... and small worlds!
At the bottom of this webpage is a small list of my most favoured blogs by fellow enthusiasts for the miniature world. One of the enthusiasts is M S Foy, who has very kindly posted a marvellous photo of a Crosville double-decker bus of the type once driven by my late father from Crosville's now long-gone depot in West Kirby, on the Wirral. The fact that M S Foy (and his late cousin) was a bus aficianado in his youth, and toured the depots of Liverpool and the North-West of England is, for me, of 'it's a small world' interest, given that I was born in Liverpool (as were most of my forbears back to 1832), and, through my father's heroic bus driving adventures (more on this later) was also bus-friendly. But, when I saw that the bus model represents one that ran from Huyton, I was struck by small world syndrome of a greater potency, as that was where my father first ran a pub (as an ex-soldier should). But it became even more small worldish when the next bus (coach) on display represents one for North Berwick in East Lothian, Scotland, where my parents retired to and spent 20 years. But this was not enough small worldism, because the next bus is an Edinburgh no:16 to Oxgangs! Wait! For I spent four years as an undergraduate at Edinburgh University, then, a decade later six years as a cleaner and Open University tutor in Edinburgh, and spent many an hour on the fine, maroon chariots of Edinburgh.
So, in thanks, here a couple of coaches from my not-really-a-collection of public transport:
Finally, a tale of heroic bus driving...
One last run of the night - the midnight bus - my father and his conductor decided to take the empty double-decker back to the depot by a quick route, by-passing various stops so that they could knock-off work early. Hurtling through the empty streets, my father took a wrong turning and ran into a bridge that was a bit too low for the bus. He reversed, the conductor ran upstairs, and found that not only was the top deck caved in at the front, but there was a passenger up there, unhurt, but somewhat surprised. They drove her right back to her house, then parked the bus neatly at the depot. The next day when my father and the conductor turned up for work, the depot manager was hopping around, shouting, 'What have you done to the bus?!'. Being an old soldier, a Kingo, and a Scouser, my father feigned astonishment, and then exclaimed, 'See ! How many times have I said it? This depot's wide open, it's got no security! What do you expect? It'll be the local lads!'. And he got away with it. That was long, long ago. Crosville is no more, my father is no more, the depot is gone, and the bus long scrapped. But don't try it at home, children. There's CCTV now.