|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.
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 there jobs
|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
|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.