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!
Would the pair of you that’s been arguing fit to burst over the merits of the Routemaster versus the Metrobus shut up a minute and pay attention? I thought of deleting your posts outright, because they’ve been getting on my nerves, but I can do better than that.
Having just finished and handed in The London Titan, the book I’ve written on the type to come out in April next year, I’ve since been given the nod for one on the Metrobus in the same style. So there goes another summer, spent sat in front of a computer…
Where my standpoint lies is pretty much exactly in between the old guard of solid open-platform fans and the younger generation that has felt, quite rightly, that its own favourite vehicles have been ignored or belittled. I had the best of both worlds in that there were still plenty of RMs around when I was getting into this crazy pastime, while the very last of the London Transport stuff was coming on stream – the Ts and Ms, both of which I was hugely fond of. Even the DMS, which I grew up taking to school and back, didn’t give me any trouble. They all deserve writing about, and now that I’ve done two RM books it’s given me a bit of credibility to pursue the newer stuff that just hasn’t been tackled – the Titan book is the first manifestation of that, and now I’m getting to do the M! So everyone wins.
The next book is about halfway done – it’s called The London Titan and is what I hope will be the definitive history of the Leyland Titan’s operations with London Transport and its successors between entry into service (1978, including the two prototypes) and exit (2003, with reference to the later school routes).
Here is T 517 (KYV 517X), which spent its last eight years with Barking and thus fell under Stagecoach East London upon privatisation. It is seen on 24th March 2001, shortly before withdrawal, after which it became one of Blackburn Transport’s fleet (which also included T 1018, the last in service).
The book will come out in time for Cobham 2008, so I have to get it finished by October!
Thanks to all who bought Routemaster Retrospective today at Longcross – me and Geoff signed about forty copies and had a nice chat with plenty of you.
This picture shows what I’m doing next – a book to be entitled The London Titan, for publication this time next year. T 6 (WYV 6T) has been superbly preserved in original condition, with all the bits that disappeared over the years restored; foglights, decals, badges, opening windows, the lot.
More Cobham/Longcross photos to come over the next few days.
My second book and my second collaboration with Geoff Rixon, Routemaster Retrospective, comes out tomorrow, published by Ian Allan. Its debut will be at Cobham (or Chobham this year, as the event is being held at Longcross test track). I’ll be signing copies at the Ian Allan stand at 11 am and 2 pm if you want to come along.
It’s a prequel to Routemaster Requiem in that it covers the previous tranche of RM family withdrawals from 1980 until 1998, thus tying in with the beginning of the previous (or next) book. Loads of info in the captions and text about the adventures and fates of the buses photographed (like the last one, in route-conversion order), and of course the high-quality pictures.
I hope you like it, and I’d love to hear in the comments section about what you think of not only Retrospective, but Requiem as well.