of the advantages of working for a bus company
like Hants & Dorset was the variety of
routes. And if you were willing to be flexible,
you could work from other depots and even
get yourself hired out to other firms!
journeys on the 67 from Winchester to Petersfield
were operated by driver only buses. But one
trip each day, the 17:30, was on the crew
rota and we used a double decker. The first
time I made this run I had a driver who had
never been on a 67 either. Going to Petersfield
was easy enough, there were plenty of people
on the bus to make sure we went the right
the way back however, the last person got
off just outside Petersfield and we were lost.
There were no bus stops along the country
roads we were driving along and no signs that
meant anything to either of us. Until that
is we saw one for Alresford, a town we both
knew was in completely the wrong direction.
We arrived in the bus station, twenty minutes
ahead of schedule having missed out a large
part of the route.
unusual trip from Winchester was to Farley.
This operated one journey each way on Saturdays,
with pay-as-you-enter buses. On this particular
Saturday there was no one-man driver available
so I and my driver of the week were sent out.
We twice saw Farley across a field but having
failed to find a way of getting to it turned
round and went back to the bus station, agreeing
that if nobody asked we wouldn't tell.
had a late turn with a long lay-over at Southampton.
For years the inspectors there had thought
we were on an unpaid break and left us alone.
One of our own drivers told an inspector that
we were being paid and therefore spare (on
standby). From then on we would be used whenever
possible, the drivers to shunt buses to the
garage and the conductors to do a local service
35 to Windermere Avenue.
opportunity to go somewhere new happened while
I was the spare conductor early one morning.
We had two Aldershot & District crews
with their bus stationed at Winchester. Very
unusually, the conductor had not arrived for
the first journey. I was asked if I would
take the bus out and told that if I did I
could work for that company all day. I jumped
at the chance, got on the bus, put a roll
of A&D tickets in my machine and took
the first fare as we pulled out of the bus
station. Then the conductor arrived, I missed
out on the chance of a day out to somewhere
different and got a roasting from a King Alfred
inspector for stopping on one of their stops
in the Broadway to change over.
another occasion, while I was based at Southampton,
I took some overtime at Salisbury, hoping
to see some of the city. When I arrived the
inspector sent me out on a number 37, straight
back to Southampton!