Conducting at this year’s Quantock Motor Services Open Weekend had its ups and downs. Mostly ups, I’m glad to say.
As you can imagine it started early, with an hour’s drive from Paignton first. That turned out to be insignificant, compared to the distance one visiting crew had travelled. Two young chaps from a museum near Glasgow had made the journey down from Scotland, just for this event. Now I like old buses, but I’m not that keen! I take my (conductor’s) hat off to them, they did a great job between them today.
The depot had been cleared of all but one of the modern fleet of coaches and buses. The one remaining coach was up on the lift so that people could see underneath. When I arrived the arrival/departure lane was full of red buses awaiting their turn with the first four departures to Taunton.
Drivers and conductors (all volunteers) gathered in one of the offices to be briefed by the Controller. Jonathan is from somewhere south-east of London and he was the brains behind the whole event. He, together with Peter (a local Quantock volunteer driver), put together the routes, timetables and crew rosters. I was given a late duty, which meant I was at a loose end until 12 noon. Unfortunately the Boss got to hear of it and I was assigned to gate duty for the morning! Armed with a fistful of programmes, I accosted every camera-toting punter who even glanced in the direction of the gate and demanded that they part with £5 in exchange for a copy of my work of art (a programme). Yes, dear reader, that was the result of many hours slaving over a hot computer.