Models of Days Gone

I was just finishing washing the car today when a small convoy of old buses and coaches stopped to re-group on the main carriageway just over the fence outside my front door. By the time I grabbed the camera they had started to move off but these last drivers spotted me with the camera and slowed right down to give me a few extra seconds to grab the shots. They were obviously just returning from a show somewhere on the Ards Peninsula.

Looking at them took me back to my boyhood days through to early married life (we were married 47 years ago on 12th Sept)s. Memories of standing at Ardoyne village with my dad at 7.30 am on cold dark winter mornings waiting for a double-decker bus to work. I was heading for Short Bros and Harland aircraft factory while he got off at the bottom of Donegal Street and made his way to the Belfast Docks.

So often we had to run to catch the bus as it pulled away from the stop. We ran as fast as we could, grabbed the vertical hand rail and pulled ourselves on to the already overcrowded platform while hanging on like grim death. Nobody seemed to mind being squeezed tighter together and we just accepted the inevitable hot breath down your neck as someone’s face pushed right against your head or face. The conductor just squeezed himself further under the stairs to the upper deck until everyone got settled. Health and safety didn’t exist then.

Also memories of Sunday School excursions to Millisle from the Ligoniel Gospel Hall on the UTA (Ulster Transport Authority) single-decker. Now that was a real treat!! The only tablets we got then were for headaches and thankfully not that often.


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