Meanwhile…on the buses

Poppy wreath at Chelsea Barracks.

On the way to the National Army Museum. Poppy wreath at Chelsea Barracks.
(P. Ferguson image, 7 November 2018)

Lest We Forget

The day begins with a walk to the National Army Museum [NAM]. Along the way a Poppy Appeal bus attracts my attention. Quickly the camera is out, but the bus changes course…we continue along our urban streetscape, pass by wreaths adorning shops, Chelsea Barracks and a remembrance display at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

After viewing the exhibits, tea and a walnut/coffee slice of deliciousness at the NAM we wander down the King’s Road towards Sloane Square. And there it is…. a Number 11 Fulham Broadway, white bus with red poppies. Though in previous years various bus routes have similarly been adorned one cannot help but think that, this centenary year, the Number 11 has been chosen specially…the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Thankfully, for me, the bus is caught in traffic, and the driver’s plights is to my benefit. The delayed traffic, not uncommon here, provides time for a fine picture and a thumbs up from the driver. It makes me smile.

Poppy Appeal bus.

The Number 11 Poppy Appeal bus along the King’s Road, London.
(P. Ferguson image, 7 November 2018)

Still I am not unaware that remembrance is for all conflicts and with the bus adornment I cannot help but think of On the Buses, an English sitcom that ran from 1969-1973. Amongst the characters, Inspector Cyril “Blakey” Blake, an India and Burma campaign veteran of the Second World War. Inspector Blake was always in the throes of keeping one particular driver named Stan Butler in line. The inspector endured relentless antagonism though he equally conspired against driver Butler. Occasionally “Blakey” was equal in his comebacks with his antagonist Stan (I’ll get you for this Butler!).

Stan: What did you do in the war Blakey? 

Blakey: Making the world a better place for the likes of you Butler!

…we are at the Imperial War Museum now for a second visit and after some wandering and tea [no cake] we head for the bus stop that takes us across Vauxhall Bridge Road to Tate Britain. Sadly the art exhibition I seek Aftermath: Art in the Wake of World War One is no longer in place, but whilst at the Tate there are a few bonuses.

Another exhibit Magic Realism: Art in Weimar Germany 1919-33 is on at Tate Modern. Exhibition catalogues for both installations are available..alas another bus ride is in order, but not today. Around the corner of Tate Britain I photograph evidence of the Second World War blitz along the building’s side. Both world wars were here too in London…Zeppelins and Gothas, Heinkels and Dorniers.

…and meanwhile…there is another bus…another reminder, prior to our arrival at the Tate..a green Clarke’s carriage with single poppy and lighted station stop Lest We Forget.

Lest We Forget

On the buses...Lest We Forget...
(P. Ferguson image, 7 November 2018)


About The Author

Paul has worked with the Paradigm Motion Picture Company since 2009 as producer, historian and research specialist. Paul first met Casey and Ian WIlliams of Paradigm in April 2007 at Ieper (Ypres), Belgium when ceremonies were being held for the re-dedication of the Vimy Memorial, France. Paul's sensitivity to film was developed at an early age seeing his first films at RCAF Zweibrucken, Germany and Sardinia. Paul returned to Canada in 1967 and was captivated by David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Bridge on the River Kwai". Over time Paul became increasingly interested in storytelling, content development, character, direction, cinematography, narration and soundtracks. At the University of Victoria, Paul studied and compared Japanese and Australian film and became interested in Australian film maker Peter Weir and his film "Gallipoli" (1981). Paul was inspired when he learned Weir visited the beaches, ridges and ravines of the peninsula. "Gallipoli", the film, led Paul on many journeys to sites of conflict in England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Malta, Hawaii, Gallipoli, North Macedonia and Salonika. When Paul first watched documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, "The Civil War", Paul understood how his own experience and insight could be effective and perhaps influential in film-making. Combining his knowledge of Museums and Archives, exhibitions and idea strategies with his film interests was a natural progression. Paul thinks like a film-maker. His passion for history and storytelling brings to Paradigm an eye (and ear) to the keen and sensitive interests of; content development, the understanding of successful and relational use of collections, imagery and voice. Like Paul's favorite actor, Peter O'Toole, Paul believes in the adage “To deepen not broaden.” While on this path Paul always remembers his grandmother whose father did not return from the Great War and how his loss shaped her life and how her experience continues to guide him.


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