Travel Pics Theme: W for World Famous. England Swings like a pendulum do …

London Double Decker Bus

London Double Decker Bus

This week, we’re looking at W for World Famous locations.

For Thursday, Westminster Bridge in London. With Big Ben. The Houses of Parliament. A Red Double-Decker bus. The Union Jack. The only cliches missing are a bowler hat, an umbrella, and a black cab!

Actually, some of the cliches I mention aren’t actually accurately named.

Big Ben, for example, is not the clock-tower in our picture. Or even the clock. It’s the Great Bell, which is in the clock, which is in the Elizabeth tower, next to Palace of Westminster.

Talking of the Palace of Westminster, the Houses of Parliament (both the Commons and the House of Lords) meet IN that palace.

So the building you can see is the Palace, rather than the Parliament.

But that’s just being pedantic, and picking nits. Which is most unlike the denizens of those parliaments 🙂

And talking of pedantic, there will be those who claim that calling the flag in the top left corner a Union Jack is wrong – because it is a “flag” on land, and a “jack” on a naval ship at sea.

But they’d be wrong.

I’ve heard this view expressed a number of times over the years (as late as 2005 in an episode of Doctor Who, in fact) but it is not correct.

The Admiralty (and they should know) said more than a century ago that the terms “jack” and “flag” were interchangeable as far as they were concerned.

And as far back as 1908, Britain’s parliament declared that “The Union Jack should be considered the national flag”

But like many long-cherished beliefs, this one is a bit hard to shift 🙂

One cliche that is incontrovertible, however, is the Red Double-Decker Bus .. which has plied the streets of London since the mid-1800s.

Well, not THIS particular bus, obviously – but Double-Decker buses have long been iconic in London.

While today’s machines have covered top decks, and no open rear landing, they still attract tourists galore – plus up to a billion trips by local commuters each year.

(There are 1.8 billion trips on London buses each year – but I can find no breakdown on how many are on Double-Deckers, and how many on bendy-buses, etc etc)

And since we referred to Westminster, and Big Ben, I remind you of this infectious little ditty from Roger Miller

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