The debates over London's buses roll on, and we are still waiting to find out what the 'new Routemaster' will be like. Of course, one of the arguments against the old Routemaster was the potential danger of an open rear platform. We might have our own views on that, but imagine the greater risks offered by the original Shillibeer's omnibus. First, it had not only an open rear platform but also an entirely open upper deck. Add in poor suspension, poor road surfaces and a drop too much to drink, and you have the accident that befell poor Alexander Moore in July 1835:
FATAL ACCIDENT. – On Wednesday evening a collegeman named Alexander Moore 54 years of age fell from the roof of one of Mr. Shillibeer’s omnibuses in the Broadway, Deptford, by which his skull was fractured, and he was otherwise injured. He was immediately taken to the surgery of the Kent Dispensary, and every attention paid to him; but he expired within an hour after. The deceased was in liquor when the accident occurred, and a verdict of “Accidental Death” was returned at a Coroner’s inquest held on the body by C. J. Carttar, Esq.