Hold Tight! - Fans
 
Chapter 6
 
Page 35
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Hold Tight!
Chapter 6
Southampton
35 Fans
36 Smash hits
37 New money
38 Eastleigh
39 Tight squeeze
40 Romsey
41 Hythe
42 Holy city
43 Docks tours
44 Fawley & Calshot
45 Kids and animals
46 Hot stuff
47 Police, stop
48 Flic storys
49 Specials
50 Just sack me!
51 Machine wars
52 Not funny
53 Borrowing
54 Demon drink
55 One for the road
56 Disputes
Chapters
1 Beginnings
2 Learning
3 Getting Away
4 Winchester
5 Freedom
6 Southampton
7 City Transport
 
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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.
One 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 with.
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 girl, when confronted by her parents for being late, claimed a conductor had touched her. Careful questioning by a police woman revealed she had made the story up but things could have turned out badly.
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.
The best idea was not to mix work with relationships.
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