More Christmas Bus-ness

ELMO makes cuts again this Christmas

It's December. And that means the Christmas bus will be out again, with Santa on the roof. No, not the one that used to go around the town in the days before Stagecoach, but the Monkey Business cardboard cutout model. Like last year's, it's a bit of nostalgia for those who remember it, a history lesson for those who don't, and something to do over the holiday for those who are bored.

This one is for people with even longer memories than last year's effort. The real thing appeared in Hartlepool some time over 30 years ago. It was the first incarnation of the Christmas bus, when it was still in its mostly-red livery. Later versions usually had, besides Santa, a sleigh and reindeer on the roof, but this one had - another roof!

To make your bus, first open this PDF file Then print it via your computer's printer onto printer-compatible card (glossy photo paper will give the best result. Simply follow the instructions on the PDF file. You'll need scissors, a glue stick (or double-sided tape), and a sharp knife for cutting out the tab slots. Don't risk using thicker card than your printer is designed for. Apart from on Santa, no other glue is really needed. As glue, knives and scissors are required, care should be taken if kids are also involved in making the bus. An easy way to crease and fold the smaller parts is to use long-nosed pliers.

This is how it will look, cut out, creased and slotted. Santa is cut out again after gluing to ensure the two sides line up.

And here's the finished bus, end-to end with last year's version.

Hartlepool Corporation Transport used the same bus every Christmas for many years. OEF77K was new in 1972, was sold off after serving the people of Hartlepool for a quarter of a century, and was still being used in 2010 at the age of 38 years, and may still be around.

If you want to see what the real thing looked like, there's a photo here:

Last year's version is also still available here:

And as it says on the bus, Season's Greetings to all Poolies.