The "Rodney The Routemaster" series of books by former Clydeside Scottish General Manager George Watson, is based loosely on the exploits of RM652, the first Routemaster to work in the Scottish Bus Group. After an eventful career, RM652 eventually returned to London where it continued to work on heritage service 15 for many years.
Shortly after arriving in Scotland RM652 was given the name Rodney and a popular booklet "Rodney The Routemaster Comes To Town" was published aimed at children aged 2 and over as part of a campaign linked to the local introduction of large numbers of Routemaster buses.
Now the original book from 1985 has been fully reworked and expanded. Combined with two all new books, they are "The Rodney Trilogy". All the stories are light hearted versions of real events that involved Clydeside Routemasters, as well as during Rodney's later journey back to London.
Each book is illustrated in full colour by Tony Van Bruegal the original artist.
Clydeside Scottish Omnibuses Ltd was a bus company that was destined to last a little under 4 years. In that time it established itself so firmly in the minds of staff and customers that it is still remembered by many with affection. This is reflected in four buses being preserved in Clydeside Scottish colours and the interest they attract.
Noted for its innovative approach to marketing and competition at the time of industry deregulation, including the use of ex-London Transport Routemaster buses, there were strong pressures behind the scenes that the management had to deal with at the same time.
Indeed history suggests that, for reasons beyond the control of local management, the company almost immediately ran into an unanticipated major problems which were a key factor in the company’s turbulent subsequent history.
In this new book, "Clydeside Scottish - We tried to run a bus company but ..." the turbulent history of the Company is charted in detail, including the commercial strategy and the process leading to privatisation.
In the author’s opinion, the demise of Clydeside Scottish Omnibuses Ltd. is a story of naivety, unprofessionalism and ultimately foolishness at both corporate and political levels. This resulted in yields from privatisation that, again in the view of the author, were way below their potential if common sense had prevailed and all-and-sundry not interfered.
The author, George Watson was the former General Manager of Clydeside Scottish Omnibuses Ltd. and, with the help of many members of his former management team, he has produced a fascinating comprehensive history of the Company which survived until 2012 in much changed form as Arriva Scotland West.
This attractively produced book with 148 pages includes around 60,000 words and 300 images, mostly in colour. It will also be possible to purchase copies of the original 1985 children’s storybook "Rodney the Routemaster comes to town" at the same time.
George Watsons eagerly awaited book "Clydeside Scottish. We tried to run a bus company but..." was launched at the Glyhill Hotel, Renfrew Road, Paisley over the weekend 5th and 6th March 2011. The first few copies of the book were available to look over during the event and I can confirm George has produced a fantastic, well illustrated and interesting book.
The book can still be purchased from the many online retailers including Amazon UK
Copies can often be found for sale at transport open day events across the country.