The Green Line by Gilroy Mere is a forthcoming release on Frances Castle’s ever wonderful Clay Pipe Music. It can be found in all good record shops and across the usual digital platforms from 15 September.
Learn all about The Green Line from its creator Oliver Cherer (AKA Gilroy Mere):
The Green Line is an instrumental album inspired by the buses that once linked central London to country towns. Established by the London General Omnibus Company in the 1930s, with their striking green livery they were a common sight in the outer London suburbs. Between 1957 and 1960 there were 36 million journeys made a year, but by the 1970s numbers started to decline, and in 1986 the service was deregulated for privatization and the buses disappeared from our streets.
As a suburban child growing up in South London I saw red buses going into town and green buses going out. The Green Line ferried Londoners out to Kent, Sussex and Box Hill. My road felt like the border between town and country.
The houses, detached and semi-detached had names and were all red brick, mock Tudor or 1930s “moderne”, and they flickered past on our way to days out in the endless summers that are childhood:
…Windward, Fairisle, High Trees, Dunroamin’, Chez Nous, Woodlands, Hillcrest, Hillside, The Laurels, Sunnyside, The Beeches, Springfield, Fairview, Wayside, Oaklands, Treetops, Rose Bower, The Old School House……
The Green Line is written as a remembrance of childhood trips into the exterior via the green double and single decker buses that took Londoners out to the countryside. It was recorded at my home studio in Sussex using a collection of instruments and obsolete electronics amassed over a lifetime of being unable to resist junk shops, charity shops and car boot sales.
The pieces on this album represent sights, sounds and stops on a trip by a suburban English boy into the home counties. The entire record was conceived as a journey. It starts in London suburbia, and then heads out to the Weald or the Downs until you can see the sea, (via the RLH48 a real bus – currently preserved in the London Bus Museum) until at some unnamed village green, with a mossy bench and a churchyard with an ancient yew tree, we turn for home.”