All aboard to Hoaxville!
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 originally made Busman’s holiday: The triple-decker picture that fooled readers in 1926 with petrol engines, in 1936 they were re-engined with Junkers 90 diesels.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.