Hold Tight! - Dedication
 
Chapter 1
 
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Hold Tight!
Chapter 1
Beginnings
1 Introduction
2 Dedication
3 No son of ours
4 Wrong number
5 All change
6 Sign this, fill that
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Chapters
1 Beginnings
2 Learning
3 Getting Away
4 Winchester
5 Freedom
6 Southampton
7 City Transport
 
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This story spans sixteen years of my life, during this time of course I met many people. Most were nice to me, a few for whatever reason felt they could not be and to this latter minority I can at last say what I was not allowed to back then: Who gives a xxxx? In any event they were all interesting in one way or another but some I remember more fondly than others.

There was of course Jack 'Bunny' Austin at Winchester, one of the first conductors to take this eighteen-year-old trainee under his wing. At almost seventy years of age he still had a smile and a cheery word for everyone.

At the other end of my career, although not quite the last driver I worked with but certainly one of the easiest, Dave Logan on Southampton City Transport.

But if I had to choose one person who summed up the experience of working 'on the buses' in the 60s and 70s it would have to be Freddie Wheeler.

A long serving driver on Hants & Dorset Woolston depot he came over to Southampton when Woolston was closed. He showed me that work should be fun and you don't have to be young to be a rebel. And his wife too who, finding a double decker bus parked outside her house in the middle of the afternoon and Freddie and me taking an unauthorised break, made us a cup of tea as if it was the most natural thing in the world.

Freddie, wherever you are now, remember this: I know you read the notice telling everyone to avoid Titchfield. But of course you wanted to see the carnival ....
Of course there were drivers who threw the conductor around the bus, taking corners too fast or braking sharply. There were those who couldn't pull up properly at a bus stop, leaving the conductor to take the abuse from the passengers. I spent a long period with one driver who never left the cab and so didn't care if I missed my breaks. But most of the time drivers and conductors worked well together.
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