After this task was over in 1978, the vehicle was simply stored in a shed at the back of the St James bus depot. Gone perhaps, but certainly not forgotten.
The bus bore the name of John Clare.
John Clare (13 July 1793 to 20 May 1864) was an English poet, the son of a farm labourer, who came to be known for his celebratory representations of the English countryside and his lamentation of its disruption. His poetry underwent a major re-evaluation in the late 20th century and he is often now considered to be among the most important 19th-century poets.
Clare was constantly torn between the two worlds of literary London and his often illiterate neighbours; between the need to write poetry and the need for money to feed and clothe his children. His health began to suffer, and he had bouts of severe depression, which became worse after his sixth child was born in 1830 and as his poetry sold less well.
Depression eventually led to his retreat to an Asylum from 1837 to 1841. He absconded but was re-committed to Northampton Lunatic Asylum where he died in 1864. Whilst there he wrote what was arguably his best poem entitled "I am" ...
My friends forsake me like a memory lost;
I am the self-consumer of my woes,
They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
Like shades in love and death's oblivion lost;
And yet I am! and live with shadows tost
Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
Into the living sea of waking dreams,
Where there is neither sense of life nor joys,
But the vast shipwreck of my life's esteems;
And e'en the dearest--that I loved the best--
Are strange--nay, rather stranger than the rest.
I long for scenes where man has never trod;
A place where woman never smil'd or wept;
There to abide with my creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept:
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie;
The grass below--above the vaulted sky.
It commemorates the life and times of the St James depot from tram days to its demise last Saturday evening; a real nostalgiafest with tear-jerking destination displays on the back cover.
OUT OF SERVICE : too true! The book was distributed to members free of charge but copies at £5 can be ordered from
The association web site has a slide show of the depot "at the end" here.