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.
Had a bit of a surprise today while in the Putney region monitoring the 14 after its extension the short way beyond Tottenham Court Road to Warren Street – its former partner in crime, the 22, hosted an RM!
RM 848 (448 UXS, ex WLT 848), which saw out its service career at Clapton on the 38 and is now privately owned, was doing short runs to Sloane Square in conjunction with an exhibition held by Will’s Art Warehouse, an art gallery at Putney Common. I didn’t know a Routemaster was involved, so I was lucky to be on hand when I saw it emerge from Lower Richmond Road at 3:35.
The first anniversary of 9th December 2005 was remembered on Saturday with the procession of several Routemasters down their final normal route, the 159. From Baker Street to Thornton Heath (remembering the extremities of the route before its final service changes rendered it Marble Arch-Streatham Station), it was once again like the old days. Including those buses that gathered after night fell in central London for a tour round the Christmas lights, present at one time or another during the day were nine RMs (29, 291, 719, 1033, 1224, 1397, 1403, 1804 and 2097), ten RMLs (2278, 2372, 2394, 2440, 2472, 2508, 2515, 2544, 2708 and 2730) and RMC 4. Two of those had been active on the last day itself (RM 29 and RML 2730). Meanwhile, at St Paul’s Cathedral six more Routemasters, led by London United’s RML 880, were in attendance to carry the guests of Lucy Davis (Dawn from The Office) to her wedding. And an RT even got in on its descendants’ anniversary, with RT 2043 seen taking its own guests on another Christmas lights tour.