I started on the buses I was warned that every
conductor at some point had to deal with a
birth. I was told tales of babies arriving
into the world on dark winter nights, a million
miles from anywhere. My plan for this was
simple. I would leave the driver in charge
and go for help. No matter how far, no matter
what the weather. I would be brave.
the event I was never put to the test. In
all the years I worked as a conductor nobody
gave birth on my bus and I never knew anyone
who actually had this happen to them. But
still every new recruit was told that sooner
or later .....
births can be unpredictable, sadly death can
hit suddenly too. My first fright was in Eastleigh
when I had been in the job only about a year.
It was in the evening and we were quiet. A
passenger upstairs had gone past the stop
he had asked for. I went upstairs and he appeared
to be asleep. Suddenly he fell forward and
I realised something was wrong. Fortunately
the ambulance crew revived him.
an early morning bus to the docks a young
man collapsed. A diabetic, he had been late
and had skipped breakfast. Another ambulance,
another fright but a good outcome.
then one Saturday morning on a busy trip into
the city from Shirley, a passenger was taken
ill upstairs. This looked serious and I immediately
called for an ambulance. We were only a few
minutes from the ambulance station but it
seemed to take forever for them to arrive.
Another passenger tried to help but this time
it was too late.
had no training for this kind of thing and
no counselling afterwards. We were just expected
to take it in our stride and of course that
was what we did. Whatever happened we filled
in the appropriate forms and then took on
our next bus.