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Thursday, 12 June 2014

Stop the Bus - The Driver Wants to Get Off...

A Guernsey bus travels along the Esplanade

'Which way do we go now?' The voice echoed along the length of the bus. 

Everyone looked round.  Could it be one of the passengers? No, it was the bus driver, a capable-looking woman in her mid thirties, who had managed to get lost.  

Whenever I visit  Guernsey, the tiny Channel Island where I was born, I love to relive my childhood by riding on public transport -  retro green buses which have stayed much the same since the sixties.

So there we were, on a warm May day,  motoring  through the narrow winding roads  when we heard the plaintive voice from the front. 'Sorry everyone, but  I've only lived here four weeks.'

'It's left,' piped up the man in front of me. 'And I should know - I've lived here all my life.' Other directions soon followed thick and fast.  As we approached the junction, the driver radioed for help. 'I'm lost on Route 42.'

 Complicated instructions from  Head Office soon echoed across the airwaves.

'Don't listen to that - go left,' said the man in front of me again. 'You'll never get back on  the  route.'

We turned left but  minutes later the bus got stuck on a steep bend.  The traffic stopped and we all held our breath through a mesmerising 16-point manoeuvre.

When the hapless driver made it back to town,  we all gave a round of applause.

 I remember once when I was a child, the regular  bus driver pulled up at a remote stop on the far side of the island and sounded the horn. Out of a cottage door  came an elderly lady who made her way slowly down the pathway with the aid of a walking stick, while the rest of the passengers patiently looked on.

'Thanks for waiting. Bill,' the only lady said,  as she settled down into her favourite seat.  'I'm running a bit late today.'

It could only happen in Guernsey.

Photograph courtesy of Visit Guernsey



Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

An adventure ! Love the photo. This is such a charming story and reminds me of living on a military base and being able to ride the "shuttle bus".

Guernsey Girl said...

Oh, Francie - I bet you have lots of fascinating stories to tell about living on a military base, too. One of these days I might ask you about them! Really lovely to hear from you again :)

Barbara Fisher said...

Hello Marilyn, I can’t believe we’ve never visited Guernsey! It’s something we’ve talked about often enough but just never got around to. The ‘photos are stunning and I loved the tale of the hapless bus driver, thanks for sharing it.