The Clapham poetry omnibus

25th July 2003 at 01:00
The Sydney Opera House, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, New York's Carnegie Hall... but what list of the world's great cultural centres would be complete without Norwood Bus Garage in south London?

Over the next two months, buses from the station will be decked out with poetry by local school children "inspired by their trips on Arriva bus services".

In the Diary's experience, London's transport system rarely engenders more than quiet frustration but West Norwood's children have transcended such feelings. For instance, this description of a bus by Edward Taylor-Jones, 11, of Crown Lane primary: "An elephant thundering through a concrete jungle. A mechanical monster bellowing its evil cries.A grounded plane cutting through the dark night. A broken record stopping and starting on the same circuit. A bus." Victoria Tamlyn, another 11-year-old from the same school, restores some perspective for the traveller: "I could be going to the Caribbean on a jumbo jet, cruising with the first class, puffy clouds serving me golden air - but sadly I am only going to Sainsbury's by the 249 bus."

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