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Your letters and emails

This page is for bus drivers or conductors those retired or still working to send in stories of the times they worked on the buses
Just send them to busesfanclub@aol.com

Hello
My name is Joe and i used to be a production painter on the show  called On the Buses..
Part of the job of the studio painter was to change all the signs on the buses this was done with prepainted signs and placed on the bus by using vaseline  ,fine in winter but bit more tricky in the summer. If it got to hot the vaseline  would run  and the signs would tilt a little.
One of the first jobs that we had to do was to disguise the outside of the bus garage with a large sign this  a bit tricky because it was a working bus garage and the sign was put up using ropes  and had to come down as soon as we finished shooting.
Another thing we had to do as a crew, was to place  bus stops in various place and then drive to the next place  in order that we can do maybe a drive by shot, on more than one occasion we have come back and found people at the bus stop. they had a long wait.You obviously had to watch continuity, as shots had to match the studio set, this was done with the designer  supervising us .
It was a great show to work on Lwt was a great company to work for.I spent over 30 years there First  in Wembley then on to the south bank .Yes those were the days.
Regards
Joe

I hope to hear more from Joe soon

We start of with a story that appeared in the Daily Mirror

Sid Waddell (Pic:Getty)

Routemaster Sid Waddell was once a bus conductor before he swapped all the fun of the fare for a dartboard.

Long before Reg Varney was let loose on vintage sitcom On The Buses, voice of darts Waddell was a real-life clippie, whose favourite trick was to ding-ding and hold tight on the "ghost bus" from Ashington to Newcastle.

In the days when you could smoke tabs on the top deck but roller skates were banned, the Geordie bard was a ghost bus star.

As he prepared for his shifts in the Sky Sports commentary box at Alexandra Palace for the Ladbrokes.com PDC World Championship, Waddell cast his mind back half a century.

He said: "I found out, a fewdays before Christmas, that I'd been awarded a scholarship to study history at St John's College, Cambridge, starting the following October, so I had nine months to kill.

"A mate of mine told me there was a job going in Ashington as a bus conductor, so I went for an interview - omitting to tell them that I didn't really want to make a 25-year career out of it.

"I was sent for training at the bus depot 50 yards behind the Gallowgate End at Newcastle United, and I was taught everything about how to run a double decker bus and collect the fares by a guy who was a dead ringer for Blakey, the inspector from the TV series On The Buses.

"He had a sergeant major's moustache, he was called Cecil Mosey, and you had to learn on the back, holding the pole at the foot of the stairwell.

"The rules included nobody on board if they were too inebriated, nobody with bulky luggage - like six foot planks or washing machines - and no roller skates.

I was fast at calculating the fares, so after six weeks training I was put on my own bus at Ashington and you handed in the money bag with all the fares you collected at the end of your shift.

"A woman conductor showed me how the bosses liked it - lots of nice pound notes and half crowns, and as little copper and shrapnel as possible.

"So when a passenger gets on, asks for a two-bob fare and hands you a pound note, she told me to give them a mountain of copper 'because it's all legal tender, kidder' and you'd get all these looks.

"But the best game of the lot was the one played by drivers who used to run what we called the 'ghost bus' from Ashington to the Haymarket in Newcastle.

"We would approach the Great North Road from Bedlington and pick up the A1, where all the buses coming down from Scotland and Morpeth were heading into the city.

"After dark he would turn off all the lights in the bus to make it look like we were running empty back to the depot - so we didn't have to stop to pick up any more passengers. We left them waiting for the buses coming down from Berwick."

His stint on the buses as a 19-year-old may have lasted only six months, but his eyes sparkled as he recalled the daredevils who jumped on board from an arch over the war memorial and the driver who overturned his bus on Sheepwash Bank, just outside Ashington, and "jumped ship" - although nobody was hurt.

And by the time he moved on to Cambridge, Waddell had cheerfully "broken nearly every rule in the book".

Fast forward 50 years to Ally Pally, and he can't see past Phil 'The Power' Taylor claiming a 15th world title.

"Taylor broke the world record with a three-dart average of 111 in last year's final against Raymond van Barneveld," added Waddell.

"And he's playing so well there's a strong chance he could reach 120 this year."

It may take aliens landing in nearby Muswell Hill to stop Taylor, so residents of north London take note: If there's something strange in your neighbourhood, who you gonna call - ghost bus stars?

Sid Waddell will be commentating for Sky Sports at the world championship.

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