Hold Tight! - Hythe
Chapter 6
Page 41
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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Winter brought many problems. Drivers and conductors might become so cold they could barely function, but the buses suffered too. We borrowed buses from Southern Vectis one winter. The buses they sent over were of course for summer services and had no heaters. They also had twelve volt electrical systems instead of our twenty four volts. This meant the conductor often had to push the bus to get it started.
Another problem arose at outstations. These were small sub-depots outside the main towns with local crews but no garage. The buses were typically parked overnight on the site of old railway stations. This was true of Hythe where some of the buses were parked up right through the weekend. Arriving at half past five on a frosty Monday morning, the only way to get them started was to wrap a rag round the dip stick, soak it in diesel, set light to it and place it in the air intake. With the valves shut, one of the crew sat in the cab pressing the starter while the other got ready to open the valves as soon as the engine was warm enough to turn over. This practice was against the rules as it could lead to a vehicle fire but it was the only means available. It could also lead to a very black face, but I was alright, I was the one in the cab! At least at Hythe we had a hut on the site where we could make tea and toast. Many outstations had no facilities at all.
The bus terminus at Hythe was at the pier. People ignored the large sign saying this was a bus terminal and parking was not allowed. We would leave buses in a position so that cars parked on the bus stand could not get out without a struggle. Petty? Puerile? Of course it was. Fun? You bet!
Some journeys operated via Eling toll bridge. At one point a dispute arose between our company and the owners of the bridge. The result was a ruling that passengers had to get off the bus and walk across. On dark nights, when the toll booth was unmanned, we would sometimes dash across without stopping. This could lead to trouble because somebody living nearby often watched and would report us. Well there were only four television channels in those days, so maybe there really was nothing else to watch..
We often had to exchange travel warrents issued to military personnel, particularly from Marchwood.
This involved issuing a ticket for the bus journey and a transfer warrant like the one here for the rest of the journey.
The next leg of the journey might be by any of the bus companies listed but more often than not the main part of the trip was by train.
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