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This May, CentreComm – the emergency command and control centre for London Buses – celebrated its 30th birthday.

Originally comprised of a mere handful of people equipped with two-way radios and a lot of paper, CentreComm quickly proved its worth and has been growing (in terms of both people and technology) ever since. These days the CentreComm team is almost 50 strong and armed with everything from CCTV to GPS and iBus.

Featured below are several photos taken during the various stages of the institution’s development.

Whilst they present a fascinating snapshot of how technology has changed over the last thirty years, on closer examination they also demonstrate that deep-down some things remain exactly the same.

The map books present in the 1992 image have not really disappeared, for example – by 2009 they have just migrated onto the screen.

Similarly, the presence of a flat screen TV boasting BBC News 24 in 2009 may seem a distinctly twenty-first century concession to being up to date at all times, but look carefully and you’ll spot a TV eternally tuned to teletext back in 1997.

Sadly it appears from these photos that one other thing is also ever-present throughout the years – male pattern baldness.

That’s something that this author can, increasingly, personally atest to.

CentreComm in the early eighties:

In 1992:

In 1997:


Today, in 2009:

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