Hold Tight! - Get lost
Chapter 4
Page 26
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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One 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!
Most 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 way.
On 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.
Another 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.
We 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.
One 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.
On 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!
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