Surprise parties don’t always turn out enjoyably for that lucky person. It can be a bit of a freakout to find yourself surrounded by lots of family and friends without warning, even if you like or love them. So how would Megan react when her husband Tim Vincent-Smith fixed a mystery bus trip for her and their small children to celebrate her 40th birthday on the last Sunday in April?Read More
We’re so glad to announce that Java Dance Theatre are coming back on board this August for a three week run at the Edinburgh Fringe!
This will be the third time we have collaborated with New Zealand based Sacha Copland and her talented team of dancers and actors. The last two runs of Back of the Bus sold out every show.Read More
Ah, destination blinds, now there’s something to really set the vintage bus enthusiast’s pulse racing. Not destination signs, note – in the old bus game it has to be blinds.Read More
The other day someone pointed at the open platform of RM1353 and asked me: did you take the doors off this bus? “No, it was built that way.” She looked amazed, and pleased.Read More
This weekend is looking busy but kind of conventional after the supercharged diversity of last Saturday and Sunday. Then we had to deal with everyone from fishwives to film stars and birthday queens, as well as the usual brides and grooms. It was action packed, there were loads of happy faces and I managed not to run over James Norton in 1930s London, aka a heavily costumed Moray Place, Edinburgh.
What do you mean 1930s London, I hear the anoraks cry. Yes, they're right. The earliest a Routemaster could have been seen on the streets of London was 1956. But how easy would it be to get hold of a 1934 London bus and bring it to Edinburgh? Let's face it, a fleeting glimpse of a big old red London double decker will be enough to trick most viewers. And they got the ads right. (But I will also be taken to task for one of the destination blinds in the picture above. Go on, which one?!)
Here's how the Edinburgh Evening News reported the filming:
It was interesting for The Red Bus to be involved, along with a convoy of seven or eight old cars. The film is about Gareth Jones, the Welsh journalist who exposed the horrors of Stalin's mass famine in the Ukraine and was himself murdered in the Far East, possibly on the Soviet dictator's orders. He is being played by Norton, who had to cross the road in front of the bus. Again and again. And again. I think we did about 12 takes of the traffic scene. Some of the poor extras standing around on the pavement were getting very cold in the haar after hours of this!
The makeup department also had to give me an impromptu haircut on someone's doorstep as my locks were too unruly for a 1930s bus driver.
It was a joy to drive RM737 at the annual Cockenzie and Port Seton Gala too, in the 70th year of the event. About half the Gala Queens going back to 1948 were on board as we processed in sunshine through the streets of the East Lothian coastal towns. They were lined with cheering locals and decked with bunting. "Fishwives" carrying big baskets handed out small gifts ahead of the bus.
Back at Granton a Welsh bride-to-be checked out the buses for her wedding plans. Her boys seemed to like it!
Oh, last weekend we also had two weddings and a 50th birthday party tour. Like I say, it was a fair bit of variety.
Here at The Red Bus we like to reward our most loyal passengers, and none of them go back further than Lewis. He was only two when he first jumped on RM1353 back in 2007.
Since then he's been on loads of times, for our Christmas trips, our storytelling shows in the Meadows and round Arthur's Seat, at our open days...
Now he is 12 so we asked him if he would like to drive another of our Routemasters, RM737, around the yard. He said yes!Read More
Two exciting bookings just confirmed: on May 26th we'll be at the Cockenzie and Port Seton Children's Gala. This is a unique community event where primary school children form a "court", parade around the East Lothian village on floats and even travel between the two harbours on fishing boats. The Gala has been running since 1949 and culminates in the crowning of the Gala Queen.
This Saturday (April 21st) you can come aboard The Red Bus at Chamber Street, Edinburgh and experience it in full wedding mode all they way to the Scottish National Mining Museum at Newtongrange. For free! We'll even bring you back again afterwards.
The mining museum is holding a fabulous wedding fair and we'll be there from 12pm to 3pm. If you want to hop on at Chamber Street, we'll be parked at the George IV Bridge end from 11.15am, all decorated with fresh flowers and ribbons. And we'll be happy to answer any questions about your possible plans for wedding transport.
If you prefer not to come to Newtongrange, you're still welcome to take a stationary peek.
We hope to see you there...
The Red Bus is delighted to announce it is repainting one of its red buses... red. I know, it may not sound earth shattering but at least one of us at The Red Bus had liked the idea of ivory "to make it more of a head turner". We are grateful to all those clients, suppliers and vintage bus enthusiasts who took the trouble to give their opinion on this crucial matter!Read More
The short answer is they're all different. The long answer is they're all completely different! So many variations of engines, gearboxes, gear differentials and all that technical stuff, plus the way they may have been looked after (or not) in the last half century or so.Read More
This year we are going a bit loco with a one-off Valentine's Day ticket. The first five couples to book through this website after 9am on Wednesday February 14th will get a whopping £200 off their unique Red Bus wedding transport.Read More
Sometimes it’s best to let the pictures do most of the talking. This is one of those times – the winter wedding of Natalie and Ally, back in late November. Our buses were driven by Tony and Gordon, with Sean and Ruth conducting.Read More
Confession time. I’ve never been a bus spotter in the true sense, marking off numbers towards the ultimate goal of a complete list. But when it comes to Routemasters, and other vintage buses built for London Transport during the 1960s and 50s and even earlier, there are fascinating numbers to be had. Lots of them!Read More
Happy New Year! 2018 is already shaping up to be another busy one for The Red Bus, and it moves off in earnest on January 6. Our first footers are Emily and Harry, who will have RM875 and RM1353 in action for their wedding in Edinburgh’s Old Town, driven by our highly experienced duo of Andrew Reid and Gordon Stirling.Read More
Merry Christmas to all our passengers, clients, suppliers, drivers, conductors and mechanics!
There’s something about a red Routemaster that lends itself to the cityscape at this time of year. Especially with the destination blinds all lit up and the saloon bulbs switched on.Read More
You had to feel for them. One hundred and ninety French guests got off our three vintage red Routemasters outside gorgeous Gosford House and before they could say nous sommes arrives (wish this blog allowed an e acute) they were charged by a band of burly, yelling, sword-wielding, Jacobites. And the visitors had only been in Scotland an hour.Read More
This may not be a secret exactly but one of the best things about Edinburgh is Holyrood Park. I still recall the thrill of seeing the elephantine mass of Arthur’s Seat for the first time and the views from the top – the dizzy mix of city, hills and sea.Read More
On November 25 The Red Bus will be back at the Edinburgh Steiner School for another day of atmospheric top-deck storytelling at the Christmas Market. This year the event will feature renowned writers and storytellers Will Sutcliffe, Gillian Arbuthnott, Mike Nicholson, Elizabeth Ezra, David MacPhail and Vixy Rae.Read More
Ten years ago this week The Red Bus rolled up in Edinburgh for the first time. That was the day I drove RM1353 up the A1 from Newcastle with Clunie and our 10-year-old son. And 62 empty seats – 63 when Gabriel perched in the cab with me.Read More