 3-axle Olympus buses were built. A single prototype integral Olympus, designated the Olympus O1030, was built; the Olympus was launched by East Lancashire Coachbuilders in November 2006. The first example, built on a Volvo B9TL chassis for Delaine Buses, was displayed at Euro Bus Expo 2006, it had been the intention to exhibit a higher specification model for Ham's of Flimwell, but this was not ready in time for the show, meaning the bus didn't show its full potential. The Olympus replaced the OmniDekka on Scania chassis, 10.6 or 11.9 metres in length. On Volvo chassis, it replaced the Myllennium Vyking. On Alexander Dennis chassis, it replaced the Myllennium Lolyne. At the beginning of January 2007, Reading Buses ordered six Olympus with Scania chassis for their Loddon Bridge FastTrack park and ride contract to replace Optare Excels.
They entered service in a yellow and blue livery in July 2007. In London, some bus operators purchased Olympus with Scania chassis. Transdev London and Metroline had these buses operating on routes 7 and 297 respectively. Due to problems with the new Transport for London specified air-conditioning units, some buses failed the tilt test by one degree, entered service late. East Lancs was bought by the Darwen Group; the body was therefore renamed Darwen Olympus. The first buses to be delivered under the Darwen name were those ordered by Cardiff Bus and Arriva Yorkshire. Reading Buses has numerous examples bodied by Darwen, in addition to a few built by East Lancs before they went into administration. Following the reverse takeover of Optare by Darwen Group in June 2008, the Olympus was again renamed, becoming the Optare Olympus. London General ordered the Olympus with Alexander Dennis Enviro400 chassis instead of Scania which Metroline and Transdev London had inherited. Metrobus have 30 buses on Scania N230UD chassis, which were used on London routes 54 and 75 In 2009, Optare announced that it had designed its own chassis for the Optare Olympus, with a Mercedes-Benz engine, as per previous products.
This bus was further developed and launched as the Optare MetroDecker in 2014. An open-top double-decker bus version of the Olympus, named the Visionaire, was built. Product information Pictures of Delaine Buses' Olympus