|One of the strange things
about being a bus driver or conductor was
the way people saw you. It may be true of
other occupations but this was my first experience
of it. Because they knew who you were, you're
the bus conductor, people would talk quite
openly about their lives, their families,
just about anything without having to really
get to know you.
aspect of this was that women and girls hung
around the crews on the buses and in the bus
stations. A few of the married men ran into
trouble over this, even if they had done nothing
more than talk.
|Once after I had finished
for the day a conductor came into the Windsor
pub where I was having a pint and asked me
to do a trip to Romsey and back so he could
spend the time with a girl. The outward trip
was uneventful but at the Horns Inn in Nursling
on the way back an inspector jumped the bus.
Seeing the name on the waybill was not mine
and seeing the look on my face he quickly
reassured me that he was not supposed to be
there either. He signed the waybill, I signed
the other conductor's name in his book and
he went back to the pub and whoever he was
|On another occasion, I
illegally took a can of petrol on the bus
to rescue a colleague who had abandoned his
car the night before. He had told his wife
he needed to work late that night and early
again next morning. He need not have bothered
and could have saved me a headache from the
fumes. His wife told me later that she knew
all about his trips to the country.
|For all of us there was
a more serious danger, many of the teenage
girls were under age but dressed to look older.
It was quite funny to see them going home
from school as kids and then again in the
evening, pretending to be grown up. The law
wasn't the only danger, the dads could get
quite angry too. One pub landlord barred all
bus crews after he found out his daughter
was riding on buses.
|Another thing that was
odd was seeing one of these girls, many years
later, on a bus with her husband and children.
She surely can never have told him, maybe
she had forgotten about it. A good job too
considering the things the girls were called.