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QUES­TION Were there tripledeck­er buses in Ber­lin in the Twen­ties?

No, the Ber­lin triple- decker was an April Fool’s joke.

on April 1, 1926, echo Con­ti­nen­tal, the auto parts trade pub­li­ca­tion for the Con­ti­nen­tal Rub­ber Com­pany in hanover, re­ported the developmen­t of a triple-decker city bus, com­plete with a re­al­is­tic-look­ing, but mocked up, pho­to­graph, which was quite an achieve­ment in the days be­fore Pho­to­shop.

echo Con­ti­nen­tal re­ported on mo­tor rac­ing, cy­cling, foot­ball, tennis and other sports, tech­ni­cal in­no­va­tions in the au­to­mo­bile and rub­ber in­dus­tries and fea­tured car­toons and funny sto­ries.

In the in­ter-war years, its cir­cu­la­tion exceeded 100,000. It em­ployed top il­lus­tra­tors and jour­nal­ists of the day, the most no­table of whom was erich Maria Re­mar­que, au­thor of the World War I clas­sic All Quiet on the Western Front.

he wrote verses prais­ing Con­ti­nen­tal rub­ber tyres and car­toon strips about the ad­ven­tures of the Con­ti­nen­tal Ras­cals.

triple- decker buses have never been se­ri­ously con­sid­ered be­cause their high cen­tre of grav­ity would make them un­sta­ble and there would be the risk of hit­ting trees and bridges.

the only com­mer­cial buses that could be con­sid­ered triple- deck­ers were two Lan­cia omi­cron Ls, built in Italy in 1932. they were used on the tourist route from Rome to tivoli. orig­i­nally made Bus­man’s hol­i­day: The triple-decker pic­ture that fooled read­ers in 1926 with petrol en­gines, in 1936 they were re-en­gined with Junkers 90 diesels.

the third deck was a small first-class com­part­ment at the rear. the bus had room for 88 pas­sen­gers, a space for dogs and a smok­ing com­part­ment.

A triple-decker has ap­peared on screen: the Knight Bus in the 2004 movie harry Pot­ter And the Pris­oner of Azk­a­ban. It was cre­ated by spe­cial ef­fects su­per­vi­sor John Richard­son and his team, who cut up two Routemas­ter buses and put them back to­gether with three decks.

Ed­ward Wise, Reigate, Sur­rey.

QUES­TION Did the me­dieval build­ings on Spon Street, Coven­try, sur­vive the Blitz or were they re­built?

SPoN Street’s 20 me­dieval build­ings are tucked away in­side Coven­try’s ring road. Some were built there, while others were moved there af­ter the war.

Spon end was an in­dus­trial area oc­cu­pied by dy­ers and tan­ners from the 12th cen­tury. tex­tile in­dus­tries needed good ac­cess to the River Sher­bourne.

It was on the main ap­proach to the city from Shrews­bury and Chester. Peo­ple en­tered through an im­pres­sive stone gate next to St John the Bap­tist church. the Spon Gate stood from 1391 to 1771, while the church is still stand­ing.

on Novem­ber 14, 1940, the Luft­waffe launched a dev­as­tat­ing bomb­ing raid on Coven­try. While much was dev­as­tated, Spon end es­caped ma­jor dam­age.

Dur­ing the post-war re­de­vel­op­ment, which re­sulted in the cen­tre of Coven­try be­com­ing a glass and con­crete jun­gle, the few re­main­ing me­dieval tim­ber build­ings, such as those in Much Park Street, were re­lo­cated to Spon Street in an at­tempt to pre­serve them.

In 1969, it was des­ig­nated a con­ser­va­tion area. Now a tourist at­trac­tion, there are shops, restau­rants and pubs in the me­dieval build­ings.

Paul Grigg, Wolvey, Warks.

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