Sixty years after the then editor complained about the poor quality of photographs submitted for publication, MARK LYONS spoke to Gerald Mead, who began photographing buses seventy years ago, about his approach to the subject, which he wrote about in the July 1965 issue. What has changed since then?

One of the first bus photographs taken by Gerald Mead was of London Transport RT1499 (KGK 758) which was new in 1949, the year Buses Illustrated first appeared. When captured for posterity in Richmond bus station on August 6, 1954, the bus was on a short working of route 73 as signified by the “ONLY” qualifier on the destination blind. Remarkably, the buildings in the background and the bus itself all survive 70 years on and Cravens-bodied RT1499 is now in the Ensignbus heritage fleet.

As befits a magazine that, until 1968, was entitled Buses Illustrated (BI), photographic content has always been important to Buses. Initially, everything was black and white but the first colour cover, of a Midland Red coach, was in September 1962. It was a publicity shot and used a colour block loaned by Midland Red, as colour printing then was highly expensive.

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