Central SMT

Round and round to Glasgow and back

Contributed by David Welsh, January 2003.

As an 11 year old boy in 1976, I was fortunate enough to have an auntie who was a conductress on the 64 (I think) from West Crindledyke to Anderston Bus station, usually operated by a BL if my memory serves. This allowed me to spend many a happy evening travelling to and from the terminus completely free of charge. The only proviso with this was that I had to keep my eye out for the inspector, for if he came on it meant auntie having to quickly print me off a 3 stop ticket which she would then take back from me and hand in at the end of the shift as a mistaken print. Did you know that the ticket machines could count the value of the tickets issued for each shift? I found this out when my big brother bought his own ticket machine from a small-ad in Buses and Trolleybuses magazine.


These clandestine journeys usually took place during the winter months and I remember one night of terrible snow when we arrived at the West Crindledyke terminus and I sat, buttocks clenched, as we eased our way down the brae to the lay-by at the bottom. At least half of the descent, I’m sure, was done with only one wheel turning but after what seemed an eternity we made it to safety. However I was so worried that we wouldn’t make it back up the other side that I said I needed some air and told auntie and the driver that I would meet them at the top of the hill! I’m sure the driver knew my real reason as he looked at me strangely (although that could be more to do with why an 11 year old boy was spending his nights on the 64 to Glasgow and not out sniffing glue like most of my age from North Motherwell!). Needless to say, the trusty old BL made it up the other side with no trouble whatsoever and we continued our "to’s and fro’s" to Glasgow and back.


As with most of the contributors to this site, I too have a real soft spot for the old Bristols, as I seemed to spend at least an hour every day going to or coming from some adventure or other. Happy days!