Man on the Battersea bus is a feature in the Battersea Society’s magazine Battersea Matters. It’s essentially a printed blog post, which began when the new editor asked me to write a regular rant against the iniquities of modern life as experienced in Battersea. We toyed with various titles – ‘The Man Who Sees’, ‘A Look at Life’ etc.
However, we eventually decided to go for a variation of the Man on the Clapham Omnibus (a fine upstanding example of that creature is shown right) – that fictional legal construct – a reasonably educated and intelligent person, well, man actually (it was first used in 1871) – who could be expected to give a sensible and logical answer when asked to judge a legal argument.
So I became the Man on the Battersea Bus and though there may be the odd rant about something, essentially I just write about anything that catches my attention. There are usually two or three strands to the piece which tends to be around 550 words. Very occasionally I might mention Battersea, and sometimes even make a passing reference to buses. The main difference about anything I write here is that I have rather more words to play with, and I’m not restricted to writing one piece every three months.
This is not a website about London buses. There are plenty of those out there for those who like that sort of thing. There are descriptions of every bus route and its history and pictures of every bus which ever travelled any route.
All I will say is that as far as I can see the London public transport system for all its faults (underfunding, overcrowding etc) is still the best in the country. Try catching a bus on Sunday in any provincial town, or going from a village to a nearby town on any day after six pm if you don’t believe me.
And if you are old and grey in London you get a Freedom Pass which allows you to travel for free on pretty well any form of public transport throughout London (which is a big place). And children travel free on buses, tubes, trams, and the Overground.
And that’s enough about buses. And enough explanation. If you would seek my monument just look around you. Christopher Wren said that. Now read on. I said that.