I’ve written before about what kindled my interest in vintage transport. That should more properly be ‘who’ because it was largely my father’s interest in anything to do with all forms of transport that rubbed off on me.
He would often sit me in the saddle of his extremely loud (to me, as a 3 year old lad) single cylinder motorcycle as it sat in the back garden. He would take me down to the railway station at Salisbury to watch the fast-disappearing steam hauled expresses.
Then there were the buses. Big, red and lumbering. I loved every journey. One day we both took a ride, just for the fun of it. We took the Wilts & Dorset number 61 from Wilton Road into town and then took the number 59 ( I think) up to the end of Devizes Road. Like most of the town services in the early 1960s, it was operated by one of many Bristol Lodekkas. There the bus would lay over until it was time to return from whence it came.
The driver jumped down to take a break and my Dad took the opportunity to lift me into the vacant cab and sit me in the driver’s seat. He must have planned this because he had his camera with him. The evidence is below:
I rather fancied the view and did a passable imitation of heaving on the enormous wheel, just like a real driver. Who’d have thought that, 50 years later, I would be training to drive an almost identical Lodekka!