Square Routes: Day 7 x 7 Bus 49: Shepherd's Bush - Clapham
Location: London southwest, inner
Length of journey: 6 miles, 50 minutes
"We must ask ourselves what the man on the Clapham omnibus would think." (Lord Justice Bowen, 1903)
According to legal counsel, the man on the Clapham omnibus is the 'ordinary, reasonable man', intelligent but non-specialist. So I thought that on this journey I'd look inside the bus for a change, observing "everyman" to see what he was doing and listening in to what he had to say. I was helped in my quest by the 49's on-board camera system which relayed seven different interior shots onto a screen directly in front of me throughout the journey. And I suspect that things have changed somewhat on the Clapham omnibus since 1903.
The man on the Clapham omnibus... ...is wearing a fleece, is listening to music on headphones, has been playing kickabout on Shepherd's Bush Green, is carrying 12 cans of cheap lager in a Morrison's carrier bag, is plugged into his Nokia phone, is young and overweight, is reading a discarded tabloid, is wearing a cheap suit, is "going to meet Dom", is sitting on the back seat with his two hungover mates, says he should have got off at the last stop, is wearing grey sweatpants, is reading a London tourist guide, is accidentally dropping books onto the floor out of a Waterstones bag, is drinking a bottle of Strathmore water, is talking into his mobile in Japanese, hasn't shaved, is probably single, is carrying a manbag, is listening to the women on the Clapham omnibus discussing hair extensions, has big teeth, is eating something that smells like macaroni cheese, is wearing a baseball cap, is breathing out alcohol, has spent £50 at the Virgin megastore in Kensington High Street, is out with his wife, is wearing a scarf, is gossiping in French, is clutching a printed out map, is carrying a green rucksack, is lugging a pushchair on board, has been to the National History Museum with his son, isn't driving a 4x4 like everyone else in Kensington, is sipping a steaming latte, is off to buy antiques in the Kings Road, is bald, is discussing Chelsea Harbour in a loud voice, is drinking Fanta, is carrying a set of golf clubs, is cradling his sleeping girlfriend on his shoulder, is bashing on the ceiling yelling "Last stop, all change".