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Midland Red at Digbeth

motorman-mike

Brum visitor who stayed.
Stitcher, No need to, why not stay on this one. Presevationist or not, busman or not here we can chew over times past on the Red buses (or off) at Digbeth and beyond. It's here for all to drop in on even if it's only for a look. I like to look in on everybodys Threads as you might have noticed from my five eggs in various baskets! It's up to you of course, as long as you keep inputting, we can still catch up with you whichever Thread you choose.
Mike
 
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Stitcher

Guest
MotormanMike, I said I may make you smile. This was when the Reds were running onto Chelmsly and the estate was not properly finished. Someone at Digbeth bet me ten bob I would not run the wrong route. I cant remember the numbers but I did the one that went close to Marston Green Hospital instead of going straight through Pine Square.
 

Lloyd

master brummie
I can remember when the 'old' canteen at Rea Street end of the depot acquired a number of road signs, and even a keep left bollard - which subsequently was wired to the mains and lit up!
There was a visit from head office, Engineering Manager Roger Harman saw them and quietly said as he left the canteen "See they all go back".
 
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Stitcher

Guest
Lloyd, That was the only canteen I knew at Digbeth and what you just described is what kept me sane while was there. Did you know a Parking Driver I think he would have been called. His name was Mickey Vaughn. Quite a few years after I left, his widow phoned me and asked me to attend his funeral.
 

Lloyd

master brummie
No I didn't know him, nor many of those who transferred to WMPTE at Moseley Road.
The two parking drivers I knew were Fred Maddocks (who emigrated to New Zealand when he retired) and Bert Rawlins who sadly passed away one morning while preparing to come to work. Later various people did that job for varying lengths of time, including Ray Scott, Peter Teale and Steve Pender.
 
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banjograham

Guest
I was at digbeth 1970-73, I once took a c12 newly painted to earlswood, cant remember the route number, anyway the bus looked brilliant with its new coat of paint. it had been snowing heavily, and when I turned into the lanes toward earlswood, it got more slippery, I was going downhill toward a dip, then a climb uphill, I saw a coal lorry coming also downhill toward me, I pulled into the side, stopped, applied handbrake, turned off engine, dropped it in gear, then walked back and sat down next to the only passenger I had on, and said watch this ?? the came on towards us, his back end slowly came outward across the road, and has he slid past us, he took out every o/s panel on my newly painted bus .... graham phipps
 
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Stitcher

Guest
Lloyd,it was when The red parked buses overnight in Adderly St. Another one was Jim james. It was still two man then.
 

john70

master brummie
John, Great pic, these were the first generation of "Showboats" the S13 followed by two batches of S15s. I heard they got the name from being dual purpose, the first black tops to appear on stage work when not on coaching work. My first time driving with passengers on was in 3928 was from a conducting show up on a January Saturday in 1964. Remember it like it was yesterday - a second portion Barston and a Marston Green Tavern with Clive Mann as conductor. The Barston went off fine but the 166 we left the Bus Station with a standing load. No problem until we got to Kingston Hill where the Blues were just turning out. In the traffic about halfway up I had to stop and on pulling away attempted a famous Midland Red snap change but S13s don't do snaps so with a face redder than the bus I crawled up the rest of the hill right round onto the Cov Road in first.
Ah yes, I remember it well....

Mike

Meanwhile back on the patch...
A thing I seem to remember about the "showboats" S13s when we were on splits is having to go to Benacre St. in the afternoons and finishing up with a "Showboat" for a second portion. My first driving on the road after my badge came through was in 3928 also Mike, my memories not as good as yours, but I think to Warwick & Kenilworth, with conductor Blackman, who was supposed to know the way but didn,t. John.
 

Lloyd

master brummie
I remember a story that one of the conductors told me in the 70's.
He was new to the job, and conducting a bus going to Warwick. All went well until a woman asked for "Dan Jeroo's Corner", and despite asking the driver and one or two other passengers, he couldn't make out where she wanted, and she knew no other name for the place. Just after Knowle, and before the canal bridge, where the road has a very sharp left bend, she jumps up calling "Stop! Here it is!".
Where she got off there was a large road sign saying "Dangerous Corner".
 

motorman-mike

Brum visitor who stayed.
MotormanMike, I said I may make you smile. This was when the Reds were running onto Chelmsly and the estate was not properly finished. Someone at Digbeth bet me ten bob I would not run the wrong route. I cant remember the numbers but I did the one that went close to Marston Green Hospital instead of going straight through Pine Square.

You're right Stitcher, I had to smile cos it was the wacky sort of thing going on then. Remember the prestige among the Warwick Road drivers of trying to beat the "record" for earliest in garage off the last Knowle. It was half an hour plus to my knowledge and bets were made on that. We often saw the last Knowle parked up by the flyover killing time cos a checker was on the gate, spoiling another attempt at the record. (mates often went up to Camp Hill by car to flag down buses running in when a checker was on the gate!) I never had a crack at the "record" as I stayed permanently on the Wythall sheet.
I seem to remember John(?) Godden went to Selly Oak, Did you know him?

Mike

Meanwhile out on the patch...
 
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Stitcher

Guest
Motorman mike, I remember a John Godden but he was not at Selly Oak with me.
 
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Stitcher

Guest
Motorman Mike, do you remember the Churchill twins at Digbeth?
 
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Stitcher

Guest
Who remembers the ten course medievil banquet at Symmonds Yatch? Somehow the transport was a motorway coach hired through the Midland Red Social Club. It was sometime close to 1975. It was when there was about 8 inches of snow on the ground although it had stopped falling.
 

Lloyd

master brummie
A rarity there, Mike! JCK 891 was not as would appear by its registration a Ribble coach, but was new to Auty, of Bury as their No 979. I assume they were taken over by North Western Road Car, as I see the number 979 appears on the front. Its body was by Burlingham of Blackpool. I assume it was registered by them as well to get the Preston 'CK' mark.
 

motorman-mike

Brum visitor who stayed.
Stitcher,
Crikey, that was a quick reply! Yep the Churchill twins and there was the Knight brothers as well, Eddie, Johnny and Ray, all still around the Redditch area. Eddie married a conductress, Dot, who couldn't stand the smokers on the top deck back then so used to keep opening all the windows even in the middle of winter. When she came downstairs all you could hear was the banging of windows being shut again 'til next time she had a fare up top to collect, off she went opening 'em up again and so it went on all through the duty. What a pantomime but entertaining for us driver's.

Another Parking Driver for you, was Arthur Salisbury at Adderley Street. If you remember we had an old gatehouse there with an open fire. Outside was a pile of coal and usually some wood. One freezing afternoon some of us were sat canting round the fire with Arthur when it got a bit low. "I've got to pay a visit over the road" said Arthur, meaning he was going over to the BCT garage for a trousers down, " and somebody make the fire up it's going cold in here". "OK" said Reg Harding, and as soon as Arthur had gone brought in enough wood to fill the fireplace and up the chimney as well. By the time Arthur got back the flames were shooting about four foot higher than the chimney pot! He went ballistic when he came in, Reg only laughed and said "well at least it ain't cold now Arth"

Mike
 
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Stitcher

Guest
Motormanmike, I remember most of that. My wife and I used to go out with Dot and Eddie, and sometimes Tony Evans and his wife Lidya would come as well. I remember Dot would stand on in an argument. We were in Eddies house one afternoon, Dot was not very well and while we were talking she came into the room on her hands and knees. She asked Edie to ring the Doctor and Eddie said he would do it when the adverts came on. She went ballistic. They were very happy really, and I am sure they did this sort of thing just to make people laugh.
 

motorman-mike

Brum visitor who stayed.
Thanks Lloyd, just shows, I never walked up the side of 979 at the time I took the photo, but quite pleased it's a rarity.
I got on really well with Bert Rawlins, he was a Gloucester bloke, I missed him around the garage. Maurice O'Conner was his opposite number at the time. Fred Maddocks used to sit in the green union cabin collecting subs by the pay window of a Thursday, talking of which do you remember "Mrs Thursday", Diddy Davids first wife, always there for her houskeeping money off Dave as soon as he opened his paypacket.

Mike
 

Lloyd

master brummie
Maurice was a 'foreman cleaner' at the time I knew him, but used to go out on breakdowns at times too. I went with him once to a Bristol RE from some northern company which had broken down on the M6 between Fort Dunlop and Corley, and had to tell him how to bleed the fuel pump on the Gardner engine in front of all the passengers - me in my driver's uniform telling him in overalls what to do!
Mrs Thursday - named after the then current TV show character - always appeared at the garage on payday, Thursday, to take the money as soon as he collected it. They divorced eventually and David remarried, but when his first wife passed on a few years back I think he had a small tear in his eye.

Characters one and all!
 

motorman-mike

Brum visitor who stayed.
It's 1962 and Digbeth's last remaining S6 3018 heads out of Mill Lane into Bradford Street to S.J.Taylor's scrap yard in Stafford towed by a Ford tipper lorry. Lloyd will be pleased to see Alltyres in the backgound. Looking at the spare wheel on the lorry, a visit to Alltyres might not go amiss!
 
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Lloyd

master brummie
Which bus, Mike? 3118 was an AD2, S6's were 3000-3099.
Here's the first one, brand new.
 
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