The Road to Millwall (5)

, or, collapse of once-stout QPR

So how do we get to Millwall from central London for an evening kick-off match?

Its easy and quick. The Millwall ground is the nearest professional stadium to the City of London – only about two miles away, just a tad closer than Arsenal, and there are plenty of buses and tubes going sort-of in the right direction. Away supporters get advised to go by train from London Bridge to South Bermondsey, so we will avoid both statios for that very reason!

We start by a well-known building in the lively dead centre of London and wait for a Number 1 bus

As all London transport geeks know, the oldest bus route in London – and therefore almost certainly the oldest bus rout in the world – is the number 12, from Oxford Circus to Camberwell. It is the direct descendent of the first motor bus route run by Tilling’s back in 190-something, and that itself was a descendent of probably the first horse bus route. Though some argue for the 9, and there are a few running-dogs and revisionists and who hold out for the 24. Splitters! (And why does everybody on a southbound 24 in Goodge street in the evening look so sad or hassled?)

So why is the number 1 the number 1? It’s not a particularly important route, nor a very long distance one. OK, the 12 was adopted into the London Transport numbering scheme a few years after it started, as it was being run by a private company who didn’t yet use numbers – but what gave the Lewisham to Willesden route precendence over the numbers 2 to 9 – all of which still exist, and have at least some of their route in common with what they were doing a century ago.

Its just one of those mysteries.



Its hard to take photos on this journey because its dark. Though we get occasional chances – like this photo of Waterloo Station. We could get off the bus here and go down those escalators you can see in the picture to try to get to Bermondsey or Surrey Docks by tube. But we won;t, because the Number One takes us almost all the way.


That’s about it for the view. Also I’ve already put lots of pictures taken from buses online – some linked to in this post on the Dark Streets of London

So I came back the next day in daylight & will post those pictures soon.

Other than that, nothing of interest until the first siting of police activity just where the bus is about to turn right from Southwark Park Road to Galleywall Road. One of the other unfailing signs of the imminence of Millwall, an extrem number of railway bridges, is also in evidence. There was one just beside us as we turned by the police car (I was taking photos the other way of course) and there is anoither one at the bottom of Galleywall Road, just before you turn into Ilderton road. Which is as dingy a spot as you will find in inner London.

road_to_millwall_1234 road_to_millwall_1235 road_to_millwall_1237 road_to_millwall_1238

From the footballing point of view Tuesday evening was rather good. QPR seemed to be playing for a draw, and didn;t look as if they were seriously trying to score. Millwall’s defence was better than theirs and their offence was at least more enthusiastic and committed. When Millwall managed to score QPR appeared to realise they could in fact lose, at get demoralised quite quitely. Or so it looked from our end. Millwall made all the running in the second half , attacking at every opportunity – a tactivc that failed agains ‘Boro (though it was exciting to watch, drew against Forest, beat QPR, and triumphed at Burnley. If they manage to keep up the improvement against Cardiff they are going to win five nil 🙂


2 thoughts on “The Road to Millwall (5)

  1. Thanks for this good post and the pictures! Good idea to describe the was to the Den. I was also at the game and it was brilliant. I posted a video of some highlights on my page if someone want to review it.

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