The London Bus Page In Exile

Tuesday 11 March 2008

Goodbye blog, hello books

Filed under: Announcements, Book — londonbuspageinexile @ 6:45 pm

You’ll have figured out by now that I’m pretty much done. Nothing else to say, really – that last post in December was the last time I even went to London, and I’ve found I don’t miss it. Interests change, and London’s present scene just doesn’t interest me any more.

To which end, instead of traipsing up to town to risk my sanity taking photos in the current climate of police harassment and unfriendly travelling conditions, I’ve stayed at home to write books – that’s what really matters to me; they’ll last longer, after all. The London Titan hits the shelves tomorrow, and this time next year it’ll be followed by The London Metrobus.

Thanks for visiting both this site and the last. You can continue the interest better than I can by starting your own blog – I do recommend WordPress, which this was based on. I promise I’ll visit!




  1. Sorry to see you go Matt, Your work have been good and i would like to wish you all the best on the books. Can you please tell us who you start a blog because I’m thinking about starting one.

    Regards Richard.

    Comment by Richard — Tuesday 11 March 2008 @ 9:33 pm

  2. I too, will be sorry to see your Blog close down. Even though we didn’t always see eye-to-eye. That’s what made it fun to write here! I shall miss it..

    All the best


    Comment by IsarSteve — Tuesday 11 March 2008 @ 9:43 pm

  3. Good luck Matt, it has been a pleasure to read over the years. It looks like the b&$!&”*s have finally worn you down! For what it’s worth, I ordered the Titan book at the weekend and can’t wait for it to arrive. All the best.

    Comment by Phil McAvity — Tuesday 11 March 2008 @ 9:45 pm

  4. Good luck matt and thnaks for providing an interesting blogg for us to read & comment on.

    Also thanks for the old website you used to run.

    London’s buses are very bland now, you can’t even tell at a distance which opertaor is which.

    I’m off to catch a Bendy bus now HELP!

    Comment by Bob — Wednesday 12 March 2008 @ 12:27 pm

  5. You have done a wonderful job with your bus page and bus page in exile-magnificant pictures and text. I go back to the war years riding ST, STL, T and C’s – to name a few, so I will greatly miss your commentaries and link with a once great system.
    Thank you Matt, for your efforts and good fortune in your future efforts.

    Comment by David Friend — Wednesday 12 March 2008 @ 8:17 pm

  6. Well, it’s time to wish you farewell in that case, Matt.
    Like the majority of other visitors to both your sites, I have enjoyed viewing at each opportunity.
    I do not blame you for having abandoned London one bit. I moved to Yorkshire in 1990 and have never regretted it. Despite being born and bred in East London, the metropolis holds no interest for me nowadays. Returning for the RM50 event in 2004 was quite enough. I deliberately avoided the RM finale on the 159 as most of the vehicles were an absolute disgrace. The Arriva RM/RMLs were certainly the worst – shame on the Company.
    Now they’ve virtually all gone, there’s little of interest in London – transport-wise.
    I shall purchase your Titan publication at the Manchester museum open day on Saturday 15 March – if it is available.
    Meanwhile, thank you for the many entertaining views and comments over the passed few years.
    I wish you well for the future.

    Comment by John from Harrogate — Wednesday 12 March 2008 @ 8:33 pm

  7. Hi Matt
    Will you be signing your new book at Cobham this year?
    Thanks for the websites, I have enjoyed them.



    Comment by Keith Weblin — Thursday 13 March 2008 @ 7:47 pm

  8. I don’t blame you Matt. In today’s Evening Standard a full page advert appears courtesty of the Met Police, City Police, BT Police and ACPO = “Thousands of people take photos every day. What if one of them seems odd?”. This effectively damns the other 999 as potential terrorists. I wonder if they’d run a similar ad with “attend mosques” instead of “take photos”? Of course not – but we have to take the flak and harrassment it seems. The constant hassle wears you down in the end whether it be accusations of terrorism, paedaphilia (school buses, buses near schools), alleged bye-law infringments on LUL (not true), data protection, Official Secrets Act etc etc etc.

    Comment by Kim — Thursday 13 March 2008 @ 11:06 pm

  9. Best wishes for the future Matt; I am looking forward to the Titan book as we still have one in my local area (Stranraer) which Stagecoach use on schools and it occasionally operates the town service deputising for low floor Optare Solo’s. Sorry to see your blog go, but wholly agree that the bus scene in London is not worth the effort of a special trip. Me, I’ll look at the dartmasters next time i’m down, but the real reason for the trip will be a steam special from Waterloo to Exeter-LMS out and LNER back, but htat is another story.

    Perhaps I could also use this to ask your audience a question – in the early to mid 1980s Ash Grove had a Quest 80 on demo as a replacement for the mobility bus vehicles, I think in Merseybus colours. Does anyone know the reg no. of the bus?

    Comment by Doug Ely — Thursday 13 March 2008 @ 11:42 pm

  10. Hi Matt,

    Its been great fun sharing opinions and views on here, but like all good things it seems this too must come to an end. I hope someone else, who has the time and patience needed to observe the London Bus scene, takes on the torch. But for now, goodbye and good luck.

    Comment by ejc — Friday 14 March 2008 @ 9:43 am

  11. Hi Doug,

    I photographed a Quest 80 at Stevenage in 1990 registered C844OBG that was in Mersey-side livery but with Millers of Cambridge fleet name. I have no idea what it was doing there but perhaps that could be the one you are thinking of?

    Comment by Phil McAvity — Friday 14 March 2008 @ 12:48 pm

  12. It’s been great while it lasted!!


    Comment by Arriva436 — Friday 14 March 2008 @ 4:24 pm

  13. #11, thanks Phil. The reason I asked is that I managed to blag type training on this truly awful bus whilst I was covering the Garage Manager post at AG, but never kept the reg. no. for my own records (or if I did, I’ve lost it.
    Merseybus had a small batch of these and I know Millers did take one or two, in fact there is one available for preservation now.
    However that still does not help my quest for a reg. no.!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Doug Ely — Saturday 15 March 2008 @ 9:21 am

  14. I wish you luck in the future, Matt. I have to say I’ve virtually never agreed with you and do think the current London bus scene is something for us to be quite proud of, but it’s been good to be able to exchange wildly differing views without anyone going mad – well, not very often, anyway!

    Comment by Steve23589 — Sunday 16 March 2008 @ 11:20 am

  15. Well done, Ian Allan have done an excellent job in replicating the “Capital Transport-look”.

    Comment by Kim — Friday 21 March 2008 @ 2:59 pm

  16. just bought the titan book,20 pounds well spent in my’nt wait for the metrobus book.

    Comment by mark — Saturday 22 March 2008 @ 4:38 pm

  17. Well done Matt with your latest book,’The London Titan’ a first class publication,and one of the best Ian Allan have done,I was almost convinced it was a Capital Transport book,roll on next year for the Metrobus book.
    Thank you also for all your hard work on your sites over the years,you always seemed to hit the nail on the head with your comments,I shall really miss them.

    Comment by Peter Edgar — Saturday 22 March 2008 @ 7:20 pm

  18. Thank you ofr both blog and website. Have enjoyed and appreciated all the time and effort you’ve put into them. But your literary style, knowledge and standpoint deserve to last much longer, so I look forward to a growing collection of your books! All the best.

    Comment by Howard — Saturday 22 March 2008 @ 10:42 pm

  19. And maybe the “London Olympian” to finish up as the very last centrally-ordered standard(ish) London d/d bus type.

    Comment by Kim — Sunday 23 March 2008 @ 10:06 am

  20. Hi Matt.
    Firstly, thank you for your very passionate and informative articles on our beloved Routemaster.
    We have throughly enjoyed your dispatches and pictures of the working Routenaster for many years.

    However, I find it easier to email a friend with this good news rather than go on a mailing list to order your new book with Geoff Rixon “The Ominbus of the Routemaster.” Can you please help. My email is our very good wishes for the future.
    Chris Gulland

    Comment by chris Gulland — Monday 24 March 2008 @ 1:10 pm

  21. “And maybe the “London Olympian” to finish up as the very last centrally-ordered standard(ish) London d/d bus type.”

    …..but not before the DMS one eh-)!

    Comment by Phil McAvity — Monday 24 March 2008 @ 1:49 pm

  22. Life will be very strange without my mentor and inspiration, But I know how you feel Matt. Since moving away from London I have tried to write about the bus scene where I live, but vast chunks of work sit in my local copy of Busword not quite ready to publish from anything up to 4 years ago. Some-one needs to carry on the crusade!!

    Comment by Martin Layton — Wednesday 26 March 2008 @ 2:41 pm

  23. Like many others, I was sorry to see your website go. As an ex-London bus rider and fan now living far away, visits to your site were pleasantly nostalgic as well as being extremely informative. No other site came close.

    I wish you every success with your ongoing book ventures but regrettably will not be able to read them since I’m pretty certain they will not be available here.

    Yours sincerely
    Geoffrey B. Pratt

    Comment by Geoffrey Pratt — Saturday 17 May 2008 @ 4:41 pm

  24. Sorry to see your blog go Matt, best of luck with the book!
    @9, 11 and 13, C844 OBG is the Quest that was available for presservation, and was sold for that purpose in March 2008. It was stored in London for use by a Handicapped club, which may explain the sighting of it in Stevenage.
    Millers had 4 or 5 of them I recall, and they were affectionately given the name of “Breezeblocks”
    More info on 844 and the other Quests can be found at

    Comment by Adam D — Thursday 14 August 2008 @ 9:44 am

  25. anyone able to publish a web address of any site near to the quality that Matts was?

    I try and keep up with the london bus scene through TFL’s tendering website, but its just not anywhere near as good.

    As this site is effectively closed i’m sure it would be good to re-direct those who are not heavilly involved in the bus world, but have an interestin it none the less to sites that can continue to carry the flame!

    Thank you Matt, I’ve read your pages for the last 7 years, i might not have popped in often, but i’d ensure i read every entry. i hoped your march finish was just a strop, sadly it seems not

    Comment by Steve — Tuesday 23 September 2008 @ 9:49 pm

  26. being an ex londoner and avid Routemaster fan i have enjoyed your pages and will continue to drop in , it has been a pleasure. good luck. Tim.

    Comment by tim (sydney australia) — Monday 20 October 2008 @ 10:38 pm

  27. I have decided to carry on Matt’s work with a new version of the London Bus page, link can be found above.

    Comment by LBP2 — Saturday 31 January 2009 @ 11:47 am

  28. hola esto es muy util para nosotros los alumnos aprender ingles es algo muy bonito xauuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu….

    Comment by genesis — Tuesday 5 May 2009 @ 1:26 am

  29. Hi matt! A very long time since your visit to Singapore and haven’t heard from you since. You looked like you’d lost interest in buses and decided on getting into journalism. I hope you’re doing fine and living well. Bless u well and good luck!

    Comment by Your PenPal from Singapore — Monday 16 January 2012 @ 8:29 am

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