Hold Tight! - Back to front
Chapter 4
Page 20
Hold Tight!
Chapter 4
18 Fare game?
19 Ten bob fiddler
20 Back to front
21 Fareham tales
22 Baby blues
23 Winter blues
24 Double trouble
25 Bus companies
26 Get lost
27 Time to move
1 Beginnings
2 Learning
3 Getting Away
4 Winchester
5 Freedom
6 Southampton
7 City Transport
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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.
From 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.
Another 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.
There 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 pushchair!
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