In Steve’s first contribution to my ‘Busman’s Holiday’ blog, he takes us along with him on the platform – and the cab – of ex-Stockport Corporation Leyland PD2 HJA965E.
‘Twas the night before my second (ever) Crosville Vintage ‘heritage bus’ job as a conductor, that I prepared my uniform. Black shoes with parade gloss kiwi, grey trousers, respectable shirt and tie – with my best blazer! Well, it was somebody’s wedding so I had to do my bit. I wore my grandfather’s FF conductor’s badge (most probably issued in Norwich, because he once worked as a driver and conductor in Norwich and North Norfolk).
The 19th June 2021 arrived. With (dare I say) ‘child-like’ excitement I stood at the side of the Wellington Road in Taunton, waiting to be collected by the designated driver for the day… the very ‘dapper’ Andrew. Resisting the temptation to use my best ‘hail and ride’ signalling, I saw this beautiful looking 1967 Leyland Titan PD2 (HJA 965E) approaching from the direction of Silk Mills Road. Resplendent in its red/cream paint, with the obligatory ‘Number 9’ route displayed in the blind, I greeted Andrew as he pulled up at my imaginary bus stop. We chatted briefly about the day ahead, before proceeding to Glastonbury and The City of Wells – in our ‘Transport of Delight’. We proceeded through the bustling Taunton Town Centre, with shoppers gazing in awe as we passed by. Happily standing on the platform (I hasten to add, with both hands lightly gripping the handrails) I smiled at shoppers as we trundled towards the outskirts. I am now well acquainted with the words “ I used to go to school on one of those” from many people of a certain age, as I travel to a growing number of events and venues – and I confess it makes me chuckle.