1970s London From The Top Deck Of A Routemaster

By M@
1970s London From The Top Deck Of A Routemaster

This video is an absolute treasure.

You know that 'Slow TV' idea — lengthy and mesmeric films of journeys through interesting landscapes, which the BBC nicked off the Norwegians? Well, that... but for 1970s London, and from the top-front seat of a double decker.

The bus tour leads through the West End to Kensington and back, followed by a trip through Westminster and a brief foray into Lambeth. The film finishes with some close-up fetishism of the Routemaster from various angles.

Our first impression is just how anarchic the roads seem, with far fewer traffic lights. Imagine tackling the 1970s Hyde Park Corner on a bicycle. Pavements seem much less cluttered than today, with fewer junction boxes, signs, benches, bollards and other street furniture. Meanwhile, most of the buildings look like they need a good scrub thanks to decades of coal pollution (which had only just ceased thanks to the Clean Air Acts).

Hyde Park Corner looks fun.

Top stuff from the British Pathé YouTube channel.

With thanks to Ken Stevens in the Londonist Memory Machine group for the tip.

Last Updated 20 September 2023