diamond geezer

 Friday, October 28, 2005

RML 2760, the last Routemaster ever built, pulled up at the traffic lights outside Holborn station. Its red paintwork gleamed and its unscratched windows shone. On the rear platform the conductor stood grinning, an old silver ticket machine (the one with the wind-up handle) hung loosely around his neck. This old vehicle was one of many additional vintage buses running the 38 today, crewed by eager volunteers and bringing a splash of welcome colour across central London. Immediately behind it purred RML 2060, one of the 38's current fleet, destined to be sold off tomorrow. The paintwork here was less than sparkling, and the mood on board rather more sullen. This conductor, resplendent in his regulation fluorescent yellow safety jacket, didn't appear to be smiling at all. He and 119 of his colleagues will, alas, be out of a job in a few hours time. And then the lights changed to green and both buses headed off towards the West End, and oblivion. I watched as they disappeared forever behind the shapeless mass of a passing bendy bus. And then they were gone.


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