Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Bored of Boris's Routemasters? Try This!

If you go down to London Town, you’re sure of a big surprise. For there’s black cabs, red buses, Beefeaters, the Queen, and, among it all, something you never thought you’d see.

It appears like a thief in the night, an old Routemaster bus painted from top to tail in black. A small crowd has already gathered to await its arrival and the aptly named Necrobus doesn’t disappoint. Decked out in red seating, velvet curtains, and little gooseneck lamps, it definitely fits for what’s about to come.

Once your tickets have been checked, you’re ushered aboard, creeping up the curving back staircase to the sounds of haunting orchestral music. Despite its very 19th Century look, the Necrobus also houses some very cool mod-cons, including TV’s, cameras, and a wireless microphone system (so that you don’t miss any of the… action). You’re introduced to your very well spoken conductor who runs through the rules, including that “Foot Cam” is a necessary part of the CCTV system. I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Anyway, on with the tour. There possibly can't be anything nicer than been whisked around London in a pimped out, black 1960's Routemaster while listening to tales of executions, plagues, and fires.

Or can there?

Well, this is a twist on your traditional bus tour. (Obviously. Otherwise you wouldn't be riding around London on a pimped out, black 1960's Routemaster) Keep your eyes on the TV screens because all will be revealed in the form of Mr Hinged, the Health and Safety guy (or 'elf n' safety if you want to be like that). It's up to him whether the Necrobus runs and, well, it appears to be running without a license.

So it's up to our good conductor, and one or two of the more burly male passengers who got roped in whether they wanted to or not, to make sure that the bus sticks to its route. I won't give too much away but let's just say that Mr Hinged's nickname is apparently “Unhinged”. Yeah, just sayin'.

But anyway, I'm not going to give too much away because otherwise you'll just read this and not bother going and taking the tour.

The tour does have some slight interactive elements and the guides have great comedy timing. While the tour is suitable for those under 13, the website does state that it's not suitable for very young children. Despite that, there's plenty of humour that'll keep the adults giggling and the kids wondering what the heck their elders are laughing at. Yes, it is spooky and there are a couple of points that may make you jump. There's plenty of history and, well, you get to ride around London in a pimped out, black 1960's Routemaster while having a good laugh. Truth be told, I haven't laughed as hard as I did on this tour for a very long time. You also get the chance to see London at night and, for that, I'd recommend sitting on the top deck of the bus. So if you're bored of Mr Johnson's new red buses, go and catch this one at Northumberland Ave for a truly different view of London.

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