Monday, 24 December 2012

The Number 471 Route (Not)

Well, after quite a good run of actual buses round Coulsdon, Croydon and Epsom we come to another unused number, at least by TFL. There is a 471 that runs between Woking and Kingston, so could easily be joined to several of our recent expeditions.

Without any pretence at being PC I will go with the season and talk about Christmas decorations. In your home each to his own – you may be an OTT sort with garlands from every light fitting; you may be a minimalist, with two white painted twigs and a single silver bauble; you may greet the world, or at least the street, with Santas climbing the side of your home, sleighs across the roof, the odd reindeer in the front garden and a Piccadilly Circus-worth of outdoor lights; or you may choose to have a tasteful ‘wreath’ by the knocker… But spare a thought for our councils and local authorities who, with cut budgets and more austerity coming where no-one has had a pay rise in three years, still try to instill a little Christmas spirit along the shopping streets of London. Each borough must have the equivalent of a box in the loft or under the stairs where they keep their lights and garlands and bring them out each year, for that is surely what they do. Though we occasionally laugh at the results, I think we need to salute their efforts and celebrate the fact that they try to brighten corners of London where the gloom comes not only from the weather and short days, but the economic climate too. 
Trees usually fare best - the familiar shape, colour and outline instantly conjuring up Christmas. Shop windows can be dazzling; I can remember special trips as a child to see the themed ones that Selfridges produces, and even the most modest local shop can manage some tinsel draped across the produce and products.

What we can capture from a bus is often limited to what is hanging from the lampposts and across the roads, and these are often the least successful, coming into their own more when daylight fades.

Cribs are comparatively rare; you can see some in catholic Churches and occasionally outdoors too, but on the whole the more domestic nativity set remains a continental rather than UK custom. 

I have noticed a growing trend for ‘German’ style markets with identical little wooden huts selling warm wine and sausages; I have not yet had the opportunity to see what else is on offer. In case you want to see what a real German Christmas Market looks like, see below.

Anyway whatever style of decoration you do or don’t opt for enjoy those on offer for free and ALL GOOD WISHES to our many (or at least over 150) followers for the upcoming HOLIDAYS.

Nativity Scene Shop Window Display courtesy of Karstadt, Munich

Christmas market from the Rathaus, Augsburg.

Rothenburg ob der Tauer

Decorated bus for Christmas circa 2010

Kingston craft Fair, 2011

Enfield's Christmas Decorations 2010

Modern twist on Christmas Trees

Teddington (Richmond?) attaches its trees to lamp-posts.

Lambeth's lights near Waterloo...

The ultimate Christmas tree decoration...


  1. Nice tree decoration. Someone awesome must have got you that ;-p

  2. Merry Christmas to all the LWB from a reader and occasional commenter.

    I'm looking forward to the next few posts in particular, as the 472, 473 and 474 are the only three consecutively numbered routes I'm familiar with, but your blog is always an enjoyable read.

  3. Happy Christmas to the Ladies Who Bus - and many thanks for keeping on with this wonderful blog, which is definitely one of life's minor pleasures!

  4. The 471 between Woking and Kingston was renumbered to 459 from 28th August 2010.