Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Three Colours Red, Part Two: Red buses

Yeah, I know that the Edinburgh red buses are not strictly red in colour more like maroon, but if ye live in Edinburgh, everybody calls them red buses. This distinguishes them from the green buses, which tend to travel to more outlying rural areas.

Oot o aw the red buses, the one that I have the fondest memories o is the number 42 bus. This was a braw bus. Bobrob & me could catch this bus just at the corner o oor street & it took us aw where. We normally walked doon tae Alien Orders bit to muck aboot wi him, but sometimes we just hopped on the 42 & for a few pence got a wee run doon the road.

Then me & bobrob used tae get the 42 oan a Saturday doon to ma Gran's at Craigentinny. Once there we mucked aboot wi ma cousins, going doon tae Porty, Seafield, the Golfy, Porty Dump, The George Picturehoose & plenty o other places.

A good thing aboot the 42 was that it's route was a circle. This meant that if it was a cold or rainy day, if ye kept yer eyes open when ye were waiting oan the 42, if one wasnae coming from one direction you could sometimes git it goin the other way. So if you left Porty near the Toon Hall you could git it going roond Duddingston, doon past the Kings Buildings & then up Causewayside, rather than up Marionville Road, along London Road, roond St Andrews Square & then up the Mound & hame.

Also, on yon auld red buses, wi the driver & the conductor, you could sometimes skive yer fare & spend the cash oan sweeties or comics. Braw!

Aye, I have fond memories of the auld red buses. They were our way of getting a wee bit of freedom to cross the city & explore other remote (or so it seemed to us back in the day) areas. And the 42 bus was only one of many. The 41 was a great bus too, but yon's another tale for another day!

Bobrob & me tried to get a 42 bus aboot a year or so ago to revisit auld haunts. We stood for ages at the 42 bus stop, till we discovered that it still existed, but it didnae go anywhere near the auld route it used tae take. So we ended up having to take another bus tae Porty instead. Just no the same!




Alien Orders said...

My favourite memory o' the 42 wis that I used tae get it tae work, and on the way hame on payday I used tae jump off at Forrest Road and go tae the 2nd hand record market in thon hall where Oddfellows was. Used tae pick up some barry LPs that the skint students had tae sell. Still got a lot o' the reggae stuff ah bought, and thon Prince Far-I albums are well sought efter these days too.

Buses now have a flat fare, but back then you paid by the amount o stages ye went which wis a pain in the erse. Ah worked at Meadowbank and the stop ah got off at wis one stop intae the next stage, so technically ye had tae pay an extra 2 bob or somethin'. That wis pish cos for tae go that one stop ye were payin a fair that would have took ye tae Porty Toon Hall but ye were only goin aboot 400 yards. Fuck that I thought and just used tae pay the minimum.

Now the drivers couldnae gie a sook but there was a wee jobsworth inspector used sometimes tae git on in the mornings at London Rd.

One mornin I wis half asleep and he checked ma ticket. When we git tae the end o Marionville Rd he's pulled us up in front o' awbody and gied us an ultimatum git off at the stop before of pay the 2 bob. Ye could see the driver and aw the folk lookin' at him like he was a right fanny, which he clearly was. Ah just got off, after tellin him as much.

Next day he's there again checks the ticket (same fare)and when we get tae Marionville Road he tells the driver tae stop the bus and he's giein' it "ah telt you yesterday" "git off the bus" and aw that. Ah jist sat oan ma erse. He's beelin and comes marchin'ower tae me giein' it laldy, neck veins standin' oot, the lot.

I of course had anticipated this scenario and so had got up early that day and walked up Causewayside tae the next stage, so the amount I had paid wis the right fare.
Ah calmly telt him tae dae his job right and check the ticket. He snatched it oot ma hand and I could see his pus being visibly "seekined" in front o'my eyes when he realised he'd been duped.

Now it wis always the same folk oan the early bus, so thay had aw witnessed the day before's carry oan. Awbody wis pishin' themselves cos ah daft punk rocker laddie had got one over oan him. The driver had a big auld shit eatin' grin oan his face and wis strugglin no tae laugh.

He congratulated me heartily the next morning. Aparantly ah wis a legend fir a day at the Seafield depot canteen.

bobrob said...

Ah the rid buses! They wir a bit like the greyhounds ye seen oan the films, bit thir wir nae cactus plants oan oor bus route.
The 42 wiz the route 66 oh the bus routes an as Arkos said it wiz a circle.
Thir wir other bus routes tae ootside bits o the toon an ah aye said thit some oh thum had a funny smell oan thum. Ah used tae call it the "poor smell" The number 7 route aye hud a poor smell tae it. Nivvir mind ah suppose thit smells will be another tale at the High Wall. But before ah forget ah goat knocked oot oan a 42 bus! It wiz doon at meadowbank. Ah hud jist picked up a burd thit ah kennt an we wir aff up the toon. This gadgie is gittin oaf the bus an he trips an faws doon the stairs. The burd ahm wi bursts oot laughin (ah must admit ah hud a snigger tae). Well the gadgie comes back up the stairs an he fuckin pissed aff! Hes pus is shoutin murder! Well ahm sittin in the corner oan the back seat an the lassie is oan ma left. The gadgie comes steamin up tae us an belts the lassie in the mooth! Ah try tae git up bit the lassie hus goat me blocked in. Before ah ken whit hus happened ah git a quer dint oan the side oh ma heid an the lights go oot. Ah wakes up at the end oh London road wi a bit lump oan ma heid an a heidache like a russian birthday party. Memories oh the 42 ah tell ye.

naldo said...

Teeheehee....digin yer tales o the buses, gadgies. Must admit tho, fae ma west side o the city, they were ay known as maroon buses. 26 was ma fave cos it went past the ice rink, nearish tae Tynie, up toon, tae Meadowbank and on tae Porty.

The terminus wis close tae ma bit and we liked to wind up drivers and conductors a bit. Used tae ask if they had 4 quid worth o tanners fir the shows. They'd count it aw oot an gie it "Where's yer £4 then?" and we'd go, "Nah, we dinnae want the change, just wondered if ye had it fir yirsel likes, ya dafty."

Maroon is makin a bitto a come back on LRT by the way - bout time too.