The Bus We Loved

London's Affair With The Routemaster

Travis Elborough

Published: 4 September 2006
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 192 pages
ISBN: 9781862078857


In December 2005, London lost one its most famous symbols: the Routemaster bus - a bus designed and made in London, by Londoners for Londoners, which was to London what the gondola is to Venice. In terms of postcards, books, films and cheap souvenirs, and in the eyes of the world, the Routemaster represented the city just as much as Big Ben. It was the last bus to be have conductors as well as drivers, the last bus to ring familiar shouts that are at least a century old: 'Fares please,' 'Full up inside but room on top,' 'Next stop the British Museum'! The last bus, in other words, to be a proper bus. In this fond history, Travis Elborough tells the story of the Routemaster's invention, rise and decline, of the people who worked on it and of the enthusiasts who were mad about it. The streets will never be the same again.

About the author

Image of Travis Elborough

Travis Elborough is a former bookseller and freelance journalist for the Guardian, Sunday Times and Observer. He lives in London. More about the author


‘A charming account of the capital's enduring affair with its favourite piece of transport’



‘Elborough's book will please bus lovers ... as well as cultural historians’ Sukhdev Sandhu

‘Elborough's cheerful memoir provides all manner of information about the vanished vehicule...and saves itself from coming across as simple trainspotter territory by the author's savvy eye for cultural history’

‘Elborough's love for the Routemaster bus and all who travel in her is unbounded’ Magnus Mills

‘This quirky book looks at the Routemaster in a completely different way to other publications relating to this iconic bus ... a light-hearted read that will amuse as well as tell the story of one of London's best-loved buses’

‘Travis Elborough's homage to the Routemaster is an undiluted delight - witty, whimsical and lavished with the kind of affection usually reserved for Morris Minors, Supermarine Spitfires and the Flying Scotsman’

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