Grabbing a cuppa and a bite to eat before the bosses arrived

The car park of the Fens shops appears to have been a terminus for Hartlepool Transport buses when this photograph was taken at some point in the 1960s

The car park of the Fens shops appears to have been a terminus for Hartlepool Transport buses when this photograph was taken at some point in the 1960s

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WITH regards to the photograph of the two double decker buses on the Fens car park (Memory Lane, October 6), I would agree that it was around 1960 to 1970, at about 5.30am to 7am.

It was probably during July or August as the shadows of the vehicles and lamp post place the sun low in the sky in the east.

It was probably taken on a week day and not a Sunday.

It would be a reasonable statement to say that, like all bus drivers of those times on Corporation Transport, I drove both of those two vehicles many times.

You can see from the snapshot that the driver’s door is of the sliding type much preferred by many drivers.

They gave better access to get behind the wheel, and the door could be left open in hot weather for cooling the driver’s cab.

Those Leyland models were of the latest type, much better all round for passengers and crew.

The reason for the buses being on the car park at that time of the day was for the crew to gulp down a quick cup of tea and a bite to eat before the inspectors came on duty.

Only one inspector was around at 4.30am to 8am.

He was confined to the depot, booking staff in and calling others out for cover if he was short.

So, as the saying goes, when the cat’s away the mice will play.

So we did.

All good clean fun, and the buses still ran on time.

Someone in Hartlepool must have a photograph of about six or seven buses, all parked herringbone fashion facing Goodall’s newsagent shop, again early morning.

Now that’s a sight worth seeing.

Ending on a personal note, if anyone knows of a Leyland bus in need of restoration or fully restored, with sliding driver’s door of the type in the photograph, I would be interested.

I can be contacted on (01429) 299307.

Ralph Bantoft,

Burwell Walk,

Hartlepool.