Andrew Ducker (andrewducker) wrote,
Andrew Ducker

A morning on Lothian Buses

It's the 100th anniversary of motorised buses in Edinburgh, so Lothian Buses dug a bunch of old buses out of storage and sent them around the city. You could use them exactly as you would a normal bus, and the service they were running them on went on the road two minutes from our flat, so Jane suggested that we go for a ride.

The first one we got on was only about 10 years old, and so not that exciting. Much more exciting was spotting the older buses doing the same route in the other direction, which we passed about once every 7 minutes (as they were departing every fifteen). And also spotting the bus spotters who had set themselves up on various traffic islands along the route, and were happily taking photos as we passed.

We passed this marvelous specimen as we entered Morningside. And if you look closely you can see people on it taking photos of us in return.

Having reached the terminus in Morningside we adjourned to the appositely named "The Waiting Room" for breakfast. It had huge glass windows, so we could keep an eye out for exciting buses, like this one:

We rather fancied having a go on a bus with an open back corner, but knew that particular one wouldn't be back around for two hours. So we headed down to catch a bus home, and decided that if we passed one we liked we could get off and wait for it to catch us up.

Which is exactly what happened. We passed one 5 minutes later, got off in St Patrick's Square, and played with Sophia on the grass while we waited for it.

It had entered service in 1949, and stayed in service until 1968, which I thought was pretty impressive. One of the things which would strike modern passengers as unusual is that the driver is entirely insulated from them. The conductor had to press the "stop" button twice to let the driver know when it was safe to pull away.

(There aren't usually conductors on Lothian buses - you pay the driver - but the person standing in, and making sure that nobody fell out of the open entranceway, was having a great time. He was thoroughly enjoying his old-fashioned ticket machine, and gave Sophia two tickets, the second one after she tried to eat the first.)

On reaching the other terminus we got off last, and I got a photo of Jane and Sophia:

And one of the conductor:

And then they headed off, and we headed for home, with large grins on our faces.

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