At their HQ in Middleton, Boris saw first hand this amazing family-owned business which makes nearly all of our printed destination blinds, as well as signage for numerous applications including electronic signs.
The printing of traditional destination blinds in London was one of the many specialisms held in-house for decades. London Transport perfected the silk-screen printing of them in huge quantities on paper bills glued to rolls of linen.
During the 1980s this work was outsourced and a few private firms provided the service instead. McKenna Brothers quickly noticed that a good eye for detail put them head and shoulders ahead of the competition and over time they became market leaders. Indeed now they supply the world.
Across the country there were also major developments with electronic equipment which McKennas were fast to exploit. LED displays are quick to modify but as yet do not display the clarity in the arduous typographical conditions of bus destination blinds which is why we in London (and indeed in Edinburgh) continue with print.
Nowadays the print is on superior material – untearable and with lasting light-fast properties. Boris tried his hand at the age old tradition of spreading ink across the back of a silk screen forcing ink around the lettering already set out to make the reversed-out displays that are familiar to all our passengers.
He made, and was presented, with a special blind naming not only some locations but also the materials produced across the whole of the UK as a result of New Bus for London orders.
Across the whole of Greater London, McKenna’s products are taken for granted – showing our 6.5m passengers a day where they are going.