I had another conducting duty on the Service 400 ‘Exmoor Explorer’ this weekend. No driving this time. We had an ex-Western National Bristol LDL6G which has a 5-speed crash gearbox so I was happy to leave that to the nominated driver! The gearbox has an additional ‘gate’ which has often caught me out when driving this bus around the old industrial estate. When in 4th gear this gate gives access to 5th gear and has its own neutral position. But if I’m not careful when changing from 4th to 3rd I can easily find myself in 5th by mistake!
The 400 trip was fairly average, as trips go. No breakdowns, accidents or other dramas. Although sunny, there was a chilly breeze and this may have kept the numbers down – we were only about half full. I was pleased to welcome a family on board from Brixham who I’ve known for some time. They took a leisurely lunch break in Exford on the way round and rejoined us on the afternoon trip. Makes a great day out!
Coming up soon – one of my blog followers commented on one of my earlier posts, ‘This is where it all started’, and has now sent in some of his own memories of his time as a conductor for Wilts & Dorset in the 1970s. I will add a special page for this fascinating personal account within the next few days.