So Spring/Summer has arrived (probably for a brief visit- after all, we are in Britain!) and the bus is smokin’, particularly in the evenings. I quite like seeing all the people dressed up for summer and the cooling breeze coming through the windows whilst sitting on the upper deck. I don’t like the sound of the air con at the back – it’s so loud! The seats as well can begin to feel a bit sticky and prickly when it’s so warm.
I’ve got a bit of a love/hate relationship with my bus at the moment. I love it, because of this project and how many nice people I’m meeting and all of the stories I am gathering, but at the same time, I’m really under pressure with other work deadlines, and the length of the journey is getting me down. I’ve taken to listening to the radio off my phone – which only works on the upper deck – and that seems to pass the time quite nicely. I normally do some reading on the bus in the morning, and just sit thinking and snoozing on the bus on the way home.
On the way back tonight, I decided to start looking out for how people hail down the bus. Really fun to watch actually so I might do some more observations at a future date and create a classification system with diagrams and pointy arrows. Here are my observations:
Fairfield Bus Station: (hailing a 131) little girl clicked her fingers and jumped then clicked her fingers again
New Malden High Street: man performed abrupt thrust with hand and immediately returned hand to his side
New Malden The Fountain: man gave an (almost) longing look towards the bus – ‘please stop!’
St James’ Church: lady grasped out (as if walking in the pitch black), clutching forward
Blake’s Lane: youngish man adjusted hair, vaguely waved down the bus and then adjusted his hair again before boarding
The Plough: middle-aged gentleman straightforwardly put his arm out, palm flat and facing driver
In other news, there is a new bus stop! Thank you to Roger and Jamie for pointing out to me that between Lindsay Road and Longfellow Road, Worcester Park, there will soon be a new bus stop, ‘Brabham Court’. I clearly haven’t been observant of late! Not sure how you pronounce it so just waiting on the announcer lady to have her voice recorded to find out. My project really is about ‘living heritage’ as things are changing all the time! This new development has reiterated to me the need to find out more about the history of the physical route – I am hoping that Transport for London’s Archives may help.
Brabham Court – after racing driver Jack Brabham. Australian, F1 World Champion around 1980, he had a chain of garages, some of them were Honda dealerships, I think. Anyhow, Brabham Court is built on the site of one of his petrol stations.
Xylon House used to have a Ford dealership on the ground floor (Fuller’s of Malden) – I remember them building Xylon house while I was at Cheam Common school. Before that it was a proper old school open air car dealer.
Sent from my iPhone
Hi Amy you flippin’ mentalist. How a member of my family came to be obsessed with a home counties bus route is warping my perceptions of reality to the maximus. After all, the rest of us are all so normal. But this is cool. I especially liked the bit where you described all the different ways people flagged down buses. Top marks for observation, and very funny too! Keep it real!!
My mistake – Sir Jack Brabham was F1 World Champion in 1959, 1960 & 1966, not the early 80s.
I must have been confused by the fact that he went on to own his own Brabham team, which was still active at that time.
Sorry it’s taken me a while to get back to you – thanks for the update. I will write a little bit about him for my Brabham Court page,
Hope you are well