Hold Tight! - Time to move
Chapter 4
Page 27
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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By the summer of 1969, at the age of twenty, I knew that what I wanted more than anything else was to leave home. My parents wanted more and more money but provided little other than a roof over my head. I discovered that I could rent a room for less, the question was where to go? I wanted to move away from Winchester to make a complete break with the past. My job which I had taken on the spur of the moment and only for a few months now provided the chance to live in another town.
My holiday that year was a trip around Britain staying in youth hostels and guest houses. With a Rail Rover ticket allowing unlimited travel, I took a night train to Scotland and visited Inverness, the Isle of Skye, Fort William, Glasgow and Edinburgh. In Fort William, an American and I put an Aga cooker together in a guest house although neither of us had ever seen one before.
It worked and we both got free bed and breakfast for the night, it was the kind of breakfast that really could be called 'all day'. After Scotland I travelled down to Devon, where I met two brave East End teachers giving a group of children a holiday at an Exeter youth hostel. I followed this with a trip to Cornwall and ended my holiday on the Isle of Wight.
With my taste for independence growing, that summer I visited all the other depots to check for vacancies and places to live. It quickly became clear that the choice was between Bournemouth and Southampton as both were large towns with plenty of rented accomodation. Both had big Hants & Dorset garages and Corporation buses as an alternative. I chose Southampton, found a bedsit and applied for a transfer. At first I was turned down but when I pointed out that I was moving anyway and would leave the company if necessary, the transfer went through.
Monday the 15th of September 1969. Freedom! It took a while to adjust, to shake off twenty years of neglect and obstruction but now I could eat at any time, go for a drink when I wanted to, even simple things like having a bath and clean clothes every day were new. Everything was possible and I never looked back, my only regret was not going sooner.
I had a new home, a room in a house in Shirley, and a fresh start at Southampton depot.
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