The heyday of the classic bus by Gavin Booth

One of Ian Allan’s landscape-format ‘Heyday’ series, this book consists of – well, pictures of buses. Not much there for the non-anorak, then, you’d think. Well, think again. In the days depicted in these pictures, public transport was considered to be a demonstration of civic pride and public service, whether privately or publicly owned. Bus liveries were (usually) colourful but not garish, and owed more to the coachbuilding tradition than graphic design. Rampant commercialism, in the form of overall advertising, was unknown. And so often, the pictures show not only the buses but the streets they travelled through, with period detail that shows us the world of just a few decades ago, now gone forever.

Picture quality is usually reasonable, though a few slightly fuzzy pictures make it past the cut for their historical interest. Given that colour films were fairly slow until the 1970s, the results are more than acceptable. Then again, we’re rather spoilt these days with high-resolution digital…

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