Tea Time Bus – Original Painting
About the Image
The Tea Bus!
What is it about the red Routemaster bus that makes it so appealing?
It’s an iconic symbol associated with London, but it’s more than that. I’ve said before that they were everywhere, not just in our nation’s capital, and yet that will always be the perception to tourists. The shape of the Routemaster is a classic, and one that has some curious features.
The open back allows passengers to alight and disembark while the bus is in motion. I remember doing so myself on numerous occasions, although I always preferred to jump off when the bus was stationary in traffic.
Sometimes as children on the way to school, there was some bravado, over who would dare to jump off first before reaching the bus stop. It was never me. I had no death wish. It’s no wonder they were phased out as a safety issues like this must have been horrendous. I’ve no doubt there were other reasons, but we’ll skip those here.
The love for the Routemaster has led to their preservation.
I never even knew these Tea Buses existed, even when I took this photograph. I just saw a Routemaster coming towards me. I failed to register it as a tea bus until I started to search for subjects to paint last year and looked closer at this photograph of Lower Sloane Street. I cropped it down to this. The sides might have alerted me but adverts are common place on buses, so I usually ignore them. Now, it’s obvious! Especially looking at the front – it’s white, there’s no number and where’s it going?
After some research, I discovered that it’s a bus tour with afternoon tea and cakes.
How to make the Routemaster, even more popular. Some might prefer the wine bar, but I’m not really a drinker, so this is much more my style. I shall be booking a place as soon as lockdown is over. Of course my camera will come along too! I used to commute by bus daily across Manchester, as a child, and frequently wished I’d had a camera. It’s a great way to see any city, and gives you a different perspective from street level. So many lost photo oportunities. So, next time you’re on a bus, have a look at the view and please share your photo inpiration