Suffolk Sound Archive -- Ipswich Transport Project: interview. Sample containing about 11745 words speech recorded in leisure context

2 speakers recorded by respondent number C337

PS22L X m (No name, age unknown) unspecified
PS22M Ag5 m (Albert, age 71, retired transport administrator) unspecified

1 recordings

  1. Tape 093501 recorded on 1987-06-08. LocationSuffolk: Ipswich () Activity: interview

Undivided text

(PS22L) [1] This is an oral history project tape, my name is and I am interviewing of Ipswich.
[2] This is tape one of recording number two of the Ipswich Transport Project.
[3] The date is the eighth of June nineteen eighty seven.
[4] Right, oh thank you Mr .
[5] Mm I wonder if you would start of by telling me where you were born?
Albert (PS22M) [6] Yes, well er [laugh] I'm Ipswich bred and born.
[7] I was actually erm born in although most of is gone now for the development of the grounds.
[8] The house that I was actually born in is still there, number twenty five er after a while I moved across the road to a bigger house when, cos my mother had an another son and a daughter and then we moved over to the , so when we were quite a bit in the Stoke area.
[9] Stoke area was chosen I suppose because my father worked on the railway and you either worked on the railway or if [laugh] you lived over Stoke, it was well known for that.
[10] Erm twenty second of July nineteen sixteen so I'm a first war baby.
[11] ... I then er, we then broke away and went up to the er, I suppose it's the, I don't know what part of the, but it's the Dales, that's where I moved to then and then to because my dad couldn't, getting on in years, he couldn't take the hills up and then from I got married and we moved into this address here and then that was the day after war was declared that I got married.
(PS22L) [12] [...] thirty, thirty nine.
Albert (PS22M) [13] Yes, yeah fourth of September nineteen thirty nine and course erm the erm and six months after the,aft to the day really, I erm went into the forces and served in the Army for just over six years.
(PS22L) [14] Right, well [...] did you, you went to school obviously locally?
Albert (PS22M) [15] Yes.
(PS22L) [16] When did you leave school?
Albert (PS22M) [17] Well, actually I left school, I think it was the either tenth or eleventh of November nineteen thirty one and I went straight into the Transport Department and I think my record will show that I actually started there on the twelfth of November nineteen thirty one.
(PS22L) [18] W w why is it that you went straight from school into the
Albert (PS22M) [19] Well er I
(PS22L) [20] Did you apply to go?
Albert (PS22M) [21] No I didn't apply, I erm, although I was interviewed for the job.
[22] How it turned out was that we er, I was attending the, what was called the Secondary Modern School and we'd moved premises from up to.
[23] Well I was a bleeding age but I hadn't got a job and erm I decided to keep on and we actually used a lot of our August summer holidays to help move the stuff from to School.
[24] I hung on there until, well my fifteenth birthday was in the July and it was November before I actually left.
[25] What happened was I happened to be in the corridors there and the gentleman came in, that's on the Friday afternoon, gentleman came in and asked to see the Headmaster, so I took him along to see who was the Headmaster then, and erm shortly after that I was called up to see and erm asked me if I'd like to apply for this job because had seen me erm bringing me up to, bringing him up to see and he said erm, well what about that young fella who brought me up there and would he like to apply.
[26] So I went down there and er well I suppose fell in love with the job right away.
[27] It was good, everybody had told me that erm, you know, you didn't get very much money when you left school, about ten shillings and to offer me fifteen shillings I thought was out of this world, so erm
(PS22L) [28] Wh what did you actually start as?
Albert (PS22M) [29] Well I suppose a very junior clerk, the first job I was given was, well it's unheard of in this day and age but what they had was what they call a bundi clock and there every driver and conductor had got a key that was inserted in this clock and on it was his personal number, well [clears throat] when he reported for duty, he inserted this key into the clock, turned the handle and stamped on to a piece of paper, a roll of paper, his number and the time he reported and the next day it was my job to go through and record from this piece of paper how many minutes they were late f reporting for duty and if they erm were more than, I think about three or four minutes we had to send them a memo telling them, that's how things were in those days that people were, they toed the line or else.
[30] So it was a case there, and course at the end of the day you rolled the little roll up, put elastic round and stood them up in a file and they stood there like little [laughing] soldiers [] and you could always go back to the actual time, sometimes you found a man hadn't re erm signed on, he'd just gone and joined his bus up in town centre, well you, that was er subject of another letter.
[31] So, you know, they were very strict in those days.
[32] Erm, that carried on for a while, I thought I was doing very very well, being able to do a job like that.
[33] It's the first job [laughing] I'd ever had [] you see, and then erm I, I suppose my next job was erm recording the bus mileage.
[34] In those days they didn't use mileometers, what they did was they took any particular route number and the number of journeys they did, because in those days a bus kept on a route which applied, say between Witton and Rushmere Heath all day, didn't run around like they do nowadays and erm when the schedules were prepared, each bus had got a route number or was placed on a route number, say one Witton, two Witton, three Witton and a copy of its schedule was recorded on another sheet and the mileage, having known what the mileage was and we'd used to obtain that from the Borough Surveyor's Department, er I think it was about nine point one four miles a return trip Witton and Rushmere Heath, er you'd work out how many journeys they did there and say well that bus was due to run a hundred and twenty six miles during the day.
[35] Well sometimes they didn't do that f for reason, perhaps a driver missed his duty or there was a defect on the bus and you used to get a record each day of what we call lost mileage or an extra mileage perhaps on the odd occasion when an extra journey was run but erm the lost mileage was recorded and say you had this bus was due to run a hundred and twenty six miles, it didn't for some reason complete its erm hundred percent journey, you'd take that off and then record against that bus that, that run say hundred and twenty miles.
[36] Now that was, the reason that all this mileage was done because that mileage is the basis for which all statistical information is recorded.
[37] Speeds per mile, pence per mile, cost per mile and everything is erm referred back to the mileage run by an undertaking during its year, week or what have you.
[38] It also, in those days was mileage for the tyres was paid on the number of miles run per tyre, so at the end of the month you could record, you knew what tyres were on a certain bus, you knew of how many miles that bus had done, so you recorded that particular tyre on that bus had run so many miles and it was that that we paid for our tyres that way.
[39] I think it was round about a ha'penny a mile in those days.
[40] We had to pay er there was two lots of erm tyres, there was one set of buses were fitted with and another one with or I forget which it was there but I know those three were involved at some time or other and we used to record the mileage, send it off to them, showing what each bus ran during the month.
[41] How many days it was out of service and this that and the other and erm they used to send us an invoice on the mileage run because at the same time we knew what tyres were on the bus we had to inform them of any tyre changes and they kept records the same as us.
(PS22L) [42] So you didn't actually buy the tyres then you were sort of an overseer
Albert (PS22M) [43] No we didn't buy tyres, no they were tyre mileage rates and erm mileage was the, tyres were paid for on the mileage run.
(PS22L) [44] How long did that go on for?
Albert (PS22M) [45] Oh, it did, went on for up to the time I retired.
[46] It maybe still the same now, erm because right up to the time I erm retired we, we had on occasions to pay for the residual value of a tyre, perhaps a bus had been in accident and the tyre had suffered damage which it wasn't possible to repair it or retread it, perhaps a hole had been pierced through the wall, they scrapped that tyre and we had to pay for the residual value, mind you being in accident we could then claim it off the insurance company but, so right up to the time I retired that's how tyres were paid for.
[47] I mean we could never have paid for all those tyres and when I retired the erm, they actually had a tyre fitter supplied and paid for by they were the, they took over the whole of the tyre maintenance, they had a tyre fitter down there and he used to go up to depot, change any tyres over there that were necessary, he inspected them each day and changed them over but of course he was notifying erm at the same time.
[48] Over the years we didn't have quite so much work to do with recording which tyre was on which bus because he took it over, but it was right up until I retired in, well five years ago that we were paying tyres that way.
(PS22L) [49] Where actually were you working?
[50] In this early part, where were you
Albert (PS22M) [51] At , I never moved from there.
[52] We erm, we hadn't got a lot of room for expansion down there, we were in, when I joined the department it was known as the Ipswich T Electric Supply and Transport Department and er [...] we were in some buildings which were rented from the Electric Supply Department which housed the generators for the electricity, so we hadn't got a lot of room for expansion there, I think we were all confined into about three offices.
(PS22L) [53] What were they like [...] well the facilities there like?
Albert (PS22M) [54] Well they were two storey buildings, we had one office which was partitioned off for us clerks and the other half was for the traffic superintendent who was responsible, directly responsible to the general manager of the Ipswich Electric Supply and Transport Departments, so erm and then we had another office adjoining that which was a store room because in those days we used to have to erm record and keep in safekeeping all lost property, [laughing] no end of things we used to have [] but we, you know, we used to have pigeon holes and lost property that was brought in, was placed into these pigeon holes it'd be Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.
[55] We'd keep them for a fortnight in those pigeon holes because most people claim stuff if they realize where they'd left it within a day or two and then as the weeks went round we used to take stuff out of there and just lump it altogether, having duly labelled it up and erm record it and [...] used to have tuppence an item if anybody [laugh] lost anything.
[56] Odd gloves we never used to charge for [laugh] had to get rid of them and er so apart from those two offices er there was immediately above us was a biggish office spreading over these two blocks of offices, called the ticket office and there at that time about eleven girls working in it on tickets.
[57] Er nearer the actual bus garage was what was called the depot office and the paying in room.
[58] Now the depot office the they in those days controlled what a man's duties were for the next day and a man didn't know what he was on until about twelve o'clock one day what he was on the next day.
[59] In those days a man was allocated duties, it is true they tried to arrange that he was on early spread, medium or late duties but it didn't always work out because of holidays, sickness or [...] that but erm there were no restriction on hours.
[60] In those days a man would run in about half past eleven at night and he could very well be on an early shift the next day.
[61] There was no sort of law against erm employing people without a certain amount of rest and erm that was employed, er that was occupied that office from first thing in the morning when the bus went out from five o'clock [clears throat] and erm he would, the depot clerk would go off round about dinner time, there'd be his relief who came on at nine o'clock and worked with him until dinner time and he'd carry on till five and then we had, what was called, the cashiers come on duty then, there was a cashier and erm a hand.
[62] It was a shed hand actually, he didn't, wasn't responsible for cash although he helped the cashier and er, I well remember this erm ... in those days the conductor used to either run into depot with the bus or he'd get relief on the Cornhill, he walked down to the depot carrying his cash in his cash bag and then he'd sit in the paying in room and he'd laboriously cam carried out his cash, piling the pennies into stacks, the ha'pennies, the tokens, the sixpences, every denomination.
[63] Then he would place them on one of the old time boards which was er board about nine inches by nine inches and then hand that through the pigeon hole to the cashier and in front of him that cashier would laboriously count that money and agree the total there and then.
[64] You can well imagine when all the buses ran in between eleven and half past eleven that there was a mad scramble to get their cash in and [laughing] someone [] , very often somebody's cash would get knocked off the board, so there was a scramble on the floor.
[65] But that's how cash was counted in those days and erm, the waybill was marked to agree with a man's statement of what his cash added up to and then the cash next day was counted up bolt because there was Priory Heath to take care of, although that wasn't a media when I first went down there, that opened later on, but there was the two got to be married together and then conveyed to the bank the next day, or, on the Monday if it was a Saturday or Sunday.
[66] But that sort of thing went on in those days, money was physically handled all the time.
[67] It was in the later days that you gradually got the ... the buses were then fitted with these, these safes, they've got the safes on the ticket machines on the buses, whereby every man's cash working on that bus that day went into a vault on the bus.
[68] The vaults were then changed at night or when the bus had finished service and then were counted by a different means, they were counted by machine coin counters and er so, instead of say erm what, sixty or seventy conductors paying in their money, this was all erm on the bus, so there may have been five or six drivers had worked that bus that day and all the takings he'd taken during the time was all in this night safe in this vault.
[69] So er, you know, things did progress a great deal.
(PS22L) [70] With so much cash about, was there any, any problems with security?
Albert (PS22M) [71] No, because er I always put it down to the fact that most of our takings were in coin, it was very seldom that you had a pound note, you possibly had a ten pound note in those days but most of it was coinage and the cash when it was married up, was put into steel bound wooden boxes.
[72] They was made that two men had to lift 'em, so there was hardly likely that any thief was gonna get in there and run off with one of these boxes cos you'd never lift it.
[73] So, you know, it, it, it, never at any time was paper money to the fore, you didn't get very much.
[74] The most time was on Fridays when the drivers and conductors or fitters, everybody used to get their pay packet which was mostly in notes they would immediately go to the depot [...] and say, can I [laughing] change it [] .
[75] So that's, that's the only time that we really had lots and lots of notes.
(PS22L) [76] Did you have to wear a uniform to go to work?
Albert (PS22M) [77] Not me, no the drivers and conductors and inspectors, they had a uniform and it was seen that they did wear it.
[78] Just before my time down there, if a man reported for work with a dirty collar or something like that you were sent home.
[79] He wasn't allowed to work that day, so people turned up in a white shirt and tie and looking smart, they had to wear uniforms even a cap but unfortunately nowadays, although a lot of the I have seen quite a few people their uniform has changed since I left, but erm they do come to work in very very casual work now.
[80] Casual wear, jeans and [laughing] open necked shirts [] , no caps,no
(PS22L) [81] Mm.
Albert (PS22M) [82] but erm
(PS22L) [83] There was no, no uniform for the office, so you had to provide your own?
Albert (PS22M) [84] No, no just went in ordinary civilian wear, girls sometimes had some overalls because they were handling the ticket boxes, they were metal, they got wet, they rusted up and that was a filthy job for there was really, in those days it was a two box system, a man drew his box which contained a certain amount of tickets of different variable classes and erm, it was listed on a waybill, he was given a half an hour to check his box and join his bus at town centre.
[85] So he, he sat in the mess room there and checked his box against the tickets which were shown on the waybill.
[86] If he agreed it he signed it and put the to which that was called a total waybill.
[87] He placed it in the box and that eventually returned itself to the ticket office.
[88] He also had another er, what we call a journey waybill and that, he used to record on there at each termini he used to record the time and the ticket numbers that he'd got in his rack at that particular time, so it could be seen between certain times that a ticket perhaps was sold between Witton and Rushmere Heath.
[89] We didn't ask them to do Electric House because that would have meant that you'd gotta have enough lines there to take a bus timing every half an hour because Witton, well every quarter of an hour really.
[90] [...] Witton to Electric House quarter of an hour, Electric House to Rushmere Heath, quarter of an hour and it did the reverse direction.
[91] So it [...] meant every quarter of an hour you were asking a man to record his numbers, so we boiled it down to termini.
[92] Witton, Rushmere, Vauxhall Road, London Road and those sort of places.
[93] So that was the journey waybill and that was handed in at the end of the day and from that and a visual check of the tickets that were returned by him to the ticket office, they could tell which tickets were missing and therefore they were sold to him and er ... there be, there was the odd shortages but in those days if anybody was short in his takings by, I think it was about sixpence in those days, he was the subject of a another warning by letter and if he persisted, well then he was brought in to see the Traffic Superintendent who erm, could suspend him for two or three days, so he lost pay for two or three days.
[94] Discipline was very very strict in those days but of course with the war coming on and lots of those men going to the forces, things changed drastically during that time and discipline was somewhat more lax after the war.
[95] Every one of those men who went in the forces, who lived to tell the tale, was given their jobs back when they came back, because their jobs were replaced by women during the war, drivers and conductors, they were replaced by women and as the men came back, so the women were paid off, so everybody who came back from the war was given their job back.
(PS22L) [96] So before the war y you, you did the mileages and you did the clocking on and clocking off [...]
Albert (PS22M) [97] Yes yes.
(PS22L) [98] What other jobs did you do?
Albert (PS22M) [99] Well lost property, I already touched on, that was one of my jobs and then [clears throat] erm, we called it the ticket book, that was for want of some other name I suppose.
[100] It was the record per week of the different classes of tickets that were sold.
[101] Penny, tuppence, three ha'penny returns and every denomination of tickets was recorded so that you so showed the erm number of tickets, erm it was possible for a at the end of the week to record what the takings were, per route and the mileage and so, as I told you before, the mileage played a great importance in that you were able to say how much that route was producing per mile run and the erm, [laughing] in those days [] it, the erm [clears throat] the receipts worked out, daily receipts, weekly receipts and the progressive total in that year, were always published by the Ipswich Evening Star, round about Tuesday or Wednesday and if you missed them, there'd be somebo member of the public ringing up to why, answer why [laughing] you hadn't put it in [] , it was, you know, looked upon then you were, were public transport and the public [laughing] team [] that you belonged to them.
[102] They they thought they had the right to boss you around.
[103] I pay for your salaries, cos we were, in those days, on the rates.
[104] Any erm deficiency at the end of the financial year was made up by a rate demand, erm so i the it wasn't the same in all municipal undertakings, some of them were allowed to carry forward their balances but Ipswich, whether it was erm, er by law or er a, oh I don't know what it be, perhaps needed that they got to be, the erm balance of the year had to be balanced at the end of the year, so you had a rate demand and of course that rate demand went on to the next year's rates.
[105] So i more often than not we were on the rates and of course the public say, oh I'm paying your [laughing] salaries [] .
(PS22L) [...]
(PS22L) [106] So you can imagine that erm, er during the war of course,th they buses made [...] because they made to the trolley buses made plenty of money because erm, labour was cheap and erm, you had the soldiers they were, lot of them, no other form of transport, petrol rationing and that, so the buses really did come into their own during the war. [clears throat]
(PS22L) [107] [...] du during this during, before the war, it was trolley buses?
Albert (PS22M) [108] Yes, yes.
(PS22L) [109] When did the motor buses come in?
Albert (PS22M) [110] I think the first ones we had were about nineteen thirty six I believe.
[111] My memory doesn't er, is not all that clear on it.
[112] But there were certainly trolley buses when I went there in nineteen thirty one and trolley buses first came in in nineteen twenty three and it was all trolley buses by nineteen twenty six.
[113] Erm, motor buses came in, I, I can't recall, I think now on reflection that it was after the war, motor buses came in.
[114] Erm nineteen forty eight, forty nine, something like that.
[115] I, I couldn't be adamant about the date of those but er c the reason that motor buses came in is because it was too costly to extend trolley bus routes.
(PS22L) [116] With, with putting up new, new cables?
Albert (PS22M) [117] Yes,you you've got to extend the route, well of course you've got to put up, trolley poles every for about forty yards and then of course there was two lengths of trolley wire that had to go because as you know trolley buses used to have two arms, positive and negative supply and er, of course the bus had to come back er alongside the premiu the outward route, it come on, so you had four wires up there and the cost of copper wire was terrific so the motor buses were developed and we expenim experimented with the buses on, on extensions mainly but when the extensions were finished we then begradged because trolley wires were then beginning to wear out, rather than replace them they would convert a trolley route into a bus route, and erm because the erm, there was a lot of people hated to see the demise of the trolley buses because they were so clean and silent [laugh] and the buses came, you got the deal sloke and lumbering of the old engines, that a lot of people hated to see the trolley buses go but cos that was the, the reason that they went.
[118] They were very very reliable because erm, the motive power was in a motor, electric motor, not a lot of parts to go wrong but er once you started the motor buses they had to send people away to to be taught the mechanics of motor buses, so you had the old die-hards of the fetters, trolley buses, who never did take to motor buses and course the younger ones came into their own then, who were able to adapt to the modern motor bus.
(PS22L) [119] Do you remember what you were paid at the outbreak of the war?
Albert (PS22M) [120] Well, yes, I, I, I did merely remark about it, I think I got fifteen shillings per week.
(PS22L) [121] That was when you started in nineteen thirty one?
Albert (PS22M) [122] Yeah, when I started in nineteen thirty one and in those days you got a rise every six months and I got a one and three rise after they'd been there six months and at the year I was earning seventeen and six.
[123] Now I got married in nineteen thirty nine and my wage then was forty eight and sixpence and that's how my wages were and erm
(PS22L) [124] How did that wage compare to the, to drivers and, and conductors?
Albert (PS22M) [125] Well it was a wee bit under because I was only an office clerk, I, I wasn't the junior but by then had come there and there were other, other clerks, some girls who'd come into the office and I'd got a little bit of step up you see and took over a little bit more important work, erm, I did just before I went in the Army have a dabble at erm running times, that was preparing the schedules for buses.
[126] For some unknown reason before the war we used to have a route change every year.
[127] If the buses ran from Bramford Road to Lattice Barn one year, they'd decide they'd send them from Bramford Road to Bourne Bridge the next.
[128] They were always changing them to try and balance up the take I suppose, on each, each leg of the route and there was always was the chief clerk then and him and I got on very well together and he really initiated me into running times.
[129] I didn't do very important part of it because erm, it was, sometimes you'd get the same sort of schedule.
[130] A bus would repeat itself every hour and he'd say, run that one down, or that was running it down hour after hour until about seven o'clock when certain buses were run in.
[131] The other buses were either spread out in their running time or cut down to form the evening frequency which was less than what it was during the peak time and so I, you know, I'd, I'd left it at then, when I went in the forces then, he carried on.
[132] I came out of the forces, he was only waiting for the time that I came out, for him to retire.
[133] He hung on until I came out and I was given embarkation leave or demob leave rather and I didn't even have a chance to have that, they wanted me down there so quickly, I think I came out of the forces one week and I was working down there the following week because was way past his retiring age.
[134] Though er, I really got into that, I was forced into it, I never had a time to think about it, I was wanted there, I who was the Traffic Superintendent then.
[135] He was very very tolerant with me and he brought me back into it without a lot of undue pressure and erm because transport wasn't my life but I'd sort of dedicated myself to it.
[136] I, I got stuck in, I used to bring stuff home at night to work on and er there were no exams to sit then, you just sort or did it by, you either could or you couldn't do it.
(PS22L) [137] That's on disk.
[138] W w w what did you actually do during the war? [...] went away?
Albert (PS22M) [139] Well
(PS22L) [140] Is that transport related or
Albert (PS22M) [141] No, it wasn't transport related, I knew that my, my group, because everybody was placed in a certain group by age and, er I knew that I was due to go and I thought oh well this is hanging around you sort of wanted to get on with it.
[142] I volunteered for the Grenadier Guards, well I had to go to Chelsea Barracks and after a week there, they decided that I wasn't medically fit for them, although the doctor or the M O at the Ipswich Recruiting Officer said, oh yes, you're A one you'll be fine for the guard but cos I was fairly well built, stature wise.
[143] Oh, yes, you're just the sort of bloke we're looking for for the guards.
[144] So I fell for it and I volunteered for the Guards, but after a week, they decided I, I'd got flat feet [laughing] which wasn't [] very good for slamming your foot down as the guards demanded in those days.
[145] I came back on the Friday night and erm, well I've packed my job in at the Transport Department, I better go down to the Recruiting Office and see what else.
[146] Well, having been downgraded to A two from A one erm I said well what else can I volunteer for, cos I didn't fancy going back to work and then being called up again.
[147] So I erm, I erm, was put into the Royal Army Pay Corp and posted up to Barnet, North London and I was there for quite a while, we all transferred down to Winchester.
[148] Well we went into the Rifle Brigade Barracks at Winchester and used to work out at a big house outside of Winchester so we had to march out there and then at the time of Dunkirk, they were looking for places to put all the soldiers that they'd brought and er, we were cleared out of Barnet, er out of Winchester Barracks and posted up to Nottingham and we worked in the factory, which was taken over by the Army then and erm, and then whilst there, I suppose that was about nineteen what, about nineteen fo coming up to nineteen forty two, they decided to have a recheck or rethink on medicals, so we were all subject to another medical and they put me back to A one and says, right we're getting rid of all A one personnel out of the Pay Corp, you have a choice Royal Army Ordnance Corp or the Royal Artillery.
[149] Well my brother was in the Artillery and I thought well it be nice if I can get with him but that didn't work out that way.
[150] I was posted to the er ack-ack brigade [laugh] and I was posted to Norwich, just at Norwich, Coldershaw really.
[151] At the Brigade H Q.
[152] Having served as sort of er apprentice there as an artillery clerk, I was put, posted up to Woolwich to go through a erm clerk's course.
[153] I was up there for six weeks, I passed the course and was posted back to Brigade H Q to a wider posting to a regiment.
[154] My posting came through and I was [laughing] posted [] to Swordstone this side of Norwich, so I was still quids in, I could get home once a week, twenty four hour pass and then erm after a while erm, having served at Regiment, I was posted up to, as the Sergeant Artillery Clerk with the Brigade, an ack-ack brigade up at Coventry, just outside Coventry and then of course the A T S were coming in, were coming in in quite large numbers then and they were replacing male personnel and then I was posted abroad and I went to Egypt where I was there again, fortunate enough, I suppose, to go into the echelon, the second echelon which was the Records Office of all the forces or the armoured personnel in the Middle East and I worked there until I was actually demobbed from there but I was out in Egypt there for two, just over two years, came back to Northampton where I was finally demobbed and allowed to come home and as I said I came home one week and I was back at work the next.
[155] So I was actually messing around with the Tax Officer for quite a while because I was on demob leave and I was also [laughing] working [] so he wasn't gonna let me have two lots of [laughing] sa [] wages.
(PS22L) [156] How had th the transport changed then in that period you were away, sort of five years?
[157] What were the changes that you noticed?
Albert (PS22M) [158] Well,
(PS22L) [159] Ha had things been allowed to run down over the war?
Albert (PS22M) [160] No, no but th erm erm, the only real difference was that lots and lots of the trolley buses were of the utility type.
[161] They were made to wartime restrictions, wooden seats and erm mass produced really, erm there was none of the erm cushioned seats at all, that were a part of the feature during th before the war.
[162] We had lots and lots of trolley buses and er who was the General Manager had sought powers to run all over Ipswich.
[163] Oh the by-pass road, you know the north northern part of Ipswich, along the by-pass and of course had ordered trolley buses, because you had to order 'em about two years ahead of time, erm, to take care of that but it didn't materialize and we had a surplus of buses and some of them were sold off, I think some went to Walsall, some to Wolverhampton and er I, I think it was one of those that was sold to Wals Woolwich, figured in the national newspapers that had toppled over.
[164] It er gone on its side but erm, I da I wouldn't say that things had deteriorated that much.
[165] It was erm, they had expanded, they brought in the Clapgut Lane route during the war.
[166] As they say things were different during the war.
[167] If it was er public transport, certain facilities were afforded to public transport which went to private under enterprise erm because of the nature of taking factory workers to the ammunition factories and such like.
[168] But I wouldn't say that er, that it had deteriorated.
[169] Mind you the, the erm, the wages had risen [clears throat] quite a bit during the time.
[170] I was fortunate in that I was married before the war and the Ipswich Council had decided that married men's wages would be made up.
[171] Erm, so I was constantly getting rises, less my service pay and erm it got to a state there where sometimes my service pay was more than what the erm salary I would have got at home was and my wife had to pay to keep my superannuation live.
[172] She had to
(PS22L) [173] You turn it up.
Albert (PS22M) [174] fears I er I'm coming back from the forces I went into the main job, taking over from the previous scheduled clerk by breaking the schedules and the duties.
[175] The duties being erm what a man had to do to cover that er period of that scheduling.
[176] As I said before a bus was on a certain route number, say you had one Witton what was had now and then, well that [clears throat] that ran from six o'clock in the morning perhaps till eleven o'clock at night.
[177] Now that had to be manned by a driver and a conductor for that day.
[178] Well obviously he couldn't work six in the morning till eleven at night.
[179] So you had to have, in that day erm, about five men to cover one bus right the way through, can you [...] just a moment.
[180] Five men during the whole day.
[181] Erm why I say five men, you might think that peculiar because there was a man and a conductor each time but we used to reckon that two buses, full-time buses would be scheduled by te or run by ten men because there one man would come off at nine o'clock, have a relief of hour and fifteen minutes and then another one would take over from him.
[182] So it's er, how we used to marry them up was ... erm two long buses as we called [...] would take ten men to do five duties.
[183] Erm, then the erm, the insistence of the driver's conductors was they didn't like the long periods of duty [cough] they erm, they wanted the new set up so I introduced what we call straight duties, narrowed the relief portion, so they didn't go home for a meal, they had about a half an hour off, so they were able to get their eight hour duty done in a shorter period and they'd probably finish about two instead of half past three, four o'clock. [cough]
(PS22L) [184] At this time then after the war, how many vehicles were there running?
Albert (PS22M) [185] Oh dear [clears throat] I suppose seventy odd a day.
(PS22L) [186] And how many men would that, would you employ?
Albert (PS22M) [187] I think at erm, at the peak time there was about two hundred and twenty six drivers and conductors.
[188] Erm, when, when I came back out the forces, a man's guaranteed week was a forty hour, forty eight hour week.
[189] It went down to forty six, they negotiated things that er reduced it to forty six.
[190] It went down to forty four, forty two and now I believe they are on a forty hour week.
[191] Whether they've got down to thirty eight, I don't know but it was a forty hour week when I finally left.
[192] So and then erm, of course they start bringing in one man buses and the conductors were no longer required.
[193] Now er I could make a point here that when they introduced one man operated buses, they thought they were on to a new thing but one man operated buses were in this town before the war.
[194] Trolley buses had one man to do it.
[195] Now they thought they were in a new thing in [...] nineteen fifties when they brought in one man operated buses but they weren't.
(PS22L) [196] There's only one person on a trolley bus,
Albert (PS22M) [197] Yes.
(PS22L) [198] there's no conductor then?
Albert (PS22M) [199] The, they used to put a conductor on for peak time and then about nine o'clock the rear door was closed and the driver took over issuing tickets, taking money [...] and then perhaps the conductor would come on from about twelve or two and then again, perhaps from half past four till half past six.
[200] So a conductor's duty weren't very very nice then, probably three piece duties, which were spread duties but you know people thought they were bringing in a wonderful thing to be one man operated but it was before the war that we had one man operated buses.
[201] Cos I remember the duties, there used to be a driver you would get more pay for bringing the bus, one man, so underneath each duty was just how many, how many hours he was one man and how many two men.
[202] So it's, it wasn't a new thing when they brought but nevertheless erm that went on and on and on then and er cos the staff really went down, the requirements for staff went down and erm I, I think erm, they got it down when I left there to round about a hundred and forty six staff was, was all that was required.
(PS22L) [203] Mm how many were, were in the office at this time?
[204] Was the clerical work still there?
Albert (PS22M) [205] B no erm the, the clerical erm staff on the erm, shall we say the traffic side increased a bit because er there was mo more and more demanding work but the ticket office, they went down, erm I have mentioned perhaps before that they had the two box system and there was about eleven, twelve, thirteen girls in there and their duty was to check a box that had been used one day, stock it up with tickets, get it ready for the day after.
[206] So there was constantly two books, two boxes going.
[207] At the same time they had on Mondays and Tuesday we used to sell weekly tickets, so they had to go out in another box on Mondays and Tuesdays.
[208] Then there was plenty of work for them but then when the erm, the one man buses really got going and they introduced the night safe on the buses, the ticket office was cut drastically, they didn't need to have all this information.
[209] We had waybills that we could extract this information from but it wasn't so accurate because man wasn't required to record the erm numbers of each class of ticket.
[210] All we were concerned was, was the total ticket registers.
[211] We could get certain information recorded from the ticket machines, of just how many of different types of tickets were issued because what we'd, they had double readings.
[212] A man when he issued say two, two tuppeny tickets, [...] there were two tuppeny tickets but he pushed a little lever and issued two tuppeny tickets which came out almost together, that was a fourpenny fare and that would record once
(PS22L) [213] Mm.
Albert (PS22M) [214] on little numerator.
[215] So we were able to tell how many tickets of certain classes were sold each day but not route by route, we'd lost that [...] that facility because the waybills just weren't big enough and of course the,wa everything got mechanical but now I mean I don't profess to know anything about what happens now but I was introduced to it when I went down there for a retirement [clears throat] and believe me it's, it's all electronics now they can tell how a ticket machine is issuing tickets at any particular one day by this, this electronic business, this computers.
[216] So they really brought it down to a very fine art now.
(PS22L) [217] Was the,wh were there trade unions in, in, in the Transport Department at this time, were they quite active?
Albert (PS22M) [218] Oh yes, yes the erm, the main one was the Transport and General Workers' Union which erm, did all the drivers, conductors and cleaners and semi-skilled staff but erm you had the erm N U V B which is the National Union and Vehicle Builders and of course you had the Electrical Trades People, so they, they were all working in there but the main one covering most of the men was the Transport and General Workers' Union.
[219] Now the office staff, there was no closed shop there but our union was NALGO.
[220] The National Association of Local Government Officers.
[221] I don't know whether you in [...] .
[222] Well that was the, the erm union for us, erm I think erm one of the great assets of being in public transport was that we were in a local erm pension scheme, erm when, when we in the office started, we had to wait until we were eighteen and then we had to wait for a vacancy because there was a limited number of people that the Council were prepared to back by paying a similar amount.
[223] Drivers and conductors had to wait three years, they had to be employed three years before they were accepted into the pension scheme but you know, believe me I'm glad that I paid in for it.
[224] It was a bit of a pill at the time and y used to pay a shilling in the pound, well a shilling was [laughing] a lot more valuable [] than it is now and erm I used to begrudge paying in it forty eight and sixpence but it does provide the, well the pleasures of life now, whereby the pens the ordinary old age pension wouldn't.
[225] Erm I told you that erm during the war if my army wage went above what the recorded salary was, my wife had to pay to keep the superannuation going
(PS22L) [...]
Albert (PS22M) [226] and when I see the buses now running around, they seem to run everywhere I don't on earth what kind of running board they've got because in my day it was so well regulated that erm you just recorded certain intermediate stages and I quote Witton and Rushmere you get, used to get Witton Terminus, Norwich Road Bridge, Sherrington Road, Barret Corner, Electric House and you gave an indication of the time that those buses should be passing those times.
[227] Er and then we'd used to repeat right the way through the day, we had a bus say for sixteen hours and it erm repeated itself every hour [laughing] and that was boring job [] just writing it down and repeating it.
(PS22L) [228] So wh what was a running board then?
Albert (PS22M) [229] A running board was the information given to the driver of what, where he was expected to run, what time he was expected to leave the various termini.
[230] They w it's erm,lo
(PS22L) [231] They were prepared by the office and given to each driver daily?
Albert (PS22M) [232] Well there were running boards, they were, they were written out, well eventually,we were typed out but they were written out and first of all ... it was really funny we used to size them on to these wooden boards, let that dry, then varnish them and that board was used day in day out.
[233] A man used to hand it back in when the bus ran in and it was given out the next day.
[234] It eventually got that they were typed and put into cellophane covers which made it a lot easier.
[235] It was funny in my day, when I first started there you used to get, mix up some size and er in a pot, in a proper pot and take it down into the mess room and put it on the stove, coal stove, heat it up and [laughing] you let it boil over there was a terrific smell about the place [] you can imagine, [...] the size but that's what we used to do in those days.
[236] Things were much easier then but th all these running boards were, were interpreted, if that's the right word, on the master scheduling.
[237] Now you used to say perhaps there's an hourly service, er an hourly run from Witton to Rushmere and back again and you wanted a ten minute service.
[238] Well that would take six buses to do that.
[239] Six tens being sixty and they were all prepared in a master schedule, you'd write down twelve o'clock, twelve ten, twelve twenty, erm that sort of thing you see
(PS22L) [240] Mm.
Albert (PS22M) [241] and then each, that would take six buses, one, two, three, four, five, six Wittons we used to call them and then the running board was a copy from that of all what number one Witton was gotta do.
[242] So from a mass master timetable, each bus, route number was interpreted on to a what we called a running board and er it was that that the driver ran to.
[243] [clears throat] You got complications some time in that erm when the Six A Twos, the Fours and the Six B routes were running erm it was found sometimes that if you married them together, did a Six A trip one time a Six B, a Two and Four, you could save what we call a bus, you could save a whole bus by marrying them together because routes were only of thirty minute duration from Electric House out to Six A R Gainsborough and back again was, was half an hour.
[244] Now [clears throat] you could have two buses doing that and forming fifteen minute service because one bus went out in thirty minutes another one fifteen minutes behind it, that came back so that the first bus was able to do the third one.
[245] Now if you want to decrease the frequency, say at evenings, and you wanted a twenty minute service, you can see that you're in all kinds of muddle.
[246] It was fifty, it's thirty minutes to do the run, you only wanted a bus to repeat itself every forty minutes, so you got ten minutes to waste.
[247] You couldn't afford to have drivers [...] sitting around for ten minutes not doing anything, so you married these routes up together and were able to, by manipulation, get them to a more economical run.
[248] Er, but even so the running boards did look very complicated because on one half an hour he'd probably go and do a Six A run, another one a Six B run, a Two and a Four.
[249] [laugh] You can imagine that some drivers er went the wrong way, and [...] it was just that they, they just didn't concentrate on the run but nowadays they seem to run all over the town.
[250] So how on earth they keep them to a schedule I do not know but I don't want to know now [...] .
(PS22L) [251] What was the social life like, was there a social club?
Albert (PS22M) [252] There was a very very strong social club.
[253] was the General Manager then, he was very very keen on sport and erm in nineteen thirty eight, er saw the opening of the erm sports ground at Barragh Close, Flindburgh Road.
[254] I remember because in nineteen thirty eight, er we were scheduled to have an opening in about the September and we got a team coming down to play us at football and we were going to have a social evening, darts and that, at, in the evening and of course at that particular time, the war was a definite threat.
[255] You remember Chamberlain
(PS22L) [256] Yes
Albert (PS22M) [257] and his white piece of paper, so everything was cancelled.
[258] Er as regards to the team that was gonna come down from London and I was Secretary of the Football Club at that time.
[259] said erm, oh we must have something.
[260] So I, I rang the Power Station people at Norwich and they sent up a team to open it.
[261] So it was in nineteen thirty eight that the, the erm sports ground at Priory Heath was opened.
[262] Now erm [...] was the instigator of the Ipswich Interfirm Cup and erm, in those days if there was any erm going begging at Portman Road, would give them a job on the, the gangs.
[263] The electricity cable laying [...] to give 'em a job so you could play for the Ipswich Electric Supply Team and we had a jolly good team, we won the cup for the first three years that it was in being but the finals used to be on Portman Road and course that was in those days a thing to be looked forward to.
[264] Erm there was the cricket, there was bowls, tennis, swimming section, gardening section.
[265] The swimming section was more or less brought back to mind to me the other day when they showed the old Stoke bathing place.
[266] Though we u that was over Stoke Worstead Road way, when we used to have the open air swimming pool there.
[267] It was only water that was let into a confined space but we had a Sports Association which had a section for the swimming and er I way remember bought a couple of old single decker buses from somewhere, I don't know where and he had them fitted out and rigged up at Stoke Bathing Place, especially for us to go there and change and w we did have quite a good strong section, we used to hold our, an annual what you call a regatta, or, no not a regatta but er in the St Matthew's Swimming Baths a festival, a swimming festival a gala, yes
(PS22L) [268] Mm.
Albert (PS22M) [269] and you know we could, in those days because of the number of people employed being Electric Supply and Transport, we could erm, manage to keep it a viable proposition for an evening's entertainment then and erm, [...] you probably can turn this up in the, the Star they're showing erm as he was then, one of the drivers swimming from erm Stoke Bathing Place to Felixstowe.
[270] Er I was, I think I've got pictures about it somewhere or tha that was in the Evening Star not so very many years ago.
[271] They've got pictures of it, of him preparing all greased up.
[272] It was our, our answer to [laughing] cross channel swimming [] .
[273] He, he did it once or twice, had to give up when he got to the mouth of the River Orwell because he mistimed the currents but he did, he did eventually do it from Stoke Bathing Place to Felixstowe.
[274] It was a long swim in those days.
(PS22L) [275] At what stage did they split the power and the transport?
Albert (PS22M) [276] Oh,a at nineteen forty eight they split up the electric supply and the three was nationalized and erm it, it just went out of the control of the local councils, it was government controlled then and there was a distinct possibility that the transport section would be sold off to private enterprise and the only private enterprise that was capable of taking over then was the Eastern Counties but erm I think the, the erm local council having had the transport under their wing for so many years, fought off that erm feeling and erm they kept with it and er, of course all the accountancy went to the Borough Treasurer and the certain members of clerks from the Borough Treasurers, which was at in those days, er seconded on to transport accounts.
[277] So we were really answerable to the Ipswich Borough Council, rather than to private enterprise which some people really wanted to sell us off as being a, you know, a weight round their necks because if we didn't make a lot of money after the war, the accounts would show that we were making a deficiency every year and erm, well there was no way that you could recoup it because our routes weren't really long enough to charge lots of fares erm, maybe tuppence was the town centre to the extreme termini
(PS22L) [278] Mm
Albert (PS22M) [279] and, and you know you couldn't get a lot of money, although of course nationally, the rates of pay were governed nationally, they were going up and up and up and there was no way that we could keep pace, we couldn't keep on increasing the tuppeny fare.
[280] They are increased now obviously but erm, you know to put anything on a tuppeny fare then was well a ha'penny which was twenty five percent on [...] terrible, every year we were going for a fare increase and in those days you really had to go through the Traffic Commissioners.
[281] You had to go to Cambridge.
[282] Loads and loads of information had to be supplied.
[283] You had to satisfy the Traffic Commissioners, that what you are proposing would, would answer the cause, wouldn't give rise to erm great hardships to the travelling public and erm oh you're preparing a fare increase about a year before it actually came up to, in front of the Commissioners and then he would erm, perhaps make some alterations or give you a date when you could apply.
[284] You had to then notify the public at least twenty f twenty four I, no fourteen days before it was due to come in.
[285] Everybody then had the right to make erm protests against this and could be heard at Cambridge, protesting about fare increases.
[286] So i it wasn't a very easy thing then to get them and as I say you'd be preparing a fare increase which, perhaps a ha'penny on certain fares and a penny on fares above a certain range and you had to allow for depreciation, or resistance in the public travelling but er as long as you could always bring in a little extra from a fare increase it was worthwhile going forward.
[287] As I say it was very very difficult in those days, you had to satisfy the Traffic Commissions.
(PS22L) [288] So,i in the fifties [...] across to be one man operated buses?
Albert (PS22M) [289] Yes.
(PS22L) [290] What were the changes that followed that, that then?
[291] How did it develop in the sixties?
[292] Was it, the town was growing then?
Albert (PS22M) [293] Well the town was growing then.
[294] As I said the er, the trolley buses were being phased out and the buses, the motor buses were being used more than ever and I don't know the date of the last trolley bus running but I well remember it being reported time, it was the erm, bus was packed on its last journey from Electric House and people were photographing it.
[295] It was its last run and it finished up at Priory Heath ... erm [clears throat] was on the Gainsborough route.
[296] The last ones to be motorized and erm
(PS22L) [297] Why those routes?
Albert (PS22M) [298] Well I suppose it because, as I told you, those four routes were always treated as a separate entity because they were on, there were possible chances of marrying those routes together to get them to run the most economical way.
[299] [clears throat] There was four routes there now and we had as many as ten buses operating those four, so it meant they were left, you couldn't sort of segregate them.
[300] You couldn't say well we will have motor buses on the fourth and not the other three because they were so closely interwoven.
(PS22L) [...]
Albert (PS22M) [301] So that they got to all go off at once.
[302] So all the other routes were motorized and then those when we got a, a big batch of motor buses come in.
[303] It then erm, they would, they went out in one complete entity you see and the trolley wires were just taken down.
[304] Erm, motor buses [...] very very expensive.
[305] Another thing you might not realize is that erm, erm when you ordered motor buses you had to get authority from the Ministry of Transport and you used to appl apply for a bus grant.
[306] Now in its infancy we used to get a fifty percent grant, that was the price of the bus was halved at, Ministry would pay.
[307] It got phased out so that the Ministry didn't pay anything at all but [clears throat] to get this grant you had to keep tremendous records [cough] copies of invoices and you had to get er and the bus grant and the, the permission from them.
[308] It was very difficult to get these things but of course erm, it did when you were talking about seventy two thousand pound for each bus.
[309] [laughing] You were glad to get half of it []
(PS22L) [310] Yes.
Albert (PS22M) [311] [clears throat] cos trolley buses, in this town were ... really the erm well I suppose they really came about, rather than motor buses right at the start because built trolley buses and so did of Laiston.
[312] You had er, in fact used to use our overhead, to erm test their chassis before they went to the body makers.
[313] If they were going to a different body maker anyway.
[314] So they,
(PS22L) [315] Mm.
Albert (PS22M) [316] we used to charge them for using our overhead ... and erm, so I suppose trolley buses were used here because it was so convenient.
[317] right on the doorstep making them.
(PS22L) [318] Yes [...] supply them.
Albert (PS22M) [319] I, I, it's in or this may be a little bit disjointed to want an [...] chronologically tell you everything that's happened but there are some of the highlights in my life.
[320] The sports section that you, you talk you harped on a little while ago.
[321] It was a thriving thing and, but when electric supply in nineteen forty eight went nationalized, we lost a lot of members and er, we did try to carry it on, just Ipswich Borough Transport.
[322] I think the snooker section, the table section they're still flourishing actually but as regards to football, you just hadn't got enough members.
[323] You, you can't have a transport football team because you can't get enough of us together at one time cos they're working you see, when people want to go to and from work ... but er
(PS22L) [324] So you, you came up for retirement what in nineteen
Albert (PS22M) [325] Well it's er I've
(PS22L) [...]
Albert (PS22M) [326] been retired five years now, that was eighty two, yes.
[327] I, I worked up to the end of May and because of accrued leave I er [clears throat] I left then.
[328] My actual retirement date was the twenty second of July.
[329] [...] I had worked there, and that was when I was sixty five, so I'd worked there all my working life, apart from the, the war years ... and had served under quite a number of people really.
[330] When I first went there we had who was a tall heavy built man and you walk well I did, I walked in fear of my life.
[331] If I could get away from him, not talk to him I was happy but if he spoke to me I was ju literally shake in me shoes, he gave you that, he was that erm type of man, although he was kind enough really, but he was really gruff.
[332] Bowler hat, little moustache and spats and when you came through the shed, my God, nobody slacked cos [laughing] he had eyes everywhere [] and the Traffic Superintendent was , he was directly responsible to him ... erm then erm retired and erm then retired during the war and they had another fella come in from he came from away.
[333] He wasn't there all that time.
[334] I think he had a little bit of ill health and my immediate superior took over as Traffic Superintendent and he was there throughout the war and when I came out he was my boss and er you see and er and then in nineteen forty eight was made Transport Manager, because as you say we had to split from Electric Supply and he carried on until erm nineteen seventy two and erm, we had government reorganization and erm [clears throat] they did away with people like the Town Clerk and Transport Manager and erm erm was retired, early retirement, the same as the Town Clerk and erm they brought in a General Manager from away and brought in more staff with him and that was came in and er so I then applied for the position, which was going, there was, there was Traffic Superintendent was going er Chief Administration Officer, Chief Engineer and erm er Bodywork Maintenance Superintendent.
[335] All those positions were going for want of an application, so I applied and because brought in people who he knew, certain of them were automatically filled but they want the Chief Administration Officer, so I applied and really I don't kid myself that I got it because of my qualification because I hadn't got any letters after my name.
(PS22L) [336] Mm.
Albert (PS22M) [337] I think I got it because of my local knowledge and the that gave him the facility of being able to carry on without interruption.
[338] If you'd had all people come in and try to bring in new ideas on to an old system, I don't think it would have worked.
[339] So they had me as continuity and I got the job and it was a bit of a struggle because I'd always been traffic, traffic at work but this was a little bit different in that if you had to do more accountancy and I had to pick it up.
[340] I had a lot of help from people and erm well I'm fairly adaptable and I sort of took over this job of Chief Administrator's Assistant.
[341] Sorry Chief Administrator Officer and I had to provide quite a lot of statistical information which I'd never done before but nevertheless I, I made a fairly reasonable job of it, I had an assistant and erm ... I, I think I got fairly well known amongst the councillors and people who mattered and then went.
[342] He had some ill health erm he, he was, they brought in a bloke who was retired from some place up north, Sheffield I think it was.
[343] They brought him back as a Caretaker to General Manager and really I didn't see eye to eye with him.
[344] He came in with the ideas, give the drivers and conductors everything they asked for whereby my training had always been to only give them what they were really entitled to, not give them anything extra but he gave them the earth and that erm didn't sort of go very well for the new Manager who came in, he had a lot of undoing to do there, that this fella had given away, in his six or seven weeks there.
[345] In fact, you know, he gave the drivers and conductors a lot more than what they were really entitled to but conduct
(PS22L) [346] What sort of things?
Albert (PS22M) [347] Well, he did there in, in the various agreements there, there were scheduling anomalies which erm, if they ... I can't recall the exact wording now but if they er, their average wage, working week was between forty two and forty four hours, they had to get make up pay and all that sort of thing.
[348] Well we argued that erm, they weren't entitled to it.
[349] We read the, read the agreements differently to what they did but he'd lean towards the drivers, conductors and he gave away a lot of what had tried to erm stop them from having because they weren't really entitled to it but he saw differently and gave it away and course once you've given it away you, no way of retracting it, but then came in and, well, I mean he was a real transport man, his, his vision and his ideas were really good and he made it what it is today.
[350] He was really and, lovely man to work with.
[351] He was genuine, he appreciated everything you did and I don't think you get a better manager and of course he's now under this new Transport Act when transport, this was erm, was [...] nationalized isn't it?
[352] He, that he's now a Director of this Ipswich Buses and I don't think you can get a better man to do it because he is heart and soul in transport, he, the things that he brought in, the different innovations that he brought in were good, I mean he brought in, he brought in all this erm [...] operated vaults and all that sort of thing and all this electronic gear that they are working now.
(PS22L) [...]
Albert (PS22M) [353] Mm.
(PS22L) [354] So you, you think you had er, er er you know go back, well looking back on it.
[355] Quite happy with the way it's all gone?
Albert (PS22M) [356] Oh yes, I had a good life.
[357] I, I think er erm when I first started down there, it was a job, I thought well this is a good job fifteen bob a week, that's, that's a lot more than some of the other boys who'd left school got, they were twelve and six you see and erm, I think erm I came back out of the forces and took over more responsible jobs, I don't think I could have gone to anything else but transport.
[358] You were with the public, direct contact with the public and er I would hate to have been sat in an office and just looked at four walls.
[359] I, I used to roam around the building.
[360] Go and talk to the fitters, interest myself in what made buses work and how they worked when down in the pits.
[361] I, I couldn't bear to have sit in four walls and not [laughing] move []
(PS22L) [362] Yes
Albert (PS22M) [363] from the desk.
[364] It, I think I had a good life there and I've got no regrets ... I think to be public transport is, is a good thing.
[365] Anything to do with the public.
(PS22L) [366] Oh yes, right.
Albert (PS22M) [367] You get, you know the slings and arrows but they don't hurt you, you, you get a lot more people who appreciate what you do than slings and bats.
(PS22L) [368] Oh well.
[369] Thank you very much
Albert (PS22M) [370] [clears throat] Well I, I don't whether that's of much interest to anybody.
[371] Probably listening to it, it probably sound like a drill [...] [laugh]
(PS22L) [372] [...] thank you very much indeed.
Albert (PS22M) [373] Yes.