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Friday, 27 July 2012

Routemaster carries the flame



So the countdown to the Olympics continues and today, completing its journeys on different forms of transport, the Olympic flame travelled aboard First's RMC1510 - an open top Routemaster - along Oxford Street.

This event took a great deal of planning. The Torch bearers themselves had to be convinced, and the organisers comfortable that the bus did not interfere with the tightly timed event. No branding was allowed so the bus was all red without any fleetnames.

McKenna Brothers kindly made the destination blinds - there are more displays than this photograph shows too!

So the RMC was taken to Great Cumberland Place where our guests, including the Mayor of Westminster, boarded. The Torch convoy consists of several elements and all has to run precisely to time. The "Activation" module came into position and started its progress along Oxford Street. Then under Police escort the Wrights Streetlite bus brought us the Torch bearers. The first went to receive the flame from the bearer carrying the flame along the Bayswater Road whilst the others boarded the bus. The usual Police escort runners came too.

The flame lit, the Torch bearer boarded the bus and in no time at all the bus pulled into the traffic stream and we made our way along an Oxford Street crammed with crowds. They weren't just in the street but hanging out of windows and on rooftops.

The flame is transferred by "the kiss" - the two torches held together to transfer the flame from one to another. This was done on board the bus. The Torch bearer stood at the front on a special platform built to make sure he or she was head and shoulders above the bus.

The bus was driven by Peter Hendy, the Commissioner for Transport in London. After its last Torch bearer left the bus, we followed the convoy along Regent Street and into Haymarket.

So now the flame is in Hyde Park and soon will transfer for its last journey - to the Olympic Park for the Opening Ceremony.

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1 comment:

  1. "the organisers comfortable that the bus did not interfere with the tightly timed event."

    Curious that they were worried about a motorised bus, which is quite capable of delivering a perfectly controlled amount of speed is considered less reliable timewise than 8,000 humans of varying abilities carrying the torch.

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