Meet Pete… and his bus

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RML2355 outside Pete’s barn in East Sussex. The bus has been sympathetically converted to its new life as a bar, and retains as many of the original fittings as possible. PETE AND HIS BUS

Jonathan Welch speaks to Pete Sonneveld, better known as the star of YouTube channel Pete And His Bus, about his unique bar bus business

Love them or hate them, they’re an icon. A vehicle type which far outlasted its brethren elsewhere and remained in service carrying fare-paying passengers into the 21st century as an anachronism in a modern city, the Routemaster attained cult status. And whilst that may have led to some 1,300 of the type surviving, there are two harsh realities to face. One is that they can’t all survive forever, and the other is that their iconic nature makes them ideal for a second life outside passenger transport. If anything, the second might help overcome the first.

One person doing exactly that is Pete Sonneveld, who has built up a successful ‘bar bus’ business using former London Routemaster RML 2355, which he has converted to a bar and serving space on the lower deck, and casual seating upstairs, complete with opening roof. So successful has been his venture that he’s working on a second conversion; though fear not, for Pete is also very much a classic vehicle enthusiast, and far from destroying what enthusiasts might see as a valuable preserved bus, he is taking care to ensure that the buses remain as close to original as possible, and that any modifications are easily un-doable in future should it be required.

Much of the restoration and conversion work on his second bus, RML 2730, has been documented on his popular YouTube channel, Pete And His Bus, where his monthly updates show his progress, as well as some of the events he and RML 2355 have attended and what goes on behind the scenes.

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