| Only a year
after I started on the buses I
was training new conductors, something
I would do throughout the years.
One of my first trainees was not
really new at all. He had worked
for many years on the King Alfred
buses. Both companies used the
same Setright ticket machine and
all the fares in the Winchester
area were the same. Since he was
much more experienced than me,
not to mention a lot older, I
gave him my ticket machine and
sat down. All I needed to do on
our 69 journey to Fareham was
identify the fare stages.
| We went all
the way to Fareham and got back
as far as Lower Upham when I got
the distinct feeling that something
was wrong. I could not put my
finger on it, but something was
not quite right. I started checking
tickets. To my horror I discovered
they were all printed back to
front. So instead of a one and
threepenny he had issued a three
and a penny and so on. I collected
up as many tickets as I could
and emptied the used ticket box.
When we reached Winchester I counted
the takings and the tickets I
would pay in for credit. We were
still short but we divided the
loss between us and at least I
had managed to get some back.
then on I kept a closer eye on all trainees.
Which was just as well because I caught one
fiddling on his first day, issuing tickets
of a lower value than the fare and putting
the difference in his pocket.
had served for many years in the army. Several
of us spent six weeks, three times the maximum
allowed, trying to get him to take fares,
watch the platform and ring the bell at the
same time. Any one of these was ok but all
of it together was simply impossible. Thankfully
he found another job.
is always somebody different of course. One
trainee was so quick at taking fares and ringing
the bell that he left me behind at Fisher's
Pond when I got off to help someone with a