The Bayswater Omnibus by George William Joy 1895
(from the blog It's About Time)
On 30 January 1836, The Times published "The Omnibus Law" - obviously the paper felt there was a need for guidelines ...
The Law included:
* Keep your feet off the seats.
* Sit with your limbs straight, and do not with your legs describe an angle of 45, thereby occupying the room of two persons.
* Do not spit on the straw. You are not in a hogsty but in an omnibus travelling in a country which boasts of its refinement.
* Behave respectfully to females and put not an unprotected lass to the blush, because she cannot escape from your brutality.
* If you bring a dog, let him be small and be confined by a string.
* Do not introduce large parcels - an omnibus is not a van.
* If you will broach politics or religion, speak with moderation: all have an equal right to their opinions, and all have an equal right to not have them wantonly shocked.
* Refrain from affectation and conceited airs. Remember that you are riding a distance for sixpence which, if made in a hackney coach, would cost you as many shillings; and that should your pride elevate you above plebeian accommodations, your purse should enable you to common aristocratic indulgences.
And my personal favourite:
* Reserve bickerings and disputes for the open field. The sound of your own voice may be music to your own ears - not so, perhaps, to those of your companions.
Plus ca change, as they say.
Omnibus Life by William Maw 1859
London Omnibus 1901
I went to Laos recently - and there are rules everywhere! What to wear, where to go ... and not to vomit in a minibus ...
Not vomiting sounds like an excellent rule!
Hilarious - thanks Joan, this made me smile, not least because it still sometimes feels like a hogsty, doesn't it (though I do try not to spit on the floor).
Oh this made me laugh out loud, Joan! I had lunch recently with a friend who travels on the ** in a city which, in fear of retribution, will remain nameless. Substitute 'straw' for 'floor', and ALL of these rules are broken on a regular basis on this bus - with a few extra infringements of the law thrown in on occasion. She is frequently 'wantonly shocked' This is a fantastic post and has inspired me for my post this month as I have a copy of the Regulations for use of the Library, spitting also figures in those... Thanks Joan.
Jane, your restraint is admirable - and Theresa, looking forward to finding out more about proper library behaviour! (Where IS a girl to spit?!)
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