How could I refuse a request for more on Malta buses? You're right, of course, I couldn't.
Let's look at some of the grilles today. No, we're not talking barbecues, we're talking those metal things on the fronts of the buses.
Look at a modern day bus, and generally speaking you see a pretty featureless chrome set of bars. Not on Malta, though!
Here we have a Leyland, with three stepped, almost pyramidic effect, neatly decorated with the galloping horse on the top grille (no indication of the speed at which the vehicle went, mind you, pure optimism there!), and the two horses heads facing each other inside horseshoes on the middle one.
I hope you also notice the delicate white tracery around the panels, lights and signage. These are things of beauty, maybe just a little OTT, but all the more interesting for it :)
Here we have an older specimen, a Perkins - so many different widths, and all very sort of rectangular, reflecting the shape of the headlamps, the indicators, and even the bumper seems less rounded.
Have you ever looked at a bus so closely before? No, neither had I!!! There is still some of the white decorative painting in evidence, but less flamboyance, somehow. A more masculine bus.
Now this Leyland AEG is altogether more feminine, don't you think? The eye makeup carefully applied, the jewellery, and it's almost as if she's been to the grilledressers to have herself styled just for the photograph with those angled stripes intersecting the flat ones at the base so neatly. The bumper is self coloured, and the body more rounded, softer somehow.
It's always good to leave you wanting more, so we'll leave it at three shots for today.
Except for this last one - ok I lied, just forgive me and move on.
We were struck by the various bells used to ask the driver to stop the bus. The switches sometimes were door bell pushers, screwed into the ceiling. Sometimes the full length rubber strip that you simply depress. But the one I captured here, well, see for yourself
A length of tatty cord ran from the rear of the bus through metal eyelets, down to the front, where it was attached by a thin twine to a bicycle bell affixed to the roof, before returning up the other side of the bus. Very Heath Robinson, but it worked, what more did he need?
And there, I really am going to leave it for now, but there'll be more, I promise, there will be more :)