Hold Tight! - Just sack me!
Chapter 6
Page 50
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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Christmas Day was the only day with no bus service although we ran a reduced timetable on Boxing Day. New Year's day was not yet a public holiday and a full service ran. Or it would if everybody turned up for work. One year it was announced that anyone who reported for duty more than an hour late would face dismissal.
Although I was normally good at getting in for early starts, even after going out for a drink, when I woke that morning I knew I was going to be over an hour late. When I reached the inspectors' office there was utter chaos with drivers looking for conductors and vice versa. I pushed my way into the crowd and one of the inspectors saw me. He told me that my driver still had not arrived and I should go and wait in the canteen until one was available. A close shave, several people lost their jobs that day.
One night I was on the last bus to Warsash. Along Bursledon Road we passed an accident with the police in attendance. Shortly after this the street lights ended and the driver switched on his headlights. (The use of headlights on lit streets was not compulsory and the street lights now extend further). All the lights on the bus went out and the driver stopped. Unable to continue, I walked back to a phone box to call the garage to find the coinbox full due to a strike and the phone unusable.
I carried on until I reached the scene of the accident and asked an officer if he could relay a message for me. This done, I walked back to the bus and waited. And waited. Some passengers got off and walked home. The rest of us waited. More people got off and eventually there were only two passengers left. Finally a Shamrock & Rambler coach pulled up.
The guy from the garage was as surprised to see us as we were to see him. The message had gone from the police to the bus station but bus had become coach. The inspector on duty, deciding the call was nothing to do with him, had phoned the garage. We completed our journey with the coach, the driver dropped me off at the Rose Gardens and headed for the garage. I walked round to the office to find it locked, the inspector had gone home. This left me to walk home at one-fifteen in the morning with my ticket box and the day's takings.
When I arrived for work the next day, I was sent straight to the depot superintendent's office where I was told I was to be sacked for not paying in my money! By the time everything was sorted out, they had sent another conductor out on my first journey so at least I got some time off.
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