Saturday, 10 April 2010
When it WAS a service
Old age brings nostalgia and, in the debate on whether our public transport should be a "service" or "just" a business, my mind goes back to a delightful occurrence in the late 60's.
We (a chum and I) were waiting one evening at South Elmsall for the last service 70 bus back to Sheffield. The bus was very late - unusual in those days, and particularly so for an evening journey. We debated trying for a train (station nearby) or going via Barnsley but decided to wait a little longer. Our patience was rewarded when, some 20 mins behind schedule, the vehicle (similar to the one above) passed us on its outward trip to the terminal loop at Upton.
10 mins later (now "30 down") we boarded and were greeted with profuse apologies from the conductor (remember them?). The driver was having "trouble" with the engine; he had rung for a changeover and we would wait for the replacement vehicle in Darfield. "So," he concluded, "we can all pop into the chippy while we wait." Which we did; passengers and crew alike!
The changeover duly arrived and, after a delicious and freshly cooked fish supper, we set off for Sheffield at a cracking pace - possibly an illegal pace! - and we eventually pulled into Pond Street bus station a mere 10 minutes late.
That's what I call SERVICE!