Variety show

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.

 Dirtying the ads in Moray Place. They looked far too clean at first.  Picture: Sam Phipps

Dirtying the ads in Moray Place. They looked far too clean at first. Picture: Sam Phipps

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:

https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/edinburgh-playing-starring-role-in-hollywood-blockbuster-1-4746883

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. 

 

 Waiting in line for the director's call for acton. Again...  Picture: Sam Phipps

Waiting in line for the director's call for acton. Again... Picture: Sam Phipps

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.

 Stella our conductor passing the hippy chic boat at the Cockenzie and Port Seton Gala.  Picture: Sam Phipps

Stella our conductor passing the hippy chic boat at the Cockenzie and Port Seton Gala. Picture: Sam Phipps

 Some previous Gala Queens... The bus was a surprise for them.  Picture: Sam Phipps

Some previous Gala Queens... The bus was a surprise for them. Picture: Sam Phipps

Back at Granton a Welsh bride-to-be checked out the buses for her wedding plans. Her boys seemed to like it!

 Go on Mum, this is the bus for us!  Picture: Clunie Phipps

Go on Mum, this is the bus for us! Picture: Clunie Phipps

Oh, last weekend we also had two weddings and a 50th birthday party tour. Like I say, it was a fair bit of variety.