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Poetry in Motion

6 months ago Sat 6th Jul 2019

Henry Normal and NCT's Anthony Carver-Smith

One of Nottingham City Transport’s brand new Pink Line 28 bio-gas buses undertook a special journey to St Martin’s Church on Friday 5 July 2019, where it was named after Nottingham born television & film writer and poet, Henry Normal.

Pink Line 28 to Beechdale and Bilborough – the latter where Henry grew up - is the latest route to be upgraded with brand new low emission bio-gas double deck buses this week, representing a £3m investment in the 28 route and part of a £42m investment in fleet and infrastructure by NCT in the last 2 years.

As well as being fitted with low emission engines, customers on board now enjoy much comfier seats, a smoother journey and are able to use free Wi-Fi and USB chargers on their journey.

Henry Normal is probably best known for his work with Steve Coogan and Caroline Aherne and for co-creating and co-writing the first series of The Royle Family. He co-wrote on The Mrs Merton Show and much of Steve's early television and live shows.

In 1999, he established TV comedy production company, Baby Cow Productions, with Steve Coogan,  producing many well-loved and popular shows such as Gavin & Stacey, Red Dwarf XI and XII, The Mighty Boosh, Alan Partridge and the Oscar Nominated film, Philomena.

Locally, Henry jointly established the Nottingham Poetry Festival which is now in its fifth year and the bus naming coincides with Henry attending a performance of work by the Bilborough Friday Writing Group at St Martin’s Church in Bilborough.

Henry said:

“I'm very happy to be associated with the 28 to Bilborough. I have many fond memories as a kid riding the bus from Bracebridge Drive to town. Passing Raleigh Gates on the way was especially memorable for me as my Dad and my brother worked there for many years. I remember before the age of sports bags travelling to Beechdale Baths and back again with my trunks wrapped in a damp towel. Back in those days the top deck was often so thick with smoke from cheap fags courtesy of Players that from the outside you couldn't see anyone in there.

He continued, “A lot has changed over the years but I suspect young kids are still excited to ride the bus into town. It's great that NCT have invested in Bio Gas. With the same foresight from all quarters we'll curb climate change and there'll be a safe world for our grandkids to ride on the bus, as opposed to needing a submarine.”

Nottingham City Transport operates the largest fleet of bio-gas double deck buses in the world, with 120 on the city’s streets by the autumn.

In the last year, NCT’s fleet has significantly reduced emissions and improved air quality in Nottingham, with 8000 tonnes of CO2 and 70 tonnes of NOX emissions avoided through its fleet investment.

Anthony Carver-Smith, NCT Marketing Manager added, “With Henry growing up in Bilborough and having such fond memories and association with the route in to town, we’re delighted to name one of our brand new Pink bio-gas buses ‘Henry Normal’ and welcome him to our exclusive club of around 30 people who have NCT buses named in their honour.”

A full list of named buses can be seen at 

To mark the occasion, Henry has written a poem - Poetry in Motion - which he read as part of the bus naming:



'She walks in beauty like the night'

Lord Byron it's said did write 

But now with the new Bio bus

You can arrive much quicker with a lot less fuss


This Pink Line has gone green

to keep the air in Nottingham clean 

The Bio Gas within

is actually good for sensitive skin


It emits tonnes less CO2

and avoids NOX emissions too

so it can transport you o'er vales and hills

and you can still smell the daffodils


Even Shakespeare might be forced to say

'Shall I compare it to a summers day'

and Robbie Burns state whilst sniffing his nose

'My bus is like a red red rose'


Shelley's Ozymandias thought he was great

but he never got his name on the number 28

with FREE Wifi and USB Changers on there

Look upon my bus ye Mighty and despair 

Henry reads his poem, Poetry in Motion


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