Hold Tight! - Borrowing
 
Chapter 6
 
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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 No, I'm waiting for a green bus. Next >>
We went through a stage one winter where we were short of buses. The solution was to hire some from neighbouring operators. Southern Vectis was the favourite as they had buses that they only used in the summer. These buses had no heaters and we sometimes had to push them to get them started as they had 12 volt electrical systems instead of the normal 24 volts. They were also geared for the island's hills and so had a low top speed.
When we could not get enough buses from the Isle of Wight we had to go further afield.
We tried not to use Wilts & Dorset buses because they were red and the public confused them with Corporation buses. I used one once on a journey to Romsey. When I pulled up at the Hants & Dorset bus stops in Shirley, people ran from the Corporation stops and then complained that we were not going their way.
One morning the only bus left in the garage was a Royal Blue express coach. We used the coach on a peak period journey from Calshot. We left a lot of passengers behind, partly because the coach had less room than even a small single deck bus, but also because some people flatly refused to believe that we really were a number 59.
My favourite episode from this time was on a 36 to Calmore one night, for which we had a Bournemouth Corporation bus. These buses were conspicuous for two reasons. Firstly, they were yellow while buses in Southampton were red or green. And then there were the stairs. Bournemouth buses of that period had an open rear platform and doors at the front. A passenger who had been to the pub got on at Maybush Corner and went up the back stairs. Having just collected a fare at the front, I went up the front stairs. The man turned, fled down the rear stairs and jumped off the bus.
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