Hold Tight! - Police, stop
 
Chapter 6
 
Page 47
Back
Next
Sections
Museum Hold Tight! Photos
Walking Weather
Acorn Commodore Sinclair PCN
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
 
<< Back 'Allo, 'allo, 'allo, what's all this then? Next >>
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.
There 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 boundaries.
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 who didn't!
<< Back Top of the Page
Home > Hold Tight!