Thursday, 15 December 2011

The Thursday Bus



I found a book on my shelves, under several inches of dust, which detailed the history of the bus in Edinburgh. Now that's what I call a bedside book!  Even better it was full of pictures of buses, horse drawn, cable pulled, electric trams and the delightful buses Edinburgh has always been proud to use to deliver the citizens from one place to another.  Since deregulation under the Mad Cow Thatcher things have naturally been made more complicated, less service orientated and much more expensive, but what else would you expect? The book contained many pictures of the city I remember. Much has been demolished yet just as much remains unchanged, bar the increase in traffic. These evoke memories and while I am not usually one to seek photographs of buses in a manner I might use regarding steam trains I do find something attractive with those that originated in the 1930's.   




This beauty and her friends arrived in Edinburgh at the end of the war and with a subtle change of body survived into the 60's.  I do not recall seeing this type but I often used them in the new body shape.  I believe these were 'Guy Arab' buses.  Our bus, and there was only one, was a single decker with the open door at the back.  Unfortunately no picture in Edinburgh colours can be found online tonight. The conductor was a 'Pole' we were told, although he may well have been from the Baltic States, as many of these men remained safely in Scotland after the war.  Those who went home were shot by Stalin! This single decker came over the bridge up the road, collected passengers as it trundled noisily along, and after we alighted it turned a corner and parked up, a journey of ten minutes at most.  A short rest and the bus returned back from where it began, on the other side of that bridge.  I used to wonder why we got the same conductor so often, these two were the only men on the bus, and traveled up and down all day!  This lasted about two years before the service was extended.  By 1960 the journey was a wide circle tour of Edinburgh taking in a huge swathe of the city. 


'The Edinburgh Reporter,' is something I have just come across. Their story concerning the bus depot is the type of daft thing hat I would be interested in viewing, had I been in Scotia's capital.  Sadly I sit in poverty in a cold room awaiting a rainbow to arrive outside my window with a pot of gold at the bottom of it.  The only time I ever saw the bottom of a rainbow I discovered there was no pot of gold awaiting me.  Instead there was just a run down bus shelter, and that was not worth awaiting for! 


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9 comments:

red dirt girl said...

Oh I love this old style of buses. Never rode a double decker until I went to England. Of course I had to sit on top in the front row (almost as much fun as sitting in the back seat with my man, misbehaving like kids do)! Something quite sexy about trains and buses .... but not airplanes. They are way to cramped and crowded these days.

I promise you if I find that pot of gold first, I'll share half of it with you.

xxx

Adullamite said...

RDG, Hurry with that gold!

Mike Smith said...

Great photos, Mr H. Lothian Buses are now reverting to maroon and white but are painting the roofs different colours to match certain routes e.g. the bus to Dalkeith has a yellow roof. Shame, really as maroon and white looks classy...

FishHawk said...

I think it would be a real trip (in every sense of the word) to ride in the second story of a double-decker buss. Oh, and thank you for calling attention to The Edinburgh Reporter. I have added it to the list for a future Sites To See.

soubriquet said...

Buses are such an expression of nostalgia. Like you, I remember the old single deckers, ours were in West Yorkshire Road Car Company livery, red with a cream band, I think they were Dennis', the door was, I think, at the front end rather than the back. Our village had them because of the low bridge at Bardsey Bank-Top.
The driver sat in his little cabin, I liked to sit in the seat behind and watch him changing gear, turning the huge, almost horizontal steering wheel. The conductor was Alf, usually. My mother would chat with him after getting our tickets. "One and two halves to Wetherby, please, Alf."
I liked to see him click the reels on the ticket machine, and wind the handle. Each different fare had a different colour. If Alf was approaching the end of a roll of tickets, he'd give the leftover strips to me and my sister. When you're about five, the simplest things can be great treasures.

Adullamite said...

Mike, Maroon & White were always good colours for the buses.

Fish, Top deck travel is great on country routes!

Soub, I am with you there! I think our wee buses were AEC's and the low bridge was the cause of their use.

PointyHeeler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adullamite said...

I remember buses like that. However the country buses from Edinburgh had open back doors.

George said...

This is a Daimler CVG6 of 1949, with MCW body. It still exists,at the Scottish Vintage Bus Museum, located at Lathalmond by Dunfermline. I actually travelled on it to the very Dunbar Rally advetised on the slipboard, in 1975.

Edinburgh had a goodly number of Guy Arabs too.