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All aboard the mobile beer bus!
THEY criss-crossed the capital for almost 50 years and became almost as iconic as the famous destinations they served.
No trip to London was complete without a ride on a Routemaster bus. They were introduced in the 1950s and their distinctive design, including a hop-on, hop-off rear platform, made them one of the city’s most famous symbols.
Now one of the eye-catching doubledeckers has started a new life as a mobile pub in the New Forest.
Colin Flitter, owner of the Crown Stirrup watering hole in Clay Hill, Lyndhurst, is planning to take the vehicle to shows, festivals and private functions after buying it on Internet auction site eBay.
Part of the lower deck has been converted into a fully functional bar complete with beer pumps.
Two of the windows can be taken out, enabling Colin and his staff to serve customers standing outside. The seats on the top deck have been removed and replaced with more comfortable chairs.
Renovation The bus still has the words “London Transport” on the side but the destination board above the driver’s cab now reads “Hop On Inn”.
Part of the roof has been removed and replaced with a detachable cover, allowing a band to perform on the upper deck.
Colin, 41, got the idea after visiting America last year and seeing a Routemaster bus outside an Englishthemed pub in Orlando, Florida.
He started searching for a similar vehicle in the UK and eventually found RML2416 in Berwick-upon-Tweed Northumberland.
Built in 1966 the vehicle operated on the No 38 route, which included Piccadilly Circus. It was almost the last bus to return to the garage on the day the original Routemasters were withdrawn from service in 2005.
Colin bought the vehicle for £18,500 and spent a further £14,000 converting it into a pub on wheels.
He said: “We’ve retained most of the original features and the engine was only six years old. The bus has made quite a big impact and has brought back a lot of memories.”
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