"Development of the London Bus 1929-1933"

A well-illustrated little book about the “Development of the London Bus, 19291933” has been written by Gavin Martin, MA, MIMechE, and is available from Transport Surveys and Research, 1, Old Rectory Garden, Alcester, Warwickshire, for 90p, Post free in the British Isles. It is a well-researched work, compiled after consultation with the LPTB Rolling Stock Office and other sources, by one who obviously loves ‘buses and understands their engineering significance. Martin offers only the development story of the LGOC vehicles in this book, not dealing with the independents and omitting almost all references to minor types, odd bodies, etc. Nevertheless, his account is enthralling. From It we learn of the great technical variety of these London ‘buses, which are excellently recorded pictorially. They had o.h.c. engines, sleeve valves (not very successful), five and even eight-cylinder engines, open-fronted cabs after the Carriage Office had sanctioned windscreens, fluid flywheels, pre-selector Wilson gearboxes which AEC made under licence, worm drive, twin dynamos, triple servo brakes, and so on. All this Gavin Martin sorts out for us. There is also the fun of espying period vehicles in the backgrounds of some of th.e book’s pictures—the Beardmore and Ausun taxis, a Guy van, someone’s box-like saloon Austin 7, and a fine late-type Austin, probab.1Y a Twenty, complete with Motometer on Its radiator filler cap.

The author writes of the singleand double-. decker ‘buses of his boyhood. He does this so well that one hopes for more of the same sort, perhaps about those ‘buses of the earlier open-top LGOC fleet, on which passengers rode on the upper-deck under open umbrellas on wet days, and, no doubt wished they had been able to get into a single-deck “pirate”.—W.B.