Central SMT

East Kilbride Memories

Contributed by Peter Liddell, November 2002. Peter, now living in Dundee, shares his memories of bus travel in his home town of East Kilbride.

I am now in my forties but grew up in the Westwood area of East Kilbride, just a few hundred yards from the No. 79 terminus and a few minutes' longer walk away from Westwood Road where the 77, 181 and local services could be boarded. As a child, I finished primary school at 3pm on a Friday and took the 3:15 No. 79 to the town centre and the library, later meeting my mother. We would normally come home at around 5pm by the 118 local service. On other occasions I met my mother off the 111 local service which curiously terminated at Red Deer Road, just short of the Westwood shops, having come from the Nerston Estate.

When boarding the 79 at the terminus, I often listened to the conversations of the crew. Although most buses were of the BL type, I do remember bus BE272 which occasionally operated the route. Many drivers said this type of vehicle was "crudely cut" compared to the BL type. I remember that on Saturdays service 79 normally operated in duplicate, the two buses following each other. Such was the volume of trade, the first bus was often full before the end of Westwood Hill, heading to the Town Centre.

As I had relatives in Paisley and Clydebank, I often travelled on the 181 into Glasgow to change buses. At one stage, I remember that a return was 27p. I for one was glad to see this service change to single-decker operation since when I was getting off the rear door double-deckers, the conductor never seemed to see me and the bus often flew past my lightly used stop. I was too afraid of the conductor to press the bell.
Later, when attending University, I often used service 78 at weekends after midnight to come home although as this bus went to Greenhills, it meant a walk across a darkened football pitch, which I would probably hesitate to do now.
Although I have to confess that the service now around where I lived is better than it has ever been, with services every 10 minutes into Glasgow in two directions all day and buses every 15 minutes all night at weekends, I feel that a part of my life has gone.