Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Back in the day #1

On my first day driving the 31 bus back in 1977, I drove past some roadworks at the junction of Earls Court Road and Old Brompton Road.

Immediately afterwards, I heard the bell being rung repeatedly. It took a few moments to register and remember that this was the emergency stop signal from the conductor. I pulled up in Redcliffe Gardens, stopped the engine and went back to see what the problem was.

My conductor was standing on the platform calmly smoking a fag, so I asked him what the problem was. He turned his head upwards and nodded. I followed his gaze and saw that the upper deck had a large hole ripped in it.

I was amazed. Apparently, as we had passed the roadworks, a mechanical digger had swung into the bus, gouging away several feet of the upper deck.

I asked if anyone was hurt, whether there had been anyone up there.
The conductor said, "Just one bloke, black fella, he got off the bus, white as a sheet!"

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