16 JANUARY 1948, Page 16


Sut,—In his paragraph on- " the absurd omnibus " Janus mentions that the word was introduced by the French, and it may be of interest to recall the possibly mitigating circumstances of its origins. The original vehicles which became known as omnibuses were the " voitures de bains de Richebourg" specially 'Constructed and run for his clients in nearby Nantes by the owner of the bathing establishment at Richebourg. Apparently by pure chance they started outside the shop of a grocer named Omnes, who had the wit to affix the device " Omnes omnibus " to the door of his shop. Just as the fiacre took its name from the Hotel St. Fiacre in Paris, which was the original cab-rank where the fiacres waited for their clients, so M. Omnes, the Nantes grocer, gave his name indirectly to the omnibus.—Yours faithfully, S. GODMAN. Briarcroft, Pipe Passage, Lewes.