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Robin Hood Way at Coombe Lane Box

Started by hb88banzai, Feb 20, 2013, 05:41 pm

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Feb 20, 2013, 05:41 pm Last Edit: May 02, 2014, 06:01 am by hb88banzai
The Box on Robin Hood Way just north of Coombe Lane in Wimbledon - V31

This photograph has been identified by Mike Knight (plumbly7) as having been of Box V31 (circa 1960) --


The area has changed a great deal since the 60s, with Coombe Lane now being a flyover and Robin Hood Lane split apart to widen the Kingston By Pass. As a result, the Box would have stood practically in the middle of the current main Kingston By Pass roadway.

Here's a shot --


After comparison of Current and 1945 Google Earth images it would appear that the Box would have stood about center frame and just the other side of the divider. Both Lanes of the old highway essentially occupied what is currently the multiple southbound lanes, and what is now the northbound side was the western shoulder.

If the Box were to suddenly reappear there now, I think one would need a wee bit more than a First Aid box when all the dust settled :o

Site URL:  http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Robin+Hood+Way,+Wimbledon,+London,+United+Kingdom&hl=en&ll=51.415613,-0.250616&spn=0.001057,0.005273&sll=51.415637,-0.250915&sspn=0.000943,0.002119&t=m&hnear=Kingston+By+Pass&layer=c&cbll=51.415613,-0.250616&panoid=FRSEWE2BsxYHNePkRzv-zw&cbp=12,284.2,,0,1.8&z=18


Feb 20, 2013, 06:24 pm #1 Last Edit: Feb 21, 2013, 05:37 pm by hb88banzai
Blowups to show some points of interest:

The roof and sign boxes --


As you can see, a Barnet type Box. This was commissioned very early, however, so it is possible this is a replacement for the earlier first type of concrete Box that was likely installed at commissioning.

The interior and door --


The bell is placed higher than in the Crich Box. The door is of the same construction as Crich, but hung the right way round of course. Like Crich, the rail tenons go all the way through the stiles and are wedged top and bottom to pull things tight - a cheaper construction technique than appears to have been used on the earliest boxes. The inset panels are flush inside with beading strips all around the edges, again like Crich (there on the outside). The lock is probably an ETAS judging from the shape.

And finally the stool and St. John First Aid Box --


Note that the legs of the stool have different lengths from one side to the other, I presume so as to be able to sit level inside despite the Box's floor being slanted to promote drainage. The First Aid Box is on the small side, probably meant to handle only fairly limited situations. There seems to have been room for a much larger sized kit in the inside cupboard, though.


May 02, 2014, 05:50 am #2 Last Edit: May 02, 2014, 06:23 am by hb88banzai
Here's a higher res version of the original photo for this Topic that was found by Tim Clayton (trc11), still circa 1960 --


Here's a new pic found by petewilson in the book "British Police Cars" by Nick Walker (dated to 1963) --


A blowup --


From the 1935 OS map (marked "PCB" at centre of map) --


From the 1953-1954 OS map --


Note that Robin Hood Lane had been widened in the interim, taking up most of the wide sidewalk verge that had been on the eastern side of the road.

The further widening of the Kingston By Pass/Robin Hood Way is what necessitated the early removal of this Box in 1967, and is the reason the original Box Site is now in the middle of the north bound half of the divided roadway.

Note also that the original Box installed at this Site would have been a Mark 2, but the above photos are of a Mark 3 so the Box was apparently replaced some time before about 1960, either due to damage from a collision or because the old one had worn out. If the OS maps are correct (though it is within the margin of error) then it may have also been resited about two yards north when this was done, with the date narrowing to some time before the 1953-1954 map data was collected. The 1935 OS map shows it as being just about 25 yards north of Coombe Lane, while the 1953-1954 OS map shows it as being more like 27 yards north (the original Met List having it at only 15 yards).


Feb 01, 2016, 11:21 am #3 Last Edit: Feb 01, 2016, 11:40 am by hb88banzai
I've come across a much earlier photo of this Box, circa 1939 --


Here's a cropped image taken from the full resolution photo --


Note that more recent research has shown that this Box was originally a Mark 1 rather than the Mark 2 indicated in the last Post (Kingston was the first sub-division to be originally equipped with all-concrete Mark 2's). This photo shows it had already been replaced by a Mark 3 by the time the photo was taken (very early in the war as sandbags were usually replaced by more rigid structures within the first year - this pic seems to show a transitional period between the two, so may be more like early 1940).

Looking at the OS Maps it is also clear that the Box was moved a few yards to the north-northeast some time between the two maps, so it's possible it was replaced at the time of such a move by the Mark 3 if it happened some time between 1935 and 1939/40. One would expect it had to have been replaced in this time frame since if it was much later it would have more likely been by a Mark 4 like Crich.


Apr 11, 2021, 12:28 pm #4 Last Edit: Apr 11, 2021, 12:37 pm by hb88banzai
Not sure why I never posted this, but here is another view of this Box, as it appeared before the war.

Dated 1938 --

V31--Kingston By-pass aka Robin Hood Way(1938).jpg


Apr 11, 2021, 03:39 pm #5 Last Edit: Apr 11, 2021, 03:41 pm by Teppic
Quote from: hb88banzai on Apr 11, 2021, 12:28 pmNot sure why I never posted this, but here is another view of this Box, as it appeared before the war.

Dated 1938 --

V31--Kingston By-pass aka Robin Hood Way(1938).jpg

Looking at how far the roof is inset from the corner posts, I'd say that is the Mk1, albeit with later signage and roof lamp.


Apr 12, 2021, 10:03 am #6 Last Edit: Apr 12, 2021, 10:11 am by hb88banzai
Yes, the 1938 photo shows it to still be the Mark 1 originally installed there, erected as part of the Wimbledon subdivision installation, all commissioned in October 1930.

The first all-concrete Mark 2's weren't installed until the Kingston Subdivision boxes were erected just afterward, being commissioned in March of 1931.

It's interesting that they appear to have replaced the original Mark 1 here with a Mark 3 when they installed the Air Raid Siren just before or just after the outbreak of war in 1939, as the '39 sandbag pic clearly shows it to be a Mark 3 at that point. As more than one Mark 1 was equipped with A.R.W. sirens at this time, there must have been some other reason it was replaced. Perhaps it had structural issues or was the victim of damage from a traffic accident.