The Big Red Bus for Remain…

Last Friday night was the first real winter’s night.  Temperature of minus four.  Saturday morning saw intrepid members of North Yorkshire for Europe climb into every bit of warm clothing they could round up, and head for Harrogate …..

The Big Red Bus parked up in Harrogate.

…. and the Big Red Bus for Remain.  For one week only – this week – if you live in Yorkshire you’ve a chance of seeing this re-badged Routemaster bus parked up in a town square near you.   Parking place secured, members of the Yorkshire Remain Choir, plus assorted brass instrument players (with a tuba, a euphonium, a saxophone to name but a few) and guitar-players clamber off the bus, secure a vantage post, and sing.

Getting all that brass back onto the bus in Richmond.

It’s the Christmas period now, so in addition to all our tried and tested favourites:

  • What shall we do with this Rotten Brexit? (What shall we do with a drunken sailor)
  • We’ve had quite enough of Brexit, it’s a con. (She’ll be coming round the mountain)
  • Glory, glory, what a helluva mess we’re in. (Battle hymn of the Republic)

and about thirty other numbers –

we have adapted seasonal fare:

  • Away in Westminster, where Johnson resides….
  • The Twelve days of Brexit.
  • Hark the Leavers shout and wail…

Goodness, we were cold as we sang in Harrogate.  We were freezing in Richmond, 37 miles north.  And by the time we reached Ripon at sunset, 26 miles south, we’d lost all sensation.  Only singing warmed us a little.  That and having raucous sing-songs on the bus between venues.

Twilight in Ripon.

We were generally well received.  Obviously we weren’t always appreciated.  But in Ripon, a dyed-in-the-wool Leaver approached us with a huge box of shortbread:  ‘I don’t agree with you at all.’ he said. ‘But that’s no reason why we shouldn’t be friends.’

A Leaver’s generous gift.

Hardly any photos of course.  1.  I was busy singing. 2.  Nobody in their right mind would want to take gloves off, just to take a photo.  Brrr.

At this late stage, most of us have difficulty in believing we’re making a difference.  But it takes our minds off the prospect of being led into an uncertain future by a serial liar with no moral compass, or interest in anything beyond his own ambition.

Read all about Saturday’s visit to Richmond in The Northern Echo, and about today’s visit to Leeds – sadly we weren’t there – in Leeds Live, and in Yorkshire Voice, where you can actually hear a few moments of song



Author: margaret21

I'm retired and living in North Yorkshire, where I walk as often as I can, write, volunteer, and travel as often as I can.

34 thoughts on “The Big Red Bus for Remain…”

  1. I think its wonderful that you all continue to join together in this campaign, and very brave in such temperatures too. I should think the camaraderie warmed the heart, as well as that lovely and unexpected gift of shortbread and expression of friendship from a Leaver. Would that it was always that civil across such divides.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed. It was a lovely moment. We ourselves were offering ‘cakes not hate’, but got few takers in the freezing temperatures. It must have been so tough on the brass players with their blue fingers. One of the good things to come out of this mess has been the friendships forged and the lovely people we’ve got to know whom we wouldn’t otherwise have met.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was thinking that it is hard enough to sing in the cold air, but the brass players had the worst of it. Hope no-one got chillblains!
        How nice that such camaraderie also leads to forging supportive friendships.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Such dedication! And so heartwarming to hear of the shortbread gift. There’s been so much bitterness and devisiveness for so long yet we can all still be friends. It’s not hard 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hopefully all that fun and goodwill and uplifting singing might just persuade some wavering folk into voting tactically to stop a liar-led Brexit majority being returned to Westminster. I thought it was interesting and just a little bizarre that a confirmed Brexit supporter offered Scottish shortbread and friendship. Sadly, I don’t think it is going to be that easy to heal this rift especially if at the end of 2020 we crash out with no deal and Trump & Co swoop in to devour the NHS.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a very welcome gesture: we were trying to bridge the gap too, by offering Cakes not Hate. But it’s going to be tough, especially with a possible future such as you outline. I wish I didn’t agree with you.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear friend, this morning we discussed the possible outcome of next week’s voting over breakfast. Honestly, even we (having nothing to say or do to change things in this world from here) despair frequently over What’s going on in UK and the US PLUS La France….. It’s good to take a bit of a distance from time to time. I had to drastically change my travel plans, have already lost a cheap TGV ticket (the ‘return’ would nearly equal the whole cost of the ticket and THE BOTHER!), I’ll need to stay in Zurich for nearly two weeks because there is no way in hell or on earth to be able to return – neither to Paris nor from there to our place. It’s gonna be packed roads, no petrol, road-rage, no metro or RER, no trains ‘tout court’. But it’s peanuts vs what’s going on in your corner of the world. And I have to tell you that your list of slightly modified songs is definitely hilarious!!!!! I admire you guys no end for your continuing courage, stamina, and am only glad that you also keep your humour, seeing the fun bits of it – and it’s good for the lungs (the singing, I mean!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Singing’s good for us – the morale and the lungs, though goodness it’s cold. But with a week tgo who knows what’s in store? Ah well ….. and so sorry about your own dramas too – oh dear!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hang in there, get ‘er done…I am looking for positive vibes from across the pond. Lord knows, we in the States need all the encouragement and good vibes we can get! And how crazy was that NATO conference…oh, we are so embarrassed!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We sent our postal votes off, hoping that the French strikes won’t delay them. We pondered along time about the right way to vote, tactically to soften the effect or with our hearts. Not convinced our votes will really make a difference but we have to keep trying.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well done, and lucky you for getting your postal votes in time. Emily, as you know living in Spain, is incandescent. Just as at the referendum, her voting paper has NOT come through, and her vote in the constituency she is registered to, could make a difference.


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