Hold Tight! - Holy city
 
Chapter 6
 
Page 42
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Calculating
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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When the King Alfred company pulled out of running bus services in Winchester in 1973, Hants & Dorset were given the licences. By the end of the year they were short of staff and asked Southampton to provide some on loan. A number of us were misguided enough to volunteer.
Winchester city services were still being run on a separate rota but most of the former King Alfred buses had been replaced. The routes mostly followed the King Alfred ones but had been renumbered which was slightly confusing for me because I knew the old numbers. We operated services to Harestock, Highcliffe, Oliver's Battery, Stanmore, Weeke, Winnall, and out of town to Owslebury and Whitchurch. The Fisher's Pond services had been withdrawn earlier.
Some of the former King Alfred buses were still in use, although now in Hants & Dorset red livery, but we had mostly Hants & Dorset vehicles including Leyland Nationals.
Unfortunately the people of Winchester proved to be the most unhelpful and pompous any of us had ever met. Although they made the same journey regularly they would not tell us the fare. If their stop was not on the fare chart they would not tell us where it was. They sat silently in their seats until we had driven past their stops and were then extremely abusive.
Most of the other conductors refused to go back after the first day. I stuck it out for a week but that was enough. No wonder they could not keep conductors if they looked down on them like that. With such an attitude I would be surprised if they still had any servants at home!
I am certain there must have been some nice people in Winchester. I just didn't meet them during that week and I met a lot of people. If this was the impression I got even though I had lived there as a teenager and managed to survive the week, then how bad must it have seemed to the others? But that was in the early 1970s, it would be different now, right?
King Alfred's statue in the Broadway, Winchester.
The holy city was a name used by Southampton crews to describe Winchester. It was not meant as a compliment.
   
Hants & Dorset Bristol VR number 3397 pictured in the Broadway a few years later, on a 187 to Oliver's Battery.    
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