America, A World of Weird ; #1. The Routemaster Bus

16 02 2010

Since arriving on these shores back in July of last year, I have tried my hardest to assimilate into my new life in Boston.

I have been to an NFL match, drunk copious amounts of Sam Adams, read the Boston Globe from cover to cover and have even toured Fenway Park (out of season and in the presence of a small, annoying child dressed in a Yankees outfit – he was last seen being tossed over the Green Monster.)

New England Clam Chowder is my soup of choice, I get annoyed by the T system and I have been to Harvard many times to drink in the air of intelligentsia whilst eating Tex-Mex.

But I have also been out on the road. 16,000 miles of it (give or take a few). As far down as West Palm Beach (FL) , as far across as Chicago (IL).

We have even been to Hell and Paradise in the same state – Michigan.

And it is the world away from the Interstate that is fascinating because you never know what you will find.

So this is the first in a series of random bits of weird that I have found whilst being on the road.

This is a Routemaster Bus.

In a field in Alabama, about 5 miles to the east of Prattsville. To say that I was not expecting to see it is an understatement.

Introduced in 1956 in London, it served the capital until 2005 when it was gently phased out of service and replaced by hideous bendy buses that do nothing to alleviate the traffic problems.

2,876 Routemasters were made, about 1000 are still in existence.

Including this one in Alabama.

According to the friendly native who put his lite beer down to talk to me, this bus was actually bought by his mother. On Ebay.

She had it shipped over, but was slightly surprised when it turned up as “it were bigger than she fowt”.

He had no idea what they would do with it, but the first task was to remove the wasps nest from the lower deck and make it “habitable”.

So there is every possibility that it could become a home for someone. Or as is more likely, it will sit in the front of his yard and slowly rust.

Fingers crossed that he takes better care of it then Ken Livingstone (former Mayor of London, lover of the bendy) did.





2 responses

6 03 2011

Just spotted this site. Welcome! Glad you’re interested in life AWAY from the interstate! Another visitor to the states remarked once while “out West”: “Where are all the cowboys?” Reply: “We’re here, but we stay where the work is, not by the Highways and tourists.”

6 03 2011

Thanks for checking out the site, it is just about to get a revamp (when I can get round to sitting down with someone who understands code!).

Will try and put some more World of Weird together so that others can experience the joys of the backroads.

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