An unexpected conducting turn in Exeter

Some people say “don’t volunteer for anything” but I’ve learned that life is full of give and take, so I’ve volunteered to do a conducting turn this weekend.

It’s 40 years since Exeter Corporation ran buses. Their familiar green and cream fleet was absorbed into the National Bus Company and wore (briefly) Devon General colours followed by NBC Poppy Red. Earlier this year WHOTT organised a commemorative get together of some preserved Exeter Corporation buses at Exeter Coach Station and this Sunday there will be a Night Running Event. The organisers hope to gather as many former Exeter buses together as possible to offer free rides around familiar city routes. Starting at 4pm and running through the evening until about 9.30pm, Leylands of several varieties, Guy Arabs and maybe a Daimler or two will operate from Exeter Bus Station for a nostalgic evening of bygone bus travel, lit by tungsten bulbs.

I’ve offered my services as a conductor and have been rostered on Guy Arab IV TFJ 808. I always remember these buses from the 1960s and 70s as being the most ‘musical’ of the Exeter buses (not including the Devon General AEC Regents that shared some of the city routes) with their crash gearboxes. I lived in Exmouth back then and these buses would sometimes turn up on the Exeter-Exmouth service or sometimes on school services outside the comprehensive school in Green Close.

By the look of the weather forecast I will have to be dressed in my winter uniform and thermal long-johns!

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