Author Topic: bus garages in brum  (Read 53981 times)

nickcc

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 340
Re: bus garages in brum
« Reply #22 on: November 23, 2009, 09:18:28 AM »
Four rings emergency stop, used to have to learn the bells for your PSV test even when you were driving coaches.  You also had to remember the four things that had to be carried on a PSV, jack, chock, first aid kit and fire extinguisher. no mention of passengers though.
Nick

Helston Cornwall

roy one

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 26194
Re: bus garages in brum
« Reply #23 on: November 23, 2009, 09:32:08 AM »
hi nickcc
               yes your right iv got this old book some where in the house about p.s.v and if my memory serves me well it says the first obligation  of a p.s.v driver is for the comfort and safety of the passengers Roy
each day is a blessing and I bless each day when it comes

perry commoner

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 45
Re: bus garages in brum
« Reply #24 on: November 23, 2009, 07:36:59 PM »
My head is full of memories of the days my father worked for BCT as a conductor at Wellhead Lane bus depot. I was a regular visitor to the staff canteen and oftem spent many hours of my school holidays travelling with him on the 33, 5, 5A or 7 routes.

I was transfixed to see the canteen staff pour out about 20 cups of tea in one swift movement. 20 cups on a metal tray with milk in them. Then, by using a huge metal tea pot, the man would pour along the lines of the cups filling them with tea without stopping.

I got to know several of the drivers...Townsend, Murray, Mason and several more. I alsdo remember Mrs Barker weho was a very good snooker player in the canteen.

I remember dads summer uniform. A very smart beige jacket with maroon piping and cuffs.

I also remember the long wooded refectory table on which the conductors emptied out their bags of coins. Dad would count them up and put them into piles and add up the total. Then he had to go thru his tickets rack and account for every ticket used. The money total and the ticket total had to match. No going home until it did. Any discrepency came out of dads pocket. Then the entire packege was handed thu a sercurty screen to a chap who checked it thru again.

Dad often worked Christmas Eve and Christmas day on the 7 route. I would go down to the corner of Parry Common Road and Capilano Road at about 9.00pm with a billy can of tea and wait for his bus. As it approached the driver would flash his headlights at me. Then I would get on and travel with them up to Court Lasne terminus and have some tea out of the lid (magic!)
Then the driver would 'clock out' at the bundy clock and off we would go dropping me of at Capilano Road to go home.

I remember the childrens Christmas parties at Wellhead Lane depot where the staff usually put on a pantomime for us.
We had a Childrens Summer sports meeting at the BCT sports ground at Billesley. I won first prize in a 100 yard dash.
There were always presents for us kinds at both parties.

I could write so much more but I had better leave it at that....1948 to 1953...HAPPY DAYS
You can always tell a brummie but you can't tell him much!

9teen48

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 421
Re: bus garages in brum
« Reply #25 on: November 23, 2009, 07:47:03 PM »
Drivers used to bang the top of their steering wheel so that oncoming buses knew they had an Inspector on board.
Usually only one Inspector in any vicinity so if he was on your bus he was no threat to  other drivers who wanted a ciggie .
Hi Abt,

Yes, I remember my dad telling me about letting the oncoming buses know that you had an inspector onboard - I think the crews called them "a checker".  It's a long time ago, and I can't remember it all, but I have a vague recollection of other codes drivers used to let oncoming buses know that there was a checker somewhere on the road ahead of them.

Brian

9teen48

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 421
Re: bus garages in brum
« Reply #26 on: November 23, 2009, 08:03:12 PM »
Hi Perrycommoner,

Thanks for your great account of your memories of your Dad's BCT days.  You have brought back many similar memories of my Dad at Harborne.  One thing that sticks in my mind about the canteen was the glasses of still orange which came out of a clear plastic dispenser.  They seemed like enormous glasses to me at the time.

The summer uniform - the dust jacket I think it was called.  Lots of crews had open neck white shirts with the shirt collar turned over the dust jacket collar.  They were smart jackets.

That routine of counting and balancing the tickets and money at the depot before you finished.  Do you remember your Dad going to collect his wages ?  There was a big rack with silver discs in it, with the same number as the PSV badge number.  This was selected from the rack, handed in to the pay clerk and your wage packet came back through the trap.  Then the big inquest to see if the pay was right and sometimes there were deductions if staff lost their bonus due to some misdemeanour.  See attachment.

I'd forgotten about the parties.  Living in King's Heath the Stadium was within walking distance and my Dad used to take me there a lot.  I'm sure we would all love to hear more of your recollections.

Brian

Phil

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 32593
Re: bus garages in brum
« Reply #27 on: November 23, 2009, 09:03:09 PM »
Hi perrycommoner

You would remember this sight then. Its Wellhead Lane Depot isn't it?
Make Love Not War

roy one

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 26194
Re: bus garages in brum
« Reply #28 on: November 23, 2009, 09:07:12 PM »
i remember the bus that used that rout i think it was the 5a perrycommon court lane i remember going to a lake up that way in 1951  Roy
each day is a blessing and I bless each day when it comes

perry commoner

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 45
Re: bus garages in brum
« Reply #29 on: November 24, 2009, 07:29:52 PM »
A BIG thank you to 9teen48 and Phil 47 for your kind response to my message.
Yes Phil, it is Wellhead Lane Depot with HOV 845 (fleet no. 1845?) featured. Strange to think that Dad and I might well have spent many hours on her.
If I remember rightly, when Wellhead Lane garage was built, it was the largest single span roof garage in Britain.
The photo must have been taken during the 1960s or 1970s because until the early sixties, BCT buses carried no adverts on the outside of the buses, during its heyday, the BCT was the largest municipal bus operater in Europe.

The bell rings were always; 1 to stop, 2 to go, 3 was a 3-bell load which told the driver that the bus was full and not to stop until requested to do so by the conducter.

Certainly the 5a or 7 would take you near to witton Lakes, a place that I shed much blood from scraged knees.

I recall many hours at perry common ring collecting used bus tickets, always on the lookout for the strange and rare like workmans returns. such a wasted childhood.

I have mentioned this on another thread some time ago but I recall the Wellhead Lane buses being parked along College Road between Moor Lane and the canal bridge near Kingstanding Road during the war. After all, one direct hit on the garage would wipe out that areas entire fleet. I am sure other brum garages had a similiar arrangement.

I mentioned one or two names in my previous missive, Mrs Barker, the snooker wiz was a conductress and it was the habit of a driver named Atkins to shout out of his cab to waiting passengers standing in the cold and wet , Tommy Trinder's catchphrase 'YOU LUCKY PEOPLE!'

Incidently, my grandfather was a conductor on the Birmingham trams. I have a photo of him in his uniform taken in 1917. He operated out of Hockley tram depot on the route from Snow Hill to the Hawthorns.
You can always tell a brummie but you can't tell him much!

9teen48

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 421
Re: bus garages in brum
« Reply #30 on: November 25, 2009, 12:31:07 AM »
Hi again Perrycommoner,

Thanks for your follow up posting and for confirming the bell rings.  Interesting that you should mention collecting used tickets .... when I was on holiday in Folkestone in the late 1950s I was having a good look at the East Kent Roadcar buses at a terminus and my Dad asked the guard if I could have some used tickets, at which point he opened the flap on the used tickets box and I ended up with hundreds of tickets !  My Mom went mad.  The photograph shows a BCT used ticket box and also note that the chain is across - something we hated to see when a bus pulled up at the stop full.

I've also attached a photo of a conductor in his dust coat.

It would be great to see the picture of your grandfather in his uniform.

Brian

perry commoner

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 45
Re: bus garages in brum
« Reply #31 on: November 26, 2009, 07:09:32 PM »
This is the photo of my grandfather in his BCT Tram conducters uniform. sadly I never met him. He died in 1934, a few years before I was born.

I remember the photo as a child in my grandmothers house. He seemed very old to me then but now when I look at it, I realise that he was a young man.He was 28 years old when this photo was taken in 1917.
You can always tell a brummie but you can't tell him much!

perry commoner

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 45
Re: bus garages in brum
« Reply #32 on: November 26, 2009, 07:10:59 PM »
Sorry it seems that Grandad does not want to show himself on this medium, in this family, we are all rather shy.
You can always tell a brummie but you can't tell him much!