Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Page 12

This went on for two years. I was called in the office one day, this usually meant trouble but i couldn`t think of anything I had done wrong,only one way to find out -knock and enter.

I was informed that I had too many sick days off.I had a few but I didn`t think that many, still they do soon add up. I was given a warning any more in the next three months and I would be in deep trouble. I suffered badly with migraine the real migraine, that made me vomit and be totally incapacitated for several hours but this didn`t deter them. Guess what 3 months later I was called into the office again and told I had to see the company Doctor who would report back to them the outcome depended on that. How the Doctor was going to prove or disprove my migraines I couldn`t fathom out. I went to see the Doctor two days later and told him about the migraine he took my blood pressure and that was about it.

A couple of weeks later around the early part of January 1957 I was once more summoned, they said the Doctor could find no proof of me having migraines therefore I could either hand in my notice or be sacked....what a choice....To my mind it had been already decided that they didn`t want me, seeing the Doctor was just going through the motions. Shock horror now what was I going to do.

My Mum and Dad were amazing , I think they knew I had been a bit fed up with the job so I wasn`t all that bothered ,other than having to find another job quickly.

My Dad had just started work at an electrical company called Plessey in Rotherham, he said it wasn`t much of a place to work, the girls were a bit rough but it would bring in some money. I got a job there started the following monday, hated it, couldn`t do it, it was bearing wires for looms for junction boxes. I didn`t even know what a junction box was, neither my Dad or myself could see us sticking this out. I think we managed it a couple of days and neither of us went back.

I was reading through the job pages in the local paper when I saw an advert for Bus Conductresses and conductors I couldn`t believe the wages, they were £8.10s per week, working shifts of course. I quite fancied it, you had to be 18 yrs old and I would be in two weeks time. I spoke to my Mum & Dad and obviously the money was a big factor. My Dad went to the telephone box to ring them and ask if I could apply now , although it was a couple of weeks before my birthday, they said it would be fine and for me to go for an interview that afternoon.

I went for the interview, liked what I was told about the job and couldnt wait to be 18. I had to do a numeracy test and passed that ok. The guy interviewing me said I had the job and to start the day after my birthday. I was excited and terrified it had all happened so fast.

The day came I started training, was issued with the uniform, a white shirt, trousers and a jacket. I was a bit apprehensive about walking to the bus stop done up like a copper but you soon got used to things. Of course when the neighbours, who didn`t think much of me anyway, saw the uniform well it gave them more to gossip about.

I had promised Dennis, my little brother who was now 8 yrs old a bran d new two wheeler bike if I got this job as I would be earning £5.10s more per week than at the Post Office, so of course he kept saying have you got paid yet? when I did the first thing I did was buy this bike for him, it was red and when he saw it he cried. I dont think he thought it would happen. I felt so good ,even though I had just got paid I was now broke.I loved the job, there was alot to learn, I started with another lad called Ken he was really nice, we became really good mates, he was married by the way, it was only friendship.

The two weeks training was nearly over, we then had to do what they call Passing Out, this entailed going on the bus with just the Inspector who would be watching your every move, you would have to collect the fares, see passengers on and off the bus, it was nerve wracking but I passed thank goodness, he said I did really well, I was now a fully fledged Bus Conductress.

My first shifts on the buses were a little scary, you didn`t know who your driver would be as when you first pass out until you are what they call rostered with a regular driver, you just fill in to cover for sickness and holidays so every day is different.

I had all sorts of drivers careful thoughtful ones and the opposite who thought to stop sharply was a laugh, still I loved the job it was great fun.

I was soon rostered with a guy called Alf, he seemed really nice he was about 45yrs old,married with two young boys , he had been a P.O.W. in Burma it had been very rough by all accounts, he didn`t speak about it much but he was still and I think always would be suffering from the effects of the food deprivation and disease, we got on really well in spite of the age difference.

One day we were at the terminus awaiting time to go back to the depot when a young boy about 7yrs old came running up to me on the bus holding his arm and sobbing. I eventually calmed him down and he said he had fallen and it looked as though his arm was broken, he said his mother was out. My mate and I decided to take him to the hospital ,we had to pass it to get into town, I took him into casuallty and explained the situation, they said they would inform the police and sort the little boy out. Just another day at the office!

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