|You might think that if
you were walking along the road at four o'clock
in the morning, wearing a black jacket with
yellow stripes, white cuffs and a green badge
plus black trousers also with yellow stripes
that any passing policeman would think 'That
looks like a bus conductor going to work'.
And of course you would be wrong. I was stopped
more than once on the way to work.
was a time when I thought I could play darts.
The fact was that I was only brought along
by the team because they knew I would show
up and could fill in for anyone who was missing.
That and I sometimes played 'for the gallon',
an extra game after the main contest, for
drinks. One night, having missed the last
bus home from West End, I was walking down
Mousehole Lane when a police car drove by.
A few minutes later it passed me in the opposite
direction. Then it returned and this time
it pulled up onto the pavement to stop me.
The driver, who was alone, got out and asked
me to turn out my pockets. Finding nothing
of interest, he told me there had been reports
of someone shooting at police cars. If I had
been armed he could have been in serious trouble.
As it was he gave me a lift home, or at least
as far as he could without crossing divisional
|A conductor was attacked
one Friday night at Nightingale Bridge in
Eastleigh on the last 48 to Winchester. This
had never happened before and some of us wondered
what the conductor had done to provoke the
incident. The police decided to provide the
journey with an escort on Friday nights. This
turned out to be a magnet for all the local
trouble makers, every Friday night there were
arrests. When it came round to my turn to
go out on this bus I was told there would
be no police escort. Strangely, or maybe not,
there was no trouble either.
|We used to run the last
journey from Southampton to Fareham as far
as Botley where we handed over to a Fareham
crew and crossed the road to take their bus
to Southampton. The run was known as the Botley
Changeover. No depot liked to give its good
buses to another garage and the Botley Changeover
often got some of the worst. A police car
pulled up behind me in Bitterne on the return
journey one night. The police driver leaned
out and asked if I knew I had no tail lights.
I did. I also knew we had no dynamo and therefore
no front lights, no interior lights, no bells
and if my driver stopped the engine I would
have to get out and push.
|Maybe the police driver
of a grey Hillman Husky thought he had seen
me in the cab of a number 71 in Hamble one
night, maybe he didn't. He flagged us down
but stopped some distance in front of us and
by the time he reached the bus I was definitely
on the platform!
|One policeman we all loved
to see was affectionately known as Tiny. Monday
to Friday he could be found on Lances Hill,
a main road into Southampton. The traffic
jams in the 1970s were terrible, but Tiny
knew a thing or two about getting traffic
moving. When he said stop, you stopped. When
he said go, you went. And heaven help anyone