Owen Grey, Reference Librarian, writes:
In Earls Court’s sixty years ago on the 24th of September the Routemaster bus was unveiled by London Transport.
A brief story in the Times, Biggest Commercial Motor Show by our motoring correspondent from Friday 24 September 1924 speaks about its benefits- but even then could not foresee how it would become what Transport for London describes as being regarded by many as an icon of London. Or indeed just how long it would live on…
It is I am sure missed in a lot of ways by nostalgic Londoners (although I am glad I do not have to get my buggy onto it), but equally I am sure they would never be allowed these days with the dangers they pose: crazy children (and adults) leaping onto and off platforms to catch or leave the bus, who cares about whether you are at a stop or not! I managed to survive these crazy antics (I remember I preferred the Routemasters to the “new” buses as they were always quicker to where you wished to get to) and was very excited with the bringing in of the new(er) Routemaster, feeling the need to catch it for just two stops when I first saw one on our streets! They certainly will be more popular than the bendy buses with Londoners but will they be as popular as the old Routemasters? And will they survive just as long?
Well, have a look online and find out more…
TFL have a lot to say, telling us about the old and the new Routemaster buses… Or why not view the article an article from the time (in the Times) from the Times Digital Archive.
So when did they finally go onto the streets of London? The Illustrated London News suggests it was not until July 1961. But an experimental model went all the way from Golders Green to Crystal Palace on route 2 in 1956.
Finally, a few videos to keep you reminiscing and amused…
The Times Digital Archive, Illustrated London News, and much more, are all available in the Reference Library- come in to find out more!