It’s the noise I miss the most. The Kennington Road is a barren speedtrack. Buses can get up a good lick there, if passengers at request stops don’t flag them down. Even if your head was in the newspaper, you could tell a 159 was coming from the gurgling roar of the Routemaster’s engine, stick out a hand just in time and hear the machine change register, grind to a halt and turn over in moody reverberation, till the bell rang and it was time for the off.
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[*] Granta, 204 pp., £12, September 2005, 1 86207 794 0.