Friday, 1 July 2011
Single Decker, Double Joy
As promised, here are photographs of the bus that ferried passengers from the nearby station on the Mid Norfolk Railway to the Hardingham Village Fete. Although painted-up quite correctly in the 1970s National Bus Company livery (slogan: 'Together we can really go places'), on its arrival in Norfolk in 1967 this Bristol bus would most likely have been signed in the original gold 'Eastern Counties' logotype on the side panels. I await cries of anguish from bus savants. But we just loved this. As fete openers we were allowed to go on it back and forth, so for a while we had it to ourselves. Well, apart from the conductor. And driver. "What's 'Stubber' mean dad" Youngest Boy asked, running his fingers over the raised surface of one of the little metal plates attached to the rear of every green upholstered seat. "It's where you were allowed to stub your cigarette out" I replied, and he just looked at me in sheer disbelief. What joy, the two of us sitting in different parts of the bus, me with my father's Panama on, he with mine. "Oh no, look!" he shouted, "That's all we need". And coming towards us on the empty green Norfolk lane was an open-topped Morris Minor. I buried my head in my hands, half expecting Hattie Jacques to get on when I looked up again.