Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Ghosts of Buses Past

If you asked me "What colour is a Leeds bus?" I'd probably say green.

Well, I'd say the older ones are dark green and the newer ones are light green.

When you get on the bus it's always a bit smoky downstairs, because the smoke comes down from the top deck.

On the bottom deck you sit on one of the green seats. After a while the conductor comes along and you tell him you want to go to Gledhow School (my local stop) and he tells you it's a shilling, and gives you a ticket. You have to hang on to the ticket in case the Inspector gets on.

If the bottom deck is full then you have to head for the top deck where there are gangs of teenagers and lots of people smoking. You can barely see for the fug of it. There are often old men in corners reading the Yorkshire Evening Post.

When I was a student I'd hang around at my friend David's flat in Hanover Square (yes, he's still my friend I'm delighted to say) until about quarter to eleven at night and then run through town to get the last bus at ten past eleven: it was touch and go a few times but I never missed it. Yorkshire Ripper? - - Oh, yes, he was about then and I'm afraid I never gave him much of a thought as I pounded along the pavement.

Well, those are my bus memories, anyway: I'm always surprised when I go on a bus and it's not quite like I remember. I suppose I still see buses a lot but I don't exactly notice them - - so when the other day I took this photo from the top of a Leeds multi-storey car park, I was surprised to see a bus in it. It was one of those "there's a ghost in my photo" moments.

And it's not even green. It's PURPLE, for goodness' sake. The times they are a-changin'.


Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

Bring back conductors! Drivers have enough to do concentrating on journey safety. If drivers didn't have to deal with fares,trouble upstairs, passes etc. then buses would move more quickly - no interminable delays at stops any more.

1:12 am  

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