Hold Tight! - Hot stuff
 
Chapter 6
 
Page 46
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Walking Weather
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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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In Lymington bus station one afternoon, a cigarette in one hand and filling the radiator of a bus from a watering can in the other, a passenger reported me for putting petrol in the bus while smoking. This gave everyone a laugh at the time but vehicle fires can be serious. And this was one of the things we were supposed to cope with, without any training.
Stuck in the traffic that used to clog Lance's Hill in the morning rush hour, smoke started pouring from a car just in front of us. I grabbed the extinguishers from under the stairs and from the driver's cab. The engine compartment was well alight and the interior was beginning to burn. As other buses went by the crews gave me their extinguishers and I stayed until the fire brigade arrived. When I reached the bus station and reported the incident I was in trouble for not taking the car driver's name and address so they could be sent the bill.
One car driver in The Avenue had a small fire. I put it out and a passing motorist disconnected the battery. The driver wanted to know if it was possible to drive the car. Another driver I came across in Shirley, desperately pouring bowls of water over the bonnet of his car, wasn't going to get very far either.
At the bus stop at Stag Gates, a driver and I were sitting on the edge of the rear platform while the front of the bus quietly got on with the business of being hidden by clouds of smoke. A woman pushed between us and boarded the bus. Meanwhile, a fire engine raced past in the opposite direction. It eventually returned but by this time a couple of fitters had arrived with fire extinguishers.
I was on a bus as a passenger one evening when a car driver spotted that the bus was on fire. An off duty driver and I got the few other passengers off. The rear engined Bristol RE was well alight by the time we got to the side flaps to turn off the power and fuel. With the vehicle full of thick black smoke and flames round the sides and rear, I found the driver of the bus was still inside carefully packing up his ticket machine and paperwork.
One day, as I pulled away from Vincents Walk, a driver jumped onto the platform to hitch a ride to the canteen in Poundtree Road. As he got off I went inside to collect fares and he threw the match he had just used to light a cigarette into the used ticket box. Flames shot up the back of the bus and I rang the bell several times. The driver looked round, I pointed to the flames but he carried on to the next bus stop. I dashed round to the cab to get his extinguisher and put the fire out. When I asked him why he had not stopped straight away, he said that the correct signal for an emergency was three bells, not four!
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