SCT'61 Articles
A Summer on the Buses

Part 2 - May 1967

This is the second part of my diary of a summer on the buses.
The first part for April 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 May 1st, 1967


PD2 310 at Victoria Circus in 1964 - the buildings behind had disappeared by 1967
Weather mixed sun and heavy rain
In by car for a sign on at 14:30. On W.A.R. (work as required) but given a duty from 15:10 to 23:30 with driver Dave L - I won't name him for reason that will become obvious - but a fast driver and unpleasant to go with it. I even remembered him as a conductor from my travelling days to and from school, again for his aggressive approach.
Anyway passenger with him on a route 3 to Leigh Elm Hotel where took over 310 on route 23, Elm Hotel to Eastwood Belgrave Road and then 6 round trips to Leigh Station followed by a very fast dead return to garage. Journeys around 6pm from Leigh Station were very busy with commuters - Dave L 'told' me I should start collecting fares before we left the station - I suppose he was right in that many passengers made the short journey up the hill to Leigh so there wasn't time to get all their money but nevertheless it was his job to drive the bus and keep to time, mine to collect the fares and not lose too many passengers off the rear platform.
After a break, in Lowlander 332 on the 21:11 route 8 from Southend to Shoeburyness Cambridge Hotel, the 21:41 route 7 from there to Rayleigh High Street and the 22:47 route 1 from Rayleigh back to Southend.

On the front entrance Lowlanders, conductors usually tapped on the small window rather than use the bell, I guess because the bell was quite loud in the cab. This of course didn't stop passengers pressing the bell when they wanted to get off at a request stop but Dave responded to that by a snatch on the brakes, I guess to try and throw the offending passenger off his feet. As I said, a nice guy.

On the final trip, we reached Southend when according to the timetable we should have been back at Leigh Elm Hotel. I remember another time a driver who wanted to catch a late night bus home checking who was on duty so as to know how early the bus would be likely to be running. Another conductor was aboard so I got off at the garage (the last but one stop was outside the garage in London Road) and he took it round to Victoria Circus for me - I was probably trying to escape from Dave!

Tuesday May 2nd, 1967

Weather same as yesterday, cold
Day off today

Wednesday May 3rd, 1967

Weather same as yesterday
In for work for 14:30, W.A.R. again.
Nothing to do, released at 21:15 having watched TV for 6+ hours.
Bit of drama at Southend Airport where a Viscount on a test flight crashed on landing, ploughed into a hut sadly killing two people inside, broke in half and caught fire.

Thursday May 4th, 1967


287 a few years earlier on the seafront
Weather very wet and windy, practically a gale.
Switched to earlies today because I had to do something tomorrow evening so guess I was switched for two days.
Up at 5:30 and in by bus for a 06:33 sign on.
Out in 304 on another glorious mixture of routes, first the 06:53 route 7 from Central Station to Golden Cross and the 07:18 back to Pier Hill, then the 07:48 route 9A from Central Station to the Ekco Works arriving 7 minutes later, a route 61A back to Central Station, dead out to Golden Cross, the 08:33 route 7 back to Pier Hill (very busy this one, three bells) arriving at 08:56 and dead to the garage.
No break yet - take over 342 for the 09:24 route 3 from Southend to Benfleet Station and the 10:10 back again arriving back in Southend at 10:51 where handed over.
A break at last !
After the break in Lowlander 332 on route 7 from Southend to Shoeburyness Cambridge Hotel and back as a route 8 to Southend where handed over. Then had about 30 mins before picking up 287 on a 6A from Southend to Newington Avenue to Kent Elms Corner, then a 6 back to Newington Avenue and back to Central Station. Very busy especially approaching Southend on the various journeys, made the comment that 'all the old people were out'.
Finished at 15:03.

Friday May 5th, 1967


341 in the 1970s on what looks a school trip to Southend Airport with a BAF Carvair car freighter in the background. They don't make school trips like this anymore - teacher having a quick cigarette, driver asleep in the cab, children running loose at the back and all airside at the airport.
Weather same as yesterday but dry in the evening
Up just before 5, in on the 3 for sign on at 06:05. Out in Bridgemaster 320 on the 06:25 route 1 from Southend to Rayleigh High Street, the 07:16 route 7 through to Shoeburyness Cambridge Hotel, the 08:26 route 8 back to Rayleigh and finally the 09:31 route 8 back to Southend where handed over around 10:15. The 7 into Southend and the 8 from Shoeburyness into Southend were very busy.
Time for a break, then in Highbridge PD3 341 on route 29 from Victoria Circus down to Pier Hill then three return trips to Belgrave Road, each return trip taking an hour, handing over at Southend on the last trip back, all journeys busy.
Signed off at 14:05, took 23, the most I'd ever taken in a day.

Saturday May 6th, 1967


Lowlander 329 on a short working 7 to Victoria Circus followed by another working through to Shoeburyness
Weather mainly dry and sunny
Back on lates, in by car for sign on at 15:25.
First half out in Lowlander 329, the 15:45 route 1 from Southend to Rayleigh, the 16:31 route 8 from Rayleigh through to Shoeburyness Cambridge Hotel, the 17:41 route 7 all the way back to Rayleigh and the 18:47 route 1 back to Southend where handed over.
Break at half seven, then second half in 312 on 7s and 8s again, the 20:26 route 7 from Southend to Shoeburyness, the 20:56 route 8 to Rayleigh and then the 22:01 route 8 back to Shoeburyness, then the 23:11 route 7 to Golden Cross, due to arrive at 23:48 and dead to garage.
With a new driver - his first day - who got lost at Nursery Corner and I had to keep time. He would race along and then we'd have to wait for 5 minutes at the timing points. On the last 7, the High Street was jammed solid so 5 minutes late reaching Golden Cross, not good news on your last trip of the day.

Pay for the week 17/0/11 which after deductions (including 1/0/5 for conductor shorts) gave me 11/19/2 in hand.

Sunday May 7th, 1967

Weather mainly sunny
In by car for sign on at 09:43, then out in Lowlander 332 dead to Benfleet Station, then the 10:17 route 26 to Canvey Point Road (distinctly lost here on the Canvey to Romford route very rarely worked by SCT), then the 10:51 route 3A from Leigh Beck through to Shoeburyness arriving at 12:05 then the 12:11 route 3A back to Southend where handed over. Not very busy, at least by Canvey standards.
Second half spare, nothing doing so watched TV in the canteen, West Ham 1 Man Utd 6 to win the First Division Championship.

Monday May 8th, 1967

Weather mainly sunny
Up at five thirty and in by car to sign on at 06:30.
Spare today but out in 310, dead to Golden Cross, the 07:48 route 7 to Pier Hill, then the 08:16 route 8A from Pier Hill to Rayleigh and the 09:13 back again. The 7 was busy but the 8A quiet. The 8A had three full trips a day and was a variant of the 8 but on the 8A only section of the route, only 2 passengers got on and none got off.
Back to the garage at 10, nothing else all day except for a bus change at 11:15 - went down to the Kursaal, sat around for a bit until the bus we were replacing came in, then drove it back to the garage - a pleasant trip out!
Released at 13:45.

Tuesday May 9th, 1967


279 was withdrawn the following year but obviously had a homing instinct with its new owner, contractor Wiggins, seen here following route 7 south of Rochford
Weather sunny and warm.
Up at 04:35 and in by train for a 05:45 start, W.A.R. again
First half did one trip on route 16A from Kent Elm Corner to Chalkwell Station, a 12 minute run, one passenger, took 4d. The 16A was another occasional route feeding Chalkwell Station, 6 trips there in the morning, 6 trips back in the evening.
After a break, picked up Lowlander 329 on the 09:58 route 7 from Southend to Rayleigh High Street, the 10:47 route 1 from Rayleigh to Southend and the 11:30 route 1 back again and then the 12:16 route 7 from Rayleigh back to Southend where handed over. Not very busy.
Home by bus and then back in by car for overtime on a duty I'd done twice before on April 18th and 28th, duty 902 in PD2 279. Dead to the Rose Inn for a route 4 at 15:57 back to Central Station (more passengers this time), then dead to Shoeburyness Blackgate Road for a non-stop 3 at 16:33 from there to Southend. Next 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. The last two were busy.
Finish at 18:15

Wednesday May 10th, 1967

Weather sunny and hot
Woke up at midday and in by bus for a 13:26 sign on.
Out in Highbridge PD3 335, the 13:43 route 3A from Southend to Shoeburyness, the 14:11 route 3A to Canvey Leigh Beck and then the 15:31 route 3 back to Southend where handed over. The final trip was busy with schools, a primary school near Leigh Beck, one in Benfleet, one just past Tarpots and Belfairs plus the usual number of adults.
Break until 17:15 then on the short working of route 7, Southend to Kursaal, then the 17:33 to Hockley Spa, the 18:15 to the Kursaal, the 19:03 to Hockley Spa and the 19:45 to Golden Cross arriving at 19:58, then a 15 minute break followed by a 7 duplicate from Golden Cross to Southend. Finish at 20:30.

Thursday May 11th, 1967


290 on route 7 near Shoebury Common
Weather sunny and very hot
Up just before 6 and in by bus for a 06:56 sign on.
Out in PD2 290, the 07:18 route 7 from Southend to Hockley Spa, then dead to Fambridge, the 08:03 route 7B (another occasional route) from there back to Pier Hill arriving at 08:35, very busy especially around the Bell Hotel, then more short service route 7s, Central Station to Hockley Spa, from there to the Kursaal, from there to Hockley Spa and then back to the Kursaal, the last journey very busy. Bus change to 301 and then the short journey to Central Station where handed over - given lift back in 290 to the garage so whoever did the bus swap must have followed us on his way back to the garage, very considerate.
After the break, took over Highbridge PD3 344, the 10:23 route 3 from Southend to Shoeburyness Cambridge Hotel, the 11:05 route 3 to Benfleet Station, the 12:10 route 3 back to Shoeburyness Cambridge Hotel and the 13:25 route 3 to Southend where handed over. The run from Benfleet to Shoeburyness was very busy, lots of awkward passengers, pushchairs, felt hot, tired and irritable, one of those journeys where there were a few passengers waiting at every stop to get on and a few inside to get off. Pushchairs were stored under the stairs which was ok if there were just two but more than that involved piling them up making it a slow progress to get them out again.

Friday May 12th, 1967

Weather warm all day, morning cloudy and drizzly, afternoon sunny and clear, around 10 in the evening a monster thunderstorm with torrential rain.
Up at 05:15 and in by bus for a 06:30 sign on WAR.
Did nothing at all until 13:15 except play billiards and chess.
Then called down to the traffic office expecting to be told to go home but instead out on Highbridge PD3 343 for a short round trip on route 3A from Southend to Shoeburyness and back to Southend again. Then off home.

Saturday May 13th, 1967

Weather hazy sun, misty in the evening
Day off but a driver came round in the SCT taxi and knocked on the door at 5:15 to see if I wanted to work. If I had answered the door I would probably have said yes but instead my Dad who was not too happy to be woken at that time of the morning, leant out of the window and told him no, I'm sure very politely.
The driver told me later he really hated being sent out to wake people up.

Pay for the week 16/0/3 which after deductions gave me 12/6/11 in hand.

Sunday May 14th, 1967

Weather cloudy and drizzle.
Day off, nobody rang the door bell at 5am. I don't remember how it worked now but I guess when the day off fell on a Saturday, you also got the Sunday off the next week to give you a clear weekend.

Earlier in the diary (on April 9th) I summarised the routes that SCT worked with their 64 double deckers, 13 single deckers and 5 open toppers.

The allocations were a mix of the regular routes that operated from early morning to late evening with the same bus working through the day backwards and forwards along the routes and the "irregular" routes, either reliefs and extra timetabled services in the morning and evening rush hour, or the irregular routes with only a few services a day.

The 1/7/8 routes operated to a 15 minute frequency (the 1 reduced to half hourly off peak) which required an allocation of 18 buses, all SCT. In addition there was a regular short working on the 7 between Kursaal and Golden Cross or Hockley Spa which also ran to a 15 minute frequency, requiring about 6 buses. The 3/3A ran to a 10 minute frequency and, according to notes I have, SCT's share required 8 buses while the 29 ran to a 20 minute frequency requiring 3 buses, all SCT.

The 29 and 3/3A were normally operated by the newest buses, the Highbridge PD3s (333-344), two years old in 1967. There were 12 in the fleet and the 3/3A and 29 required 11, which allowing for maintenance etc was a full allocation of this batch. The 1/7/8 were normally operated by the 10 Lowlanders (323-332) and 6 Bridgemasters (317-322) with the batch of 6 Lowbridge PD3s (311-316) making up the numbers to the 18 vehicles required (333-344 couldn't work these because of the low bridge at Hockley Station).

This left the remaining 30 double deckers, all Leyland PD2s with 55 or 58 seats to pick up the 6 buses required for the regular short workings on the 7, a few regular workings on other routes such as 6/6A and 29A, and all the other duties, particularly at rush hours. These were Massey bodied 276-280, 287-298 and 305-310 and the Weymanns, 282 and 299-304.

Monday May 15th, 1967

Weather cloudy and windy, some rain, cold
Up mid morning and in by car for a 15:32 sign on.
Out in PD2 287 on 6/6A, the 15:50 route 6 Central Station to Kent Elm Corner, the 16:14 route 6A to Newington Avenue and the 16:56 route 6A back to Kent Elm Corner, the 17:34 route 6 to Newington Avenue, the 18:16 to Central Station, the 18:46 to Newington Avenue and the 19:06 to Central Station arriving at 19:20 where handed over.
Then immediately took over 337 on route 29 for one round trip, the 19:23 Central Station to Pier Hill, the 19:31 to Belgrave Road and the 20:01 back to Southend.
Then break and spare second half, nothing to do at all, released early at 23:15.

Tuesday May 16th, 1967


334 when new on a 62, an unusual allocation for anything but the oldest in the fleet (and with the intermediate blind one place out)
Weather hazy and warm, summy especially in the evening
In by car for a 15:25 sign on with the same driver as yesterday and on the same duty as the very first one I did when training.
In Highbridge PD3 334 on route 29 and then did four journeys to Belgrave Road and back. The first was the busiest with Westcliff High Schools.
After the break, on route 7, the 20:58 from Central Station to Rayleigh, which then changed into a route 1, leaving Rayleigh at 21:47, arriving at Victoria Circus at 22:25, turning round for the last route 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. Got home at 10 past midnight, 3 minutes before I was due to sign off.

Wednesday May 17th, 1967


312 on a route 7
Weather showers, some very heavy
In by bus for an "early" evening shift, sign on at 12:15.
On spare but out quite quickly in lowbridge PD3 312 on the 13:00 route 1 to Rayleigh, the 13:46 route 7 to Shoeburyness Cambridge Hotel, the 14:56 route 8 back to Southend where handed over at 15:13.
Break, second half in PD2 299 on short route 7s, the 16:18 Southend to Kursaal, the 16:33 to Hockley Spa, the 17:15 to the Kursaal, the 18:03 to Hockley Spa, the 18:45 to Kursaal, the 19:33 to Southend and dead to the garage. Both Kursaal to Spa trips were busy.
Finished at 19:45, got a lift in the SCT taxi from the garage to Central Station and home from there on a route 7.

Thursday May 18th, 1967


Interior of Lowbridge PD3 313. By the time this photo was taken, it was on open topper but the downstairs was unchanged
Weather sunny and warm
In by car for a 12:55 sign on. First half in Lowbridge PD3 313 on the 13:13 route 8 from Southend to Rayleigh, the 14:01 route 8 back to Shoeburyness Cambridge Hotel and the 15:11 route 7 back to Southend, handing over at Central Station at 15:28.
Second half in highbridge PD3 335, the 16:16 route 3 from Southend to Canvey Leigh Beck and the 17:21 route 3A back to Southend where handed over at 18:11. The 3 out was quiet because we scratched (i.e. followed but didn't overtake) a National FLF all the way to Benfleet - it should have been 5 minutes ahead of us.
Then in another highbridge PD3 344 on the 18:36 route 3A from Southend to Canvey Leigh Beck and the 19:51 back to Southend. Busy especially on Canvey on the outward journey. Back at Southend at 20:41 where we handed over the passengers but not the bus at Victoria Circus because this working switched to an OMO single decker for the rest of the evening, the OMO ending up as the last 3 from Canvey through to Shoebury and the last 3 to leave Shoebury just after midnight, finishing at 25 past.
Signed off and home by 9.

Friday May 19th, 1967

Weather wet, windy and cold, very wintery
Up at 11 and in by car for a 15:25 sign on.
A long first half in lowbridge PD3 316 with driver Bert Reynolds. The 15:43 route 8 from Southend to Shoeburyness, the 16:11 route 7 to Rayleigh, the 17:17 route 1 to Southend and the 18:00 route 1 back to Rayleigh, the 18:46 route 7 to Shoeburyness and the 19:56 route 8 back to Southend where handed over at 20:13.
The 7s and the 1s were very busy, took over 17.
Second half was spare apart from one trip in 289 on route 6 from Central Station to Newington Avenue and back again.

Saturday May 20th, 1967

Weather sun and short blustery showers
Due for sign on at 15:30, on spare, work as required, but went in early so I could watch the Cup Final on TV in the canteen. Nipped down to the traffic office at 15:30 to sign on, otherwise undisturbed. Final was between Spurs and Chelsea, Spurs won 2-1, not a very exciting match.
Not a single trip out, released at 22:30.

Pay for the week 14/18/1 which after deductions gave me 11/14/10 in hand.

Sunday May 21st, 1967

Weather mainly sunny but wet in the evening.
Day off today

Monday May 22nd, 1967


Route 9 was usually operated by one of the dual door Leopards such as 207, seen here a few years earlier.
Weather same as yesterday.
Up at 5:15 and in by bus for a sign on at 06:30, W.A.R. again.
Nothing to do until 13:30 when did a single route 9 trip in 310 from Vickers Road to Central Station to cover for a OMO single decker which had broken down.
Took 3s2d all day, home by half two.

Tuesday May 23rd, 1967

Weather mainly sunny but with thunderstorms and heavy showers.
Same as yesterday, up at 5:15, in by bus for a 06:30 sign on, W.A.R.
Nothing all day apart from setting some scrolls on a bus in the garage, released at 13:30.

Wednesday May 24th, 1967

Up at 4 (!!) and in by car for a 05:00 sign on.
W.A.R again and nothing until 07:15 when same trip as on May 8th in PD2 289, dead to Golden Cross, the 07:48 route 7 to Pier Hill, then the 08:16 route 8A from Pier Hill to Rayleigh and the 09:13 back again. Had a 13 minute gap at Rayleigh High Street so we drove down the hill to the station to get a cup of tea (other 8As went to the station so they might have well scheduled us to go through to the station on this trip, might have picked up 3d from a few passengers).
Break at 10, nothing second half and released at 12:30
Went to see Giles about a holiday I wanted to take but obviously I had no holiday due with SCT (especially since I wanted a 5 week break). He said that was fine but I would need to resign and then rejoin 5 weeks later.

Thursday May 25th, 1967


315 a few years later in the garage
Weather sun, some showers
Up just after 5 and in by car for a 05:45 sign on, spare again.
Just did two route 29 round trips in 315 with driver Brian Ashley, busy, took over 6 10s.
Nothing else apart from some scroll setting but given a "line" next week for just one week.
Home just after 1pm but back in for 15:15 overtime.
In PD2 304 on duty 901, the 15:35 route 21 from Carlton Avenue to Westcliff High Schools, then route 29 relief from there to Pier Hill and back to Woodcutters Arms, dead to Pier Hill, another 29 relief to Woodcutters Arms, dead to Pier Hill and a third route 29 relief to Woodcutters Arms, then dead back to the garage, finish about 18:15. Lots of noisy kids on the 21 and the 29s all busy, especially the first one out which was three bells (and a full upstairs on lowbridge 304 was pretty packed in).
The timing of the dead runs on the 29 was also very tight.
European Cup Final in the evening, Celtic beating Milan 2-1 after being one goal down at halftime.

Friday May 26th, 1967

Weather sun and showers
In by bus for a 06:33 sign on.
Out in 278 dead to Golden Cross and then route 7 back to Pier Hill, then route 9A from Central Station to the Ekco Works arriving 7 minutes later, a route 61A back to Central Station, dead out to Golden Cross, route 7 back to Pier Hill and dead to the garage.
Then take over route 3 from Southend to Benfleet Station and back again to Southend where handed over.
A break at last !
After the break in on route 8 from Southend to Shoeburyness Cambridge Hotel and back as a route 7 to Southend where handed over. Then had about 30 mins before picking up 291 on a 6 from Southend to Newington Avenue to Kent Elms Corner, then a 6A back to Newington Avenue and back to Central Station. Finished and home by half three, out that night to see the Moody Blues at the Cliffs Pavilion.

Saturday May 27th, 1967

Weather sun and showers.
Summer timetable starts today including the open top services along the seafront.
Up at 9 and in by car for a 09:50 sign on.
Out in PD2 298 on short service route 7s, Southend to Shoeburyness Cambridge Hotel to Golden Cross to Shoeburyness Cambridge Hotel to Golden Cross to Southend where handed over.
After break on route 62, 4 round trips from Central Station to Plough Hotel, 30 minutes each round trip. Not very busy. Dead to garage after last trip, finish just before 6pm.

Pay for the week 16/3/4 for 48 basic hours and 3 enhanced rate hours which after deductions gave me 12/9/10 in hand.

Sunday May 28th, 1967

Weather hazy sun with odd showers
Up at 11 and in by car for a 12:40 sign on.
On my line for a week but no permanent driver. The line meant that rather than W.A.R. and filling in on the day, I had assigned duties each day - on a permanent line you could then see your duties for several weeks ahead.
Out in Bridgemaster 322 on route 7 Southend to Shoeburyness Cambridge Hotel, route 8 to Rayleigh High Street, route 8 back to Shoeburyness Cambridge Hotel, then route 7 back to Southend Central Station. The last 7 was busy and the seafront was packed.
Second half of duty in Highbridge PD3 344, the 17:03 route 3 from Southend to Shoeburyness, the 17:31 route 3 right through to Canvey Leigh Beck and the 19:01 route 3 back to Southend, arriving at 20:01. Busy in parts, lots of fares totalling 5s plus and took 7-10-0 in notes, 17 altogether.
Last hour from 8 to 9 was W.A.R. but released as soon as got back to garage so home by half eight.

Monday May 29th, 1967


244 has been preserved, this is an interior shot
Weather mainly sunny but also very heavy showers
Spring bank holiday today, the first year that it was fixed at the end of May rather than tied to the religious Whit Sunday.

In by car for 16:30 sign on.
Out in Bridgemaster 321 on short route 7s, summer Sunday and Bank Holiday extras, Southend to Shoebury Common to Southend to Shoebury Common to Southend to Thorpe Bay Corner to Southend.
Then a break and nothing until 22:20 when hurriedly called out and went with the driver and a distinctly unhappy traffic superintendent Derek Giles in the taxi down to Southend Pier Bridge. Because the bridge was very low, the open toppers had to stop before the bridge, the conductor went to the top of the stairs to check everyone was sitting down (and be in a position to shout sit down if anyone stood up) and then ring the bell for the driver to take it under the bridge.
Unfortunately the conductor forgot to lower his own head and hit it on the bridge - rumoured to have been chatting up girls in the rear seat. There was an ambulance there but he was not too badly hurt, more dazed than anything; the bridge was undamaged. Anyway we took over open top Daimler 244 for the route 68 run to Leigh Thames Drive, the 22:28 back to Shoeburyness Cambridge Hotel arriving at 23:07 and then dead to the garage. Although we started well behind time, the seafront routes at night were quiet and usually had to crawl along to keep time so it was easy to make up the time.
A dramatic introduction to conducting open toppers.
Back at the garage at 23:15 and released straight away.

Tuesday May 30th, 1967

Weather wet in the morning and early afternoon, sunny later
In by car for a 15:26 sign on. Last night's incident was all the talk in the garage having made it to the pages of The Daily Mirror !
Out in Highbridge PD3 342 on the 15:41 route 3A from Southend to Shoeburyness Blackgate Road, the 16:10 route 3A to Canvey Leigh Beck, the 17:31 route 3 to Shoeburyness Cambridge Hotel and the 19:05 route 3 back to Southend where the service terminated and dead to the garage. Took 10, not too busy.
Second half spare until midnight but not called out and released at 22:45.

Wednesday May 31st, 1967


Lowlander 328, we didn't need the tow truck on this duty
Weather warmish and close, hazy sun
In by bus for a 14:55 sign on.
Out in Lowlander 328 on the 15:13 route 8 Southend Central Station to Rayleigh High Street, the 16:01 route 8 to Shoeburyness Cambridge Hotel, the 17:11 route 7 back to Rayleigh then the 18:17 route 1 to Southend Victoria Circus arriving at 18:55 where handed over.
After a break, more of the same, in Lowlander 332 on the 19:58 route 7 from Southend to Shoeburyness Cambridge Hotel, the 20:26 route 8 to Rayleigh High Street and the 21:31 route 8 back to Southend where handed over at 22:13. Finally one loop of 29A ('IN' which ever that way was) and back to the garage, finished officially at 23:06 but managed to walk out of the garage at 22:50 and catch a route 3 home.

Thursday June 1st, 1967


Lowlander 323 when new at Shoeburyness Cambridge Hotel
Weather dry, close, a little sun
Up at 11:30 and in by car for a 12:10 sign on to do 2 hours overtime.
Out in Lowlander 323, route 1 Southend to Rayleigh High Street, route 7 to Shoeburyness and route 8 back to Southend Central Station where handed over. The 7 was very busy, took 6 on the one trip.
The overtime was due to finish at 14:46, then signed on at 14:59 for my main duty.
Canvey for a change, route 3 from Southend to Canvey Leigh Beck, route 3 back to Shoeburyness and route 3 back to Southend Victoria Circus where handed over.
After a break, second half in Bridgemaster 322, route 7 from Southend to Rayleigh High Street, route 1 back to Southend, route 1 back to Rayleigh and route 7 back to Southend Central Station. Then in PD2 287 on route 17 from Central Station to Eastwood Woodcutters Arms, route 17 to Temple Sutton Schools and route 17 back to Southend. First time on the 17 to Temple Sutton so not sure of the route. Finished at 23:20.

Friday June 2nd, 1967


299 at Thorpe Bay Corner
Weather sunny and warm
Up at 11 and in by bus for a 13:00 sign on. WAR until 13:48 then in PD2 299 on short service route 7s, Central Station to Kursaal, to Hockley Spa, to Kursaal, to Central Station where handed over. Quite quiet (for us) - on reaching Victoria Circus on the 7 from Spa to Kursaal, the 7 that should have been 15 mins in front and the 8 that should have been 7 mins in front were both unloading full buses. We were on time!
Second half in 339, the 16:23 route 3 from Southend to Shoeburyness, the 16:50 route 3 to Canvey Leigh Beck, the 18:21 route 3A to Cambridge Hotel and the 19:45 route 3 to Victoria Circus and dead to garage (the 3/3A service reduced from every 10 mins to every 20 mins around that time, hence the return to garage rather than a handover). The trip to Canvey was busy - we were at Benfleet Station just before 6, filled up and left another bus load behind.
Finish about 20:15.

Pay for the week 19/12/11 which after deductions (including 10s8d for shorts) gave me 14/3/11 in my pocket.

And that's the end of my first 9 weeks as a conductor, resigned because I wanted to take a holiday and due to restart on Monday July 9th.

I'd worked on 54 days with just 7 days off, conducted on at least 41 different buses and made 46 trips to Rayleigh.

Monday June 5th, 1967

Weather sunny and hot
In by car to the garage in London Road to hand in my uniform - a friend from school was starting that day, collecting his uniform. Then to the Civic Centre to pick up my pay for last week and that's it until July.

Leyland Atlantean/Park Royal demonstrator KTD551C
While I was away, I missed the visit of Atlantean demonstrator KTD551C, seen here in London Road, Southend.
For the third part of my diary of a summer on the buses, click here.