Ofah slow bus

Del Boy launches Trotters Ethnic Tours.

A Slow Bus To Chingford was the 5th episode of the first series of Only Fools And Horses, airing on the 6th October 1981 with a viewing figure of 7 million.


Rodney Trotter is romancing Janice at the flat. They are listening to soft music. Derek "Del Boy" Trotter comes in and turns the main lights on and kicks the record player so it goes off. He relaxes in the armchair. Del says he has bought some statuettes. He also says he has got Rodney a job at a nocturnal security officer (NSO). He finds out he is actually working for Del under his new scheme called Trotter Watch. Del says to Rodney that the bondage rope is the the garage and Grandad has washed their whip and it has not shrunk. Del laughs then exits to the bedrooms. Janice quietly leaves, embarrassed. Rodney calls after her saying Del was joking. He then shouts to Del calling him a rotten git.

The following night, Del and Rodney are at the bus depot. Rodney is in his NSO uniform. Del says he is taking Janice out while Rodney is doing the night shift in case anyone else dates her. Rodney is wearing plimpsoles so he can run faster after any intruders. Del then tells Rodney to take care and the leaves. Rodney is then alone at the bus depot. He is still a bit unsure and worried about being a NSO at a bus depot. Del then whistles from afar to scare Rodney, who then runs towards the back, thinking there is an intruder. Del laughs triumphantly then exits to the van.

The next morning, Rodney is tired. Del says he has a new scheme going, called Trotters Ethnic Tours, where he will take people around Ethnic London, instead of seeing the usual National Gallery and Buckingham Palace, he will take them to Croydon, then to Lower Edmonton at dusk and to the Lea Valley Viaduct. He says Grandad was out this morning distributing 1000 leaflets to every hostel and boarding house he could find. Del has done a deal with the bus garage to hire a bus for the tours. Del says he will get Rodney an ex police dog at the garage so he can have a kip on duty. It is Janice's Corgi.

A few days later, Del, Rodney and Grandad are on the bus waiting for the tourists to arrive. The bus is parked down a back street and there is a sign outside saying "Trotters Ethnic Tours Departure Point". Del is wondering why they are late. He says that he clearly stated in the leaflets that 9am is their departure time, over an hour ago, and it is now 10:30 and still no sign of them. Grandad bets that no one will turn up. Del says he should have got 2 or 3 double decker buses for the tour. Grandad says a tandem would be too big. They place a £50 bet. Rodney is feeling tired and Del says he had better stay awake as the tourists will be here in their hundreds in a minute.

Several hours later, it is night time. The bus is lit up and the Trotters are still waiting for the tourists to show up. Del says he shall give them 10 more minutes the go and he can drop Rodney off at the bus depot to start his night shift, and to take the dog out to do his business.

The following day, Del, Rodney and Grandad are waiting for the tourists to arrive. No one has turned up yet again. Del is still confident. He says he will take them to Shoreditch and show them where Sherlock Holmes was born. Rodney says Sherlock Holmes was fictional. Del then says he has a vision that when he makes it rich he will own a huge skyscraper on the South Bank with the initials of Trotters Independent Traders on the top in 50 foot high neon lettering. Rodney says that will be a subconscious truth. When Del is standing there with his Pina Colada on the balcony of the penthouse, above him in 50 foot high lettering is the word TIT. Del then decides to call it a day with Trotters Ethnic Tours. He gives Grandad £50 for the bet.

Back at the estate, Del wonders why no one was interested as Grandad distributed 1000 leaflets around. He goes to chuck the sign down the dust chute. Grandad is pleased he won a £50 bet. He asks where Del is and when Rodney says he has gone to throw the sign down the dust chute Grandad panics. Del shouts at Grandad and emerges with several pink leaflets in his hands. He then chases Grandad up the stairwell, with Rodney chasing after Del to calm him down.


Main cast

Guest cast

Previous Episode The Second Time AroundEdit

Next Episode The Russians Are ComingEdit


  • According to John Sullivan, he got the idea for the script from his father's favourite pub called The Duke of Devonshire. The man who ran it was even called "Boycie". The place suffered from terrible business, but the owner explained it was "Ethnic English", thus the idea was implanted in Sullvan's mind.
  • Del's vision was slightly different in a dream Rodney had fifteen years later. Del mentioned he had a vision that he would be standing on a penthouse balcony with initials of "Trotters Independent Traders" above his head. In Rodney's dream at the beginning of "Heroes and Villains", the penthouse Del has in the future is called "Trotter Towers".


Locations seenEdit