SCT'61 Articles
A Summer on the Buses

Part 1 - April 1967

Preface

It was March 1967, I was due to go to University in October, needed some money, so found the perfect job, a summer as a bus conductor with Southend Corporation Transport, at the rate of 6 shillings and 1 and 3/8ths of a pence per hour for a forty hour week.
The following is a day by day account from a diary I kept plus the odd thing I remember. I didn't take any photos at the time but I've used photos taken at other times where it makes sense.
The routes in those days were essentially as shown on these two maps, inner routes and outer routes, route list.
This is the first part of my diary of a summer on the buses.
The second part for May and June is here, the third Part for July is here, the fourth part for August is here and the fifth and final part for September is here.

Monday April 3rd 1967

Weather mainly sunny.
So I set off for a 10 am start at the SCT garage in London Road clutching a 5s6d postal order for my conductor's licence (and the form signed by two family friends). First job was to collect timetables, fare tables and a medical certificate as well as a "gold" badge with my number on, 471. Then to the uniform store with the four others who were starting that day to be given my uniform, winter uniform and summer uniform, light and heavy trousers, 1 heavy dark jacket and 2 light summer dust jackets.
After a break for a cup of tea, off to the training bus, 270, for 30 minutes, trying out the ticket machine.
In the afternoon, back in the training bus, getting used to the ticket machine and also filling out the waybills for two imaginary journeys with of course a tea break in the middle.
Finished at the garage just before 5 but then over to the Civic Centre in Victoria Avenue for a medical which I guess I must have passed.

Tuesday April 4th 1967


270, the training bus, albeit 8 years later
Weather mainly sunny.
In for 9:30 for a day in the training bus 270. Unfortunately forgot my medical certficate from last night so had to go home at lunch time to fetch it, told no need to hurry back. Finished just after 5pm having briefly met the conductor, Dave Smith, who I'd be going with for a week to finish the training.
Most of the names I mention in this diary are who knows where now. But Dave is very much still around driving with FOKAB and the A&D preservation groups at events like the Winchester New Year's Day event and the Alton Watercress Line event in July. He doesn't remember me though!
The other name very much around is Paul Bateson who now lives in Canada and worked then in the traffic office, always a friendly face.

Wednesday April 5th, 1967


Lowlander 323
Weather sunny.
So the first day out on the road.
Into the garage for a 3:30pm start, met up with Dave and collected my ticket machine. Walked to Victoria Circus to pick up 344 on route 29 and then did four journeys to Belgrave Road and back, collecting the fares on all the journeys except the last when Dave gave me a break - it turned out to be the busiest, maybe he knew that was coming or maybe he was just bored.
(I should at this stage include a picture of PD3 344 given it's place in history but its the only one of that batch of 12 that there isn't a picture of on the site!)
On a break just before 8, it seems I ate a meat pie in the canteen and watched TV (don't panic, I didn't make a note of everything I ate in the canteen). After the break, we picked up Lowlander 323 on a route 7, the 20:58 from Central Station arriving at Rayleigh at 21:40, which then changed into a route 1, leaving Rayleigh at 21:47, arriving at Victoria Circus at 22:25, turning round for the last 1 of the day leaving at 22:30 and arriving at Rayleigh at 23:08, turning back into a 7 for the last one back to Southend, leaving at 23:16 and reaching Central Station at 23:58.
The conductor was entirely responsible for money, providing their own float if they wanted - simply whatever the ticket machine said that they'd sold, they had to pay in at the end of the day. On this day I ended up 11d down.
I should explain at this stage that shifts then were nearly all mornings starting from about 4:30 to 7:00 and evenings starting around mid afternoon, roughly of 8 hours with a break of about an hour in the middle. Because nearly all SCT routes went through the centre of Southend, these breaks were always at the London Road Garage.

Thursday April 6th, 1967


304
Weather showery
Today's duty started at 15:08. A real mix of routes in the first half of the shift using Leyland PD2 304, starting with the 15:28 route 9B to Sutton Schools, arriving at 15:43 and leaving 2 minutes later for the return trip to Southend Central Station, arriving at 16:00, quite empty, maybe because it was the school holidays. Next down to the Kursaal for the 16:13 route 7 to Ashingdon Schools arriving at 16:44 and back, full up on the way back but managed to collect nearly all the fares, then a 6 relief from Southend Central Station to Hamstel Road and back, then a couple of 29As and time for a break. 304 was unpleasant to work on, I guess its lightweight body made it rattle and shake by comparison with the solid Massey bodies on most of the fleet (although the Alexander bodied Lowlanders ran the 304 batch a very close second in the try and avoid stakes).
After the break, picked up Bridgemaster 320 at Southend Central Station for a 7 to Rayleigh High Street and back to Southend on a 1 - managed to pick up two inspectors independently en-route. Back to the garage then, then a 3 using 307 from Southend to Shoeburyness Cambridge Hotel, dead back, but the last passengers got off at the roundabout by Caulfield Road so turned round short and raced back to the garage. Only 1d down today!

Friday April 7th, 1967


Bridgemaster 320 photographed when new
Weather sunny
Today started at 15:55 - the rotas are arranged to work early shifts one week and late shifts the next.
First half was on Bridgemaster 320 again, the 16:13 route 8 from Southend Central Station to Shoebury Cambridge Hotel arriving at 16:30, the 16:41 route 7 from there to Rayleigh arriving at 17:40, the 17:47 route 1 from there into Southend arriving at 18:25 and leaving at 18:30 back to Rayleigh, arriving at 19:08 and finally the 19:16 route 7 back to Southend Central Station arriving at 19:58 where handed it over to the next crew.
On a break from 20:15 to 21:00, then on "spare", that is no assigned duty but available for work if needed. Someone else I'd been at school with was there as well so we played snooker until he left, then watched TV until 23:45 when released.

Saturday April 8th, 1967


339 when new at Bournes Green
Weather sunny.
An earlier duty today, up at 6:40 and in for 07:23 having got to bed at half past midnight, guess I was younger then (although I do remember having to put the alarm clock away from the bed so I had to get out of bed to turn it off).
Took Bridgemaster 317 out of the garage to Southend Central Station for the 7:43 route 8 to Rayleigh High Street, arriving at 8:25 and leaving at 8:31 back to Shoeburyness Cambridge Hotel at 9:30, then the 9:41 route 7 back to Rayleigh arriving at 10:40 turning into a route 1 for the 10:47 back to Southend arriving at 11:25 where handed it over.
After a break, on again at 12:15 but nothing to do until 14:00 when picked up Highbridge PD3 339 on route 29 from Southend Central Station to Pier Hill to Belgrave Road, back to Pier Hill again then the short trip to Central Station where handed it over. Finished at 15:35 and cashed up.

Pay for the week 11-0-3 which after deductions gave me 9-0-8 in hand.

Sunday April 9th, 1967

Weather windy, sunny in the morning, cloudy in the afternoon
Day off today

A bit about the routes that SCT, Southend Corporation Transport, operated. SCT along with ENOC, Eastern National, shared routes in the Southend Co-ordination area shown on this map. Within that area SCT operated about 37% of the mileage and ENOC the rest. The actual routes that each operated varied as timetables were revised from year to year but during the summer of 1967 the following roughly applied.

ENOC operated the routes that ran outside the co-ordination area (apart from the odd short working), that is the 2s, 11s, 14s, 15s, 19s, 26, 27, 151 and 251. Within the area ENOC also operated most services on the 22, 24, 25, 25A, 61 and 61A routes as well as the one man single decker routes 10, 12 and 13/13A.

SCT's biggest group of routes were the 1, 7 and 8 which were interworked as will be clear if you read the diary. They also operated the 29, and using mainly one man single deckers, the 4, 4A, 4B and 18 routes to villages to the east of the town and the 9.

Shared routes were the 3/3A, 6/6A, 16/16A/17, 21, 28 and 62. The seafront routes, 67 and 68 were also shared but SCT took over the whole operation during 1967 because of staff shortages at ENOC, as they did with the 16/17.

These routes were operated by SCT with 64 double deckers, 13 single deckers and 5 open toppers (although more open toppers were hired from ENOC when SCT took over their seafront route).

Monday April 10th, 1967

Weather solid rain until 10, then showers and wet
Early shifts this week although a gentle one to start, 07:30. Dropped my mum's car in at Prices Garage in Southchurch Road on the way in, then by bus the rest of the way.
Started with 276 on a 7 from Golden Cross to Pier Hill (I guess we must have started with a dead run to Golden Cross), then on routes 6/6A from Newington Avenue to Kent Elm Corner (3 bell load this one, i.e. full up), back to Newington Avenue, to Kent Elm Corner again, back to Southend Central Station where handed the bus over, time for a meal break.
After the break, we took Long Leyland 314 on a 8 from Central Station to Rayleigh and back, then waited 25 minutes there for 305 on route 7 to Hockley Spa, back to the Kursaal, back to Hockley Spa then back to Southend Central Station where handed it over. The last run picked up at four different schools along the way - as soon as one lot cleared, another lot got on.
Finished at 16:21

Tuesday April 11th, 1967


Not 289 but 290, on a turnround on route 7 at the Kursaal
Weather wet, showers on and off
Up at 5:20, discovering for the first time that time of day existed and caught one of the first route 3 from Thorpe Bay Station into Southend for my last full day of training with Dave.
Signed on at 6:30 and took Leyland 289 out of the garage on a real hotch potch of routes, first on a route 21 from Prittlewell Bell to Leigh Station, then on route 8A for the 5 minute journey from Hambro Hill to Rayleigh Station followed by a 24 from Victoria House Corner to Rayleigh Station and then back on more familiar routes, a 7 from Rayleigh High Street to the Kursaal, back to Hockley Spa, and back to Southend Central Station where we handed over. The official handover was the Central Station but unofficially most handovers in that direction were at Victoria Circus which was closer to the garage.
After a break picked up 314 on a 29 the short distance down to Pier Hill where a bus change took place to 339 which we then worked to Belgrave Road and back to Central Station. Then switched to 333 on route 3 from Victoria Circus to Benfleet Station, back to Shoebury and back again to Victoria Circus. I made the comment that "3 was a terrible route, nearly as bad as 6". Finished at 15:14 and caught a number 3 home.
The problem with both routes 3 and 6 was that all along the route, passengers were continually joining and leaving while on others there might be a heavy load as you left the town centre but as they slowly got off along the route, not many others were waiting to join. In addition the 6 and 6A seemed to attract a higher proportion of older passengers who just didn't seem to be able to run up and down the stairs or jump off the platform like the younger passengers !

Wednesday April 12th, 1967

Weather still wet but not as much as yesterday
A leisurely start today, up at 8:30 and into the garage for 9:30, graduation day!
All 5 of us who started last week headed off for the 09:58 route 7 from Central Station. We then took it in turns to be the conductor, I had from Hockley Spa to Rayleigh High Street and then after we'd changed to route 1 for the 10:47 journey back to Southend, from Woodmans Arms to Kenneth Road. Took a total of 27s in fares, others more, one who must have got some quiet sections only 5s.
Back to the garage late morning, now on spare. Sat around, played chess, watched billiards until 14:30 when I was called out for an 8 on one of the Bridgemasters from Central Station out to Rayleigh and back again. Strange being on my own but survived, fairly quiet on the way out although lots of school kids on the way back. If I remember correctly, the driver was very sullen and unfriendly, not typical of most of those I worked with. Back to garage, cashed up and released at 16:30.

Thursday April 13th, 1967

Weather drizzle, cloudy
So my first full day, another gentle start, up at 7, caught the 7:41 bus in for an 8am sign on. My first job, nominally for 2 hours was as witness when the office staff opened up and counted the takings paid in the night before by the conductors in case there were any shorts between what they said they'd paid in and what they actually paid in ... finished in 45 minutes. So then it was W.A.R., work as required.
It may sound easy being paid for doing nothing but when you've arrived at maybe 5am then time drags very very slowly (and of course no daytime TV or Sudoku puzzles then).
So I spent the rest of my shift until released at 14:30 sitting around the canteen, the only highlight being the arrival of my license and badge, FF24773. So endeth the first day.

Friday April 14th, 1967

Weather cloudy in the morning, sunny & warm in the afternoon
A 7am start today but I had the car so a quicker trip in. On WAR again but called out at 7:50 for a duty on route 7, dead to Shoebury Common, then the 8:09 to Golden Cross, the 8:48 back to the Kursaal, then the 9:18 to Golden Cross again and back to Central Southend where I handed over to the crew I trained with, Dave Smith & Bob Reynolds. Spare then until called out just before midday.
They had run out of single deckers so called out for an OMO duty with the OMO driver on a double decker. First trip was the 11:50 route 9B from Central Station to Sutton Schools and back, then a 4A to North Shoebury Corner and back.
The 4A left Southend at 12:45 and had just two passengers, one Jeff, a friend of my parents who then predicted exactly where the other passenger would get on. He was on his way home to lunch in Shoebury Road just after Bournes Green, the driver knew where both passengers lived and dropped them off outside their houses, then we completed the short journey to North Shoebury Corner (in those days completely rural). We sat there for 30 minutes until 13:26 and then headed back to town, picking up Jeff who'd meanwhile had his lunch. Bit easier than a 3 to Canvey, a very nice personal service for Jeff.
Straight back to the garage and signed off.

Saturday April 15th, 1967

Weather sunny.
Up at 5:30 for a 6:30 start - had the car and got there in 5 minutes - not much traffic around at 6:30 on a Saturday morning !
Out almost immediately on a route 7 to Rayleigh, back to Southend on a route 1 and the return trip to Rayleigh, then a 7 back to Southend when I was relieved.
Meal break at 10 then nothing else until 12:45 when called out to do a bus change at Hadleigh. Went off in the SCT taxi - their own black cab - but we couldn't find the bus so gave up and headed back. (Thinking about it now, why not go out on the replacement bus ? or maybe the driver was taking the new bus separately and they just wanted someone on board for the trip back to stop the public jumping on board)
Finished at 14:30.


Pay for the week 12-9-3 which after deductions gave me 10-4-4 in hand.

Sunday April 16th, 1967

Weather cloudy in the morning, sunny in the afternoon.
Day off today.

Monday April 17th, 1967

Weather sunny and hot
On late shifts this week so in for 13:00 for a "spare" duty until 21:00, quite an early one as late shifts went.
Did one route 9 in 295 from Southend to the Airport and back, then in 296 a route 7 from the Kursaal to Hockley Spa, back to the Kursaal and then back to Southend.
There was a one way system in operation in Victoria Avenue by the library as they resurfaced the new roundabout there so it was taking 20 minutes to get from Central Station to the Blue Boar with many extra buses out covering for late running. When we took 296 out of the garage, there was just one double decker and one single decker left.

Tuesday April 18th, 1967

Weather cloudy with some sun, warm
In for 14:30, W.A.R. - work as required - again. Out, dead to the Rose Inn for a route 4 at 15:57 back to Central Station with not a single passenger although if we'd been a few minutes earlier we'd have filled up at the Girls High School in Southchurch Boulevard. The timetable shows this journey as schooldays only so perhaps that was the idea!
Then dead to Shoeburyness Blackgate Road for a non-stop 3 at 16:33 from there to Southend (why a non-stop was scheduled then I don't remember, the only one of the day on the 3 and a rarity on Southend routes), then the 16:58 back to Shoeburyness Cambridge Hotel on a route 3 where we switched to a 7 for the 17:16 to Golden Cross and then dead back to the garage around 18:15.
Sat around watching TV until about 21:00 when we were told we could go.

Wednesday April 19th, 1967


302
Weather some sun, warm
Stayed in bed until 11:30, then in to the garage for a 13:00 start.
Sat around for an hour, then picked up the duty of a conductor who'd phoned in sick.
First on a route 3 in highbridge PD3 339 to Shoeburyness, back to Benfleet Station and back again. The last journey was busy the whole way and took 4.
Break next, then rattled along in PD2 302 on a route 3 from Southend to Shoeburyness Cambridge Hotel, then the 17:50 route 9B from Southend Central Station to Sutton Schools, returning at 18:08.
Took the bus back to the garage, rested for 30 minutes then in Bridgemaster 320 on a route 1 to Rayleigh High Street where it turned into a route 7 back to Southend and handed it over, finishing about 21:00.

Thursday April 20th, 1967


338 in Westcliff heading for Canvey many years later
Weather cloudy, little rain in the evening
Up late again and in for 15:29 sign on.
First trip was on 338 on Route 3 to Canvey Leigh Beck, the 15:46 arriving at 16:46, then the 16:51 3A back to Shoeburyness, and the 18:10 3A to Southend Victoria Circus, handing over the bus at 18:34. All trips busy and tiring, took over 11 in fares, nearly 3 bells at Benfleet Station for Canvey and at Victoria Circus for Shoebury. This was my first trip to Canvey as a conductor and not an area I knew at all so a bit lost on the route and fare stages but then I wasn't driving so not that critical. There was one fare stage on Canvey I never worked out in my 6 months with SCT. There was a cafe at the terminus at Canvey Leigh Beck so I guess we managed time for a cup of tea.
Next straight on to a route 8 on 312, the 18:43 from Central Station to Rayleigh High Street and the 19:31 back to Southend, this one much quieter.
At last time for a break at 20:20, then spare until the end of my shift, watched TV in the canteen, The Man from Uncle and The Frost Report. Shift was due to end at midnight but released at 22:55, cashed up in one minute flat and rushed to catch the route 3 home, otherwise I would have had a 30 minute wait.

Friday April 21st, 1967


317 a few years earlier on route 3
Weather cloudy, windy and some rain, evening clear but cold
Another lie in, in for work at 14:40.
Started in 314 on the 15:00 route 1 to Rayleigh but the driver managed to crash it at a pedestrian crossing before we reached Victoria Circus so a change of bus to Bridgemaster 317 and started 15 minutes late on what I described as "a hair raising ride" to make up time - not sure who the driver was.
Then became the 15:46 route 7 at Rayleigh through to Shoeburyness Cambridge Hotel - really busy from Golden Cross to Kursaal added to which picked up Inspector Girling who had a bad reputation but all was ok. Then back on the 16:56 route 8 to Rayleigh arriving at 17:55 and the 18:02 route 1 to Southend.
After a break then on a route 29 from Victoria Circus to Pier Hill to Belgrave Road, back to Pier Hill, to Belgrave Road again and back to Victoria Circus where handed over. Nearly crashed again when a van tried to filter in in front of us at about 30 mph!
Finish at 21:45, home on a route 3.

Saturday April 22nd, 1967

Weather sunny but cold, quite heavy rain in the evening
In by car for work at 16:20 and started with 305 on a route 7 from Southend to Shoeburyness Cambridge Hotel, to Golden Cross, back to the Kursaal and then returned to the garage. Then in 290 on route 29A, three loops each taking 20 minutes (not sure which way), very quiet on all trips.
Break at 20:00, then in Lowlander 332 on the 21:00 route 1 from Southend to Rayleigh, the 21:46 route 7 from there to Shoeburyness Cambridge Hotel arriving at 22:45, then the 22:56 back to Golden Cross arriving at 23:33 and back dead to the garage. Cashed up as we travelled back and of course made sure all the windows were shut so it could go through the wash, so was away at 23:45. Not the last 7 of the day, on a Saturday that left Southend at midnight reaching Rayleigh at 00:40, probably worked by a OMO single decker which operated many of the very early and very late runs.

Pay for the week 14-10-5 which after deductions gave me 11-7-6 in hand.

Sunday April 23rd, 1967

Weather cold, cloudy and windy.
Day off today.

Monday April 24th, 1967


304 many years earlier
Weather sunny in the morning after a heavy overnight frost, cloudy in the afternoon, rain in the evening.
Back on early shifts this week, up at 5 but the car wouldn't start and no bus or train until 6 so 30 minutes late for my 05:51 sign on.
Picked up a duty at 7, first in 304 on a route 7A, the 07:23 from Southend to Lower Hockley Dome Caravan Site and the 08:06 back, busy, 3 bells on the way back, arriving at Pier Hill at 08:40.
Then a break and then in Bridgemaster 318 on the 09:43 route 8 from Southend to Shoeburyness Cambridge Hotel, the 10:11 route 7 back to Rayleigh, the 11:17 route 1 from there to Southend and the 12:00 back to Rayleigh and finally the 12:47 route 7 back to Southend where handed over. Signed off at 13:30, home on a route 3, the conductor was one of those I started with 3 weeks before so rode on the platform.

Tuesday April 25th, 1967


278 in Southchurch Road - on the 61A we'd have turned left at the junction behind
Weather heavy rain in the morning, cloudy afternoon, clear evening
Up at 6 and in by car to sign on at 7:04. With the same driver as yesterday, started in Highbridge PD3 334 dead to Benfleet Station - a long dead run - then the 07:40 route 3 through to Shoeburyness arriving at 8:45, a busy trip 3 bells from Thames Drive all the way through Southend to the Southend Girls High School in Southchurch Boulevard. Then the 8:51 route 3 back from Shoeburyness right through to Canvey Leigh Beck arriving at 10:16, then the 10:21 route 3A back to Southend where handed over at 11:11, definitely time for a break.
Second half was spare until 13:30 when took out 278 on the 13:45 route 61A from Southend to the Ekco Works arriving 10 minutes later and then I think back to the garage, there certainly isn't a return trip in the timetable. After a gap, picked up Bridgemaster 320 on the 14:43 route 8 from Southend to Rayleigh High Street and the 15:31 back. Finish at 16:30.

Wednesday April 26th, 1967


The interior of 324 but taken at a much more civilised time
Weather sunny and warm
Up at 4:00 (!!!) and in by train for a 05:18 sign on (the first bus I could catch was at 05:41 on the 3 or 05:48 on the 7 so I had to use the early train instead on the Fenchurch Street line from Thorpe Bay Station).
With the same driver as yesterday, first trip was in Lowlander 324 on a route 7, the 05:38 from Southend to Hockley Spa and the 06:12 route 8 back to Southend where handed it over at 06:43. Then in 304 on the 07:06 route 28 from Southend to Hamstel Road, the 07:17 back to Chalkwell Schools, then the 07:45 route 69 from there to the Ekco Works arriving 10 minutes later (one of only two 69s a day unless there was a home football match at Roots Hall).
Dead from there to Shoeburyness Cambridge Hotel, then the 08:10 route 3 back from there to Southend arriving at 08:29 and then one ten minute loop of the 29A, out via London Road.
Who thought that combination of routes up? None of the trips were very busy apart from the 3. During the time any self-respecting student would be asleep in bed, we'd covered 6 different routes.
On a break, then the second half in Bridgemaster 320 (again, but not complaining) on the 09:58 route 7 from Southend to Rayleigh, the 10:47 route 1 back to Southend and the 11:30 back to Rayleigh again, then the 12:16 route 7 back to Southend where handed over. The 7's were busy because of Rayleigh Market, especially the last journey.
Signed off at 13:01, went home and slept all afternoon.

Thursday April 27th, 1967


333 in later years on loan to London Transport
Weather sunny
Up at 06:00, went to catch one of the early morning route 7s along the seafront but arrived there only to see the early morning OMO single decker sailing past - had misread the timetable. So had to get from the seafront up to Thorpe Bay Station in 4 minutes, just made it and in on route 3.
Signed on at 06:55, with the same driver again. Started in Highbridge PD3 333 on the route 29, 4 trips to Belgrave Road and back to Southend. Busy, particularly the run taking pupils to Westcliff High Schools, brought back memories of making that trip myself every morning. Also managed to get two inspections.
Break at 11, spare second half and not needed, released at 15:15, 45 minutes early (but still paid for the full duty). Booked some overtime for tomorrow, the first time I'd done that.

Friday April 28th, 1967


277 at Bournes Green on route 5A, which became the 3 two years later, nothing wrong with the scrolls on that day
Weather sunny in the morning, cloudy in the afternoon, little rain in the evening.
Up at 4:30 but could have the car today, in for 05:15, on WAR duty until 13:15.
First out in Highbridge PD3 338 on the 05:43 route 3 to Shoeburyness and the 06:11 back to Southend where handed over (sounds a bit like I was covering for a conductor who was late in who then picked up his normal duty when we got back to Southend at half six).
A gap until 10:41 when in PD3 315 on the route 8 from Southend to Shoeburyness Cambridge Hotel and the 11:11 route 7 back to Southend.
Final job of my main shift was a bus change at the Kursaal, changing the blinds as we went along.
Off at 12:45 and drove home.
Back in for 15:30 for my overtime, the same duty as on the 18th, dead to the Rose Inn in 277 for a route 4 at 15:57 back to Central Station, two passengers this time, two more than last time.
Then dead to Shoeburyness Blackgate Road for a non-stop 3 at 16:33 from there to Southend. The front scrolls on 277 were stuck so I phoned in and we were told to go back to the garage and swap to 278 for the return 16:58 route 3 back to Shoeburyness Cambridge Hotel, then the 17:16 route 7 to Golden Cross and finally dead back to the garage, cashing up as went.
Home at 18:40, something to eat then out at half seven for the evening - couldn't do all that in one day now.

Saturday April 29th, 1967

Weather sunny and clear
Up at 6 and in by bus for a 7am sign on, on spare duty until 15:00.
Very quiet shift, nothing to do apart from setting blinds on two buses and a short run on route 7 from Southend Central Station to Golden Cross and back.
Released around 2, rushed home and then to Roots Hall for 3pm to watch Southend United play Rochdale, an exciting nil all draw !

Pay for the week 17-0-2 which after deductions (including 10s6d for conductor shorts) gave me 12-8-5 in hand.

Sunday April 30th, 1967


314 when brand new on route 8 when it used to start from Victoria Circus
Weather warm, sunny in the morning, cloudy in the afternoon and a little rain in the evening.
First Sunday shift, in by car for a 15:20 sign on on duty "705".
Out in lowbridge PD3 314 dead to Rochford Station then on limited stop route X90 at 15:55 from there to Canvey Leigh Beck. This was a Wednesdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays service for Rochford and Southend Hospitals. After a pick up at Southend Hospital , the first dropping off point was Hadleigh Church and then about 12 more stops through to Canvey Leigh Beck arriving at 16:45, a very easy run for the conductor since no passengers were allowed on after the stop at Southend General.
Then turned into a 3A for the 16:51 from there through to Shoeburyness arriving at 18:05, very busy on Canvey, otherwise quiet and then the 18:11 route 3A back to Southend arriving at 18:34, a busy journey, where handed over.
Break in the Eastern National canteen in their London Road garage - did this on occasions, when I was with a driver who'd previously worked for ENOC. I reckoned the food was a bit better and cheaper.
Then second half of the shift in Bridgemaster 321, the 19:28 route 7 from Southend to Rayleigh High Street and then the 20:16 back to Shoeburyness Cambridge Hotel, then the 21:26 route 8 from there all the way back to Rayleigh and the 22:31 route 8 back to Southend finishing at 23:30.
For the second part of my diary of a summer on the buses, click here.