I had no idea where I
was. The driver seemed to be taking whatever
route he wanted, On the top deck of the
bus I was desperately trying to find the
fare on my fare chart but nothing seemed
to match. I had a vague idea that people
were getting on and off downstairs but I
could not get to the platform to find out.
And then there was the bell. Constantly
ringing. In the darkness I reached out and
found the alarm clock.
So this was
it. From now on there would be
nobody to ask if I did not know
the name of a stop or how much
it was to "where the Red
Lion used to be". In fact
the main thing on my mind was
whether there would be time for
breakfast after the first journey.
Living as I
still did with my parents there
was no chance of anything before
leaving for work at that time
of the morning. The problem now
would be the traffic on the way
back into Winchester. It was always
slow moving and often made us
Meal and tea
breaks quickly became priorities.
On Hants & Dorset the conductor
was responsible for time keeping
so it was up to me to keep the
bus moving to ensure that the
driver and I got all the time
we could at the end of each trip
and at the points where we waited
along the way.
The rule was
that you could only ring the bell
to start the bus if you were on
the platform. It was also laid
down that the driver had to stop
at certain 'compulsory' stops
even if there was nobody to get
on or off. To keep the bus on
time, both of these rules were
ignored unless we had an inspector
needed a licence and wore a numbered
badge. The letters KK show that
mine was issued by the traffic
commissioners for the south-east,
based at Eastbourne. Conductors'
badges were green and drivers'
were red. Drivers of pay-as-you-enter
services wore both. (The conductor's
badge is mine, the driver's badge
is someone elses).
I walked to the bus station, clocked
on and collected my ticket box. It was time to go
out on the road.