please empty your brain below

Routemasterfact: I am delighted to point out that the Routemaster was first built in 1956 and first entered service in 1960.

You are not alone. The Museum of London get this wrong too.
Waterloo - it was just a large off street stand area, bit like Aldgate and Ilford, but morphed into a base for the 'Red Arrow' fleet, 'opening' in 1990 - hence the garage code 'RA', it also operated the 11 for part of the week from July 1993 (when GM closed) until May 2002 when the full allocation moved to Stockwell.
Good to see that someone has used their imagination to adapt the Open House setup for the "current situation". There are going to be many more such adaptations needed.
DG, thanks for another fascinating transport themed post. I worked for London Transport in the early 1980's in West London and the best places for grub were the bus garage canteens of which I went to many. Having never worked south of the Thames I never knew of the existence of the Waterloo Bus Cafe but it's now on my bucket list to visit.
Routemaster: As does Foyles War on the telly. Often shows Routemasters on London streets during the Second World War - Doh!
Back in 1974 my local bus company at the time, Alder Valley, hired some RTs from neighbouring London Country to cover a vehicle shortage and on more than one occasion I heard staff refer to them as Routemasters.
If you're tempted by Full English at The Bus Garage, don't waste time looking for it where TripAdvisor and other sites mark it at 3 Cornwall Road because it's actually right at the other end of Cornwall Road near The Cut. If they wanted more custom, they could mark themselves on Google Maps, and even maybe have an online presence. But judging by their rather unobtrusive sign and not exactly inviting entrance route, they don't.
"I even went south of the river for the first time since March. It was good to be back, however briefly."
And the natives are quite friendly!
I’ll have to remember to have a look at The Bus Cafe if I’m ever in the Waterloo area.

LT staff canteens were dotted all over London, from tiny rooms, such as on platform 1 at High Barnet to the large works type canteens at Acton Works and Chiswick bus works. Often hidden away (such as the one in the disused main line tunnel link between the Met / Circle line and the main line at Liverpool St station), they were a much cheaper alternative to what was available elsewhere.

Generally the food / menu was fairly basic (most of the items being produced / distributed from the Food Production Centre at Croydon then prepared locally). Some of the staple items being “teacake and egg” and “meat pie, oval” (usually served upside down with beans and chips. One of the dinner items was “chop toad”, a variation of toad in the hole using lamb chops. There were some very good cooks and a decent Sunday roast was to be had at many a small canteen.

Sadly, all this changed over the years. Buses going one man and then effectively privatised, and the reduction in train staff due to OPO, meant that there were much fewer customers. Many canteens closed, the canteens were privatised and the FPC closed. The griffin brand disappeared for good. (I still have a tea cup with the griffin on that I always used to carry in my bag at work).
My parents were LT bus crew and loved the Welsh rarebit served by the LT canteens to the extent that we’d usually have several packs of the mix in the fridge, purchased, probably not entirely over the table, from the Norbiton garage canteen.
Boring pedantry - the first Routemaster was completed in 1954 from designs completed in 1949. The project's original title according to the late Colin Curtis was 'IM' - Integrated Mechanical, based on the principles of the chassisless trolleybuses LPTB ordered pre-war. RM1 was a joint effort between London Transport at Chiswick Works and Park Royal Vehicles. The bus went through a large number of changes and engineering trials before entering passenger service in 1956.

Yes, I should get out more...

I did today, the first time I've skipped Open House in over 20 years. Didn't fancy self-guided nor virtual tours, as I enjoy the interaction with other visitors at each location, sometimes bumping into the same or other familiar faces!

Instead I too had my first proper trip south of the River since lockdown began, and only my second proper 'day out' since March, to the 'Aerojumble' Fair at Kenley Airfield. Mostly for the sheer joy of going a long way, and before the next lockdown condemns us to a misery of winter.
Great to read another post about buses, DG.

I loved catching RTs from Waterloo, riding the 199 out to Farnborough (Kent) George & Dragon (though never on a Sunday of course!) and taking my sandwiches with me - no canteen usage for the likes of us passengers! Glory days.
Seems a bit odd to send you over to Waterloo just to tell you about the electric buses, and presumably not see any operating as it was the weekend.

dg writes: Best not presume.

From what I can make out, the bus "garage" seems to be just an open area, not a building at all, so doubly tenuous for Open House.
How embarrassing! Can't believe I got the Routemaster dates wrong and can't work out why 1960 stuck in my mind. The only thing I can think of is that 1960 is when they started mass-producing them. They certainly had a long gestation before appearing regularly on significant numbers of routes and were produced until 1968.

Still, pleased to be corrected.
Note to self: all a 12 mile round trip on foot gets you is a dozen bus comments.
20 years of TfL is quite a milestone. Considering how things were organised at various points in the past, it's easy to forget how lucky we are.
Palestra has never had 10,000 staff inside. Perhaps 3-4000 max with numbers steadily increasing with "smart working" rolling out over the last few years. Not all the floors are regular desk space either which limits the numbers.
Sorry, I used the numbers I was told.

I've rewritten that sentence to be considerably more vague, thanks.
I've always had a soft spot for the 3D art work mounted on the wall in the reception at Palestra. Those M&M shaped polished discs in various colours were hand made by an artist who learnt the technique from a master in India. The latter initially refused to teach the female English artist because it was unheard of to teach a woman, but she eventually impressed him enough to earn his tutelage for several years.
Production Routemasters first entered service in 1959; a few on existing routes during the summer, and then in bulk for trolleybus replacement on 11 November.

I rode on the first one along the East India Dock and Commercial Roads (and many years later on the last Routemaster along the same roads on route 15).

Countless are the references which tell us that the film 'Summer Holiday' features Cliff Richard and his pals driving a Routemaster to Greece, when in fact the film used RTs.

I well remember the 1959 trolleybus replacement programme. I grew up in Stepney and was a bus-spotter. Before the changeover, Aberfeldy Street trolleybus depot housed the trolleybuses beside the Routemasters. Aldgate depot was the centre of the changeover, and I was at primary school a few hundred yards away (Sir John Cass). In later years Aldgate also saw the introduction of RMCs and RCLs on the Green Line routes into Essex.

I used to regularly cycle out from Stepney to 'spot' the RM types fresh off the production line in the yard of Park Royal works next to the canal. Bus spotting, via Red Rover and Green Rover tickets, and bicycle, took me all over London and the Home Counties. Very happy days of childhood.

I'm an ex-E1 Wer (Matilda House). Now live in Scottish Borders.
I also did this walk on Saturday and it sounds much like my experience, including non-chatty people at Embankment. I mentioned I'd gone wrong looking for the bus garage when I was asked at the end how it went. The TfL staff member, whilst clearly surprised people could get lost, did say I was far from the only one.

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