Hold Tight! - On my own
Chapter 2
Page 9
Hold Tight!
Chapter 2
7 First day
8 Getting started
9 On my own
10 You with me?
11 Perks of the job
12 Winchester fleet
1 Beginnings
2 Learning
3 Getting Away
4 Winchester
5 Freedom
6 Southampton
7 City Transport
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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.

Lower deck of 1540 looking towards the front.
My conductor's badge A driver's badge
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 late.
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 on board.
Bus conductors 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.
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