Normally I work on a Monday, usually up to Gordano services and back but last Monday a driver was down from the Midland depot for a few days to give me a rest. I had been working hard recently. He was bringing a coach load of people down from the Walsall area for a few days holiday here in beautiful Torquay. But the coach made it as far as Frankley services and refused to start. The fitter came out and got it going but then turned the engine off just to make sure it would start again. It didn’t. So he crawled back into the engine compartment and crossed a few wires while the passengers crossed their fingers. It started but needed some leisure time in the Garage in Tipton. So it was decided to ring me and get me to drive the spare coach that was parked at the hotel up to Gordano and get the passengers down to Torquay while the sick coach went back to the W.Midlands for repairs and recuperation. I got the phone call at 12:09 and was requested to get to Gordano as fast as legally possible. I was just on my way out to the pub, an hour and two pints later and we would have been in big trouble. At 2:30 I pulled into Gordano and loaded 40 passengers and their cases and headed to Torquay. Job well done. Not quite.
The coach that came down to Torquay went back on Tuesday with the intention of bringing some passengers back on Thursday. However the coach was enjoying sitting in the garage so much it refused to start. Fortunately there weren’t too many passengers heading for Torquay and it was possible to bring them in one of our luxury minibuses. There was a problem, there always is. First there were 26 guests wanting to go to the Theatre on Thursday night (two trips for the minibus). The second problem was bigger. Forty guests were expecting to go home on a coach on Friday morning and there wasn’t a coach in Torquay, it was in the garage in Tipton, W. Midlands. I would have to go up and get it using the minibus, but remember what the minibus was doing Thursday evening. That’s right, going to the theatre and back, twice. So at 11:30 Thursday night I set off and got back at 7:20 the next morning. A shower, shave, tooth brush and breakfast and we set of for Gordano, me asleep on the back seat and someone else driving. A coach came down to meet us laden with 45 passenger and I drove them to Torquay and I got back at 2:00 and went home for a sleep.
Bus drivers don’t have that much fun, I’ll bet.