Hold Tight! - Fawley & Calshot
Chapter 6
Page 44
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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We ran many services into Esso's Fawley refinery. The area south of Hythe was built up as a result of this huge plant and our fifteen minute frequency, much like that of a town service, was always busy. Later, Esso would buy a fleet of old buses to run its own local service to Hardley cinema and social club.
Early in the seventies, a new power station was built between Fawley and Calshot. The men employed on the site worked extremely hard and when they stopped they wanted to drink. On the last bus to Calshot one of the passengers collected the fares from the others in the pub at Blackfield and handed the collection over when they got on the bus. Anyone who did not pay walked, as did one conductor who insisted on counting the money to see if it was all there. He was unceremoniously dumped at the side of the road to wait for the bus on its return to the depot.
The men lived in the labour camp at Calshot. Some local people objected to the name but that was what it said on the sign. Calshot also had an RAF station with married quarters. A volcanic eruption on the island of Tristan da Cunha had forced the evacuation of the population. Many of these people were housed for a while at Calshot. On their island they had no money, if someone did something for you, you did something for them. It took a while for them to adjust and most returned home. Nice people, a road in Calshot was renamed Tristan Close in their honour.
The car park at Calshot was one of the places where conductors sometimes had a go at driving the bus. Outside summer weekends the area was almost deserted. There was a one way system in and out of the car park which you could drive round in reasonable safety. Most people who did this got away with it but there was a ditch alongside the road and every now and then a driver would have to come up with a reason why he wanted his bus towed out ....
Calshot beach.
The beach at Calshot was popular in the summer and at the time it was possible to walk all the way to Lepe.
Even in winter it was good to take a short stroll and get some sea air before making the next trip.
One Sunday I was on a 58 to Lepe Beach with a driver who didn't want to do the next part of the shift. We had a bus stand to park on but he spun the wheels so that they dug in to the sand and we were stuck. This made us very unpopular with the crew on the next bus who had to pick up our unhappy passengers.
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