F-FRAMES SPECIFICALLY REQUESTED INCLUDES THE ICONIC KINGS ROAD.
FRIDAY 22ND JULY?** PUTNEY ALL DAY *7PM TO 11PM* PUTNEY-CENTRAL LONDON-PUTNEY.
?**NOTE:- DATE COULD BE POSTPONED AT SHORT NOTICE. BEST CONFIRM BY PHONING ME IN WEEK BEFORE.
As many of you may be aware London has all but lost it’s Routemasters. There are now only five routes left with these buses which, like the Moulton Bicycle, are an enduring icon of the 1960’s. Of these, the 14 and the 22 are due to be converted to one-man operation on 23rd July.
It has now become a tradition for the last day of Routemaster operation to become an event supplemented by the running in service of plenty of classic and preserved buses along the route including many of the 1940’s-1950’s (as in Cliff Richard’s “Summer Holiday.”)
Given the 1960’s iconic nature of the Routemaster and the fact that Route 22 runs along the length of the 1960’s iconic Kings Road (close to where Mike Woolf, another 1960’s icon lives) it is proposed that we enhance this celebration by getting as many F-frame Moultons to join in the event.
When the last bus leaves that is an event in which a convoy of vintage a show buses lead it’s return trip. The 14 goes one man in the evening so the last Routemaster on the 14 will leave Central London at about 9.30PM. This gives us the opportunity to have a formal ride with the convoy of buses in a real event. With both routes running between Putney and the West End we can actually ride there up Kings Road via the 22 in daylight in true 1960’s mode then return with the last 14 down Fulham Road. NOTE:- The return ride will be in darkness. (If anyone wants to shadow the last 22 that will be around midnight)! Also this will enable many to attend after work.
On the last day of Routemasters plenty of vintage and show buses operate on the routes. By making the all-day aspect of this is to allow us to meet up and ride on some of these buses in service and perhaps have an impromptu ride or two up and down the Kings Road. It would be wrong to formalise a day-time ride because many of us might (want to) be riding on the buses at any time and without any schedules that is impossible. However, I stress, that if you contact me prior I will guarantee to ensure some kind of co-ordination. (The 14 goes from Putney Heath to Tottenham Court Road Station via Fulham Road and the 22 goes from Putney Common to Piccadilly Circus via Fulham Road.) IF ANY GROUPS WANT TO DO THEIR OWN THING DURING THE AFTERNOON THAT IS NO PROBLEM. I intend to “do” the buses too.
This day wil be very very public with photographers snapping away at every street corner, both anoraks and the media. If you are just coming in the evening for the ride but want to picture the buses beforehand locally the best place is nearby Putney Bridge which both routes cross before bifurcating at either side.
The meeting place for this ride and the focus for the day will be at the Putney Common terminus of route 22 at Lower Common SW15, a dead end off Lower Richmond Road. This is a perfect meeting place as there are no parking controls after 10.30am in the nearest side streets. There is a pub on the corner of Lower Common and Lower Richmond Road which would make a fair meeting spot, (*NOTE THIS WILL BE THE MEETING POINT FOR THE EVENING RIDE AT 7.00-7.30PM*) but I will put a notice on the nearest lamppost as to where my van (P377UGC) is parked so if I’m not there (due to riding buses or Moultons) you will know. I will keep you informed with a notice on my dashboard when I’m not there and leave the drivers window open a sliver if anyone wants to push a note in – I don’t have a mobile! Incidentally, just down the road is the shrine to Marc Bolan, a 1970’s icon, where he was killed in his Mini, another 1960’s icon! It is a safe area to leave bikes and people will be welcome to place them in my van or borrow one of my spare F-frames.
Be aware of the parking controls. You can park unrestricted after 10.30am in the few side streets in the immediate vicinity. Parking controls remain in force up to 4.30pm in the next tranche of side streets up to 4.30pm and all parking restrictions cease at 6.30pm so if you’re coming for the evening ride you will have no problem at all. PLEASE TAKE HEED not to leave your vehicle even one minute before controls cease or you could get nabbed!
It needs to be said; please be aware that this will be a very public occasion with both bus routes and the termini lined with bus enthusiasts and cameras, both from the public and the media. Indeed, there should be loads of people out. We should attract some attention but please respect the fact that they are there to photograph the buses and not us so no going round the buses to stop in front of them at traffic lights because the photographers and cranks will not be amused. If you go round them pull up well clear in front. Also, this is London so it should be a reasonably paced ride and of course a flat route. Remember we will be cycling through Piccadilly Circus and Charing Cross Road on a Friday evening when revellers are out, but at the time we will be there the traffic is light because they tend to be in their theatres, clubs and restaurants. Also, note, don’t dilly dally in the Piccadilly bus lane and if you use the underpass at Hyde Park Corner do remember to go fast.
If anybody is interested please phone me on 020 84503413 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to phone or e-mail me at any time for more details.
Whatever happens, I strongly recommend that anyone up for this event thinks of it as a fun afternoon and evening and allows time for it and is prepared to be dictated by how the buses run…. Obviously with more than one ride. All the terrain is flat, there will be plenty of photographers an interest around and I will do my best to endeavour that those wishing to get the best out of the buses as well as the cycling. Remember, public and press will be out with cameras! Also, I am passing this information on to the Veteran Bicycle Club and possibly some classic car groups… original Minis would be perfect for this!
FINALLY, I have three F-frames. I’d like to see them all out on the day so anyone wishing to use one of mine would be doing me a favour.