Hold Tight! - Tight squeeze
Chapter 6
Page 39
Hold Tight!
Chapter 6
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
1 Beginnings
2 Learning
3 Getting Away
4 Winchester
5 Freedom
6 Southampton
7 City Transport
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The near low bridge accident on the school bus from Eastleigh was far from unique. Some drivers were a lot less lucky.
Woolston Hants & Dorset depot closed before the Itchen Bridge was opened. As a result we ran the 81 and 81A between Woolston and Hamble from Southampton. Normally the service ran as a 71 from Southampton to Hamble then an 81 to Woolston and back before returning to Southampton as a 71 again. Some journeys starting from Woolston, particularly first thing in the morning, meant running empty from the city centre via Bitterne. Just before Woolston all buses had to turn left to avoid a low bridge.
Early one dark morning I was sitting on the back seat writing the day's journeys on my waybill. I looked up just in time to see the turning pass our nearside and the bridge heading right for us. There was a loud 'crump' sound from above and I looked back expecting to see pieces of bus falling to the road. None did. When we got to the terminal at the floating bridge I went upstairs on the bus next door. From there I could see all the roof ventilators were flattened and the strips between the roof panels had no paint. I suppose it's too late to report the incident now!
One City Transport driver became a sort of hero after taking a wrong turning and the top off his bus under Central Bridge. At least to the two school children sitting upstairs who apparently thought it highly exciting and got themselves in the local paper. The envy of their classmates too I would imagine.
Not content with getting stuck under bridges, some people have to go over the top. One driver, running late at Woolston, was told by an inspector to take his bus directly to the city centre for his next journey. He promptly tried to drive onto one of the two floating bridges and became wedged, putting the bridge out of action in the middle of the evening rush hour.
It was common to see signs altered on buses, this was a favourite.
It was quite common to find this particular sign altered with parts of the lettering scratched off to change PLEASE LOWER YOUR HEAD to FLEAS LOVE YOUR HEAD. I wonder how many people thought they were the first one to think of that?
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