diamond geezer

 Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Last Routemaster to Bow: Did you see me on television last night? No, neither did I. I watched BBC London's eight minute Inside Out documentary on the last number 8 Routemaster to Bow with growing incredulity, in the way that you do when the media reports somewhat inaccurately on an event you actually attended. There's a summary of the report here, and you can even watch the whole thing online, though I wouldn't bother. The TV documentary included very little of the very final journey, choosing instead to concentrate on husband and wife team Len and Julie Mizen - he the final driver, she the final conductress. They were both taking retirement on the day that Bow's Routemasters finally bowed out, which provided a touching human angle to the story, although the bare facts beneath were rather shaky.

The last journey was not 'today', it was three months ago. The last journey was not 'from Bow to Victoria', it was from Victoria to Bow. That shot from the footplate supposedly heading eastwards was quite definitely taken travelling in the opposite direction. Routemasters are not being taken off the road because 'a law was passed in 1971 that every bus built had to have wheelchair facilities'. And it probably wasn't wise to say that Len and Julie will miss their 'relationships with the passengers', although it's just as well there were none of these on the final anorak-packed journey. To think that the BBC's so-called journalists were the only people to get to ride the last fifty yards into the garage, and then they went and wasted the opportunity on a 1 second tracking shot. Just goes to show that you should treat everything you see in the media as a work of fiction, until proved otherwise.


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