Saturday, 11 January 2014

The Bus Station!

Hands up if your meeting place was a bus station, when you were younger?!!

Well, my hand instantly rises! And at the same time, I start to reminisce:

Newton Abbot Bus Station!!!

This is where the red, mainly double deckers (but with a few single deckers) ‘Devon General’ buses would gather; all individually numbered, naturally!

 My bus was the number 12, which went from Newton Abbot to Brixham, via Torquay and Paignton.  (To this day, it still is the number 12 and so it is the number 12 which sticks in my memory.)

Every school day, I would hop on a number 12 from where I lived at Aller Park, just outside Newton Abbot and it would take me on a short journey to the bus station. Every other week, I would hop on the number 12, on a Saturday afternoon and it would transport me in the opposite direction to Castle Circus, Torquay, where I would alight and make an uphill walk to the football ground. I reckon I spent a good part of my life on a number 12 bus!
(I shamefully have to admit that I even got thrown off a number 12…just once, when I was misbehaving on the top deck, throwing around my school beret. I remember it well! I think I received a school detention and lines from a sneaky prefect who was also travelling on the bus!! ;-) 
( I repeat, it was just the once as I was generally a model pupil!;-)

Back to the bus station!

It was the meeting place where we ‘hung out’  (as they call it nowadays.) 
On schooldays, we would all arrive at around 8.30am, from various places in South Devon and we would quickly disperse to our places of learning. At around 4pm, we would descend like hawks and, for ten or fifteen minutes or so, the bus station would briefly become a place of chatter, fun and laughter as we said our goodbyes and jumped on to our appropriate buses, homeward bound.

Newton Abbot Bus Station had a newsagents stall; an office (from where I would collect my bus pass each term); a waiting room with a cafe…and the best bit: a machine on a wall where you could buy toffets, if you had a sixpence on you! The machine would often go wrong and if you were lucky you could end up with a few more packets. On the edge of the bus station stood a very famous cube shaped clock, which often showed a different time on each face.

I likened the bus station to the corner shop…a very important part of one’s day; a place to meet and share so much. Sadly, like the corner shop, this particular piece of pleasure was soon ‘done away with’ for what we call progress.

Here's a really old photo of Newton Abbot Bus Station, 
(which stood on Kingsteignton Road) before the bus station
 was modernised. I would reckon this is 1950s.

As for my other half...he lived in Brixham and also travelled many times

 on a number 12 from Brixham Bus Station.  I hasten to add that we never met

on our travels!

And, as he reminded me, during the summer,in and around Torbay,

 we would look out for the open top double deckers

 which were white in colour and named after famous seafarers such as:

Sir Francis Drake
Sir Walter Raleigh
Sir Martin Frobisher
Sir John Hawkins
Sir Humphrey Gilbert
Sir Thomas Howard
Admiral Blake
Earl Howe

Happy Memories!! ;-)


galant said...

Lovely nostalgic piece about the No 12 route, Sal (between Newton Abbot and Brixham, if you travelled the full distance.)
Margaret P

dosierosie said...

very nostalgic. I used to catch a bus from Babbacombe down to Castle Circus and catch the number 12 to Paignton on a Saturday night and go to a disco called Penelopes.

Sal said...

Yes, I remember Penelopes! :-)

Graham said...

Great pictures Sal, well in the past now sadly, my bus was the 28A which did the Strand to Shiphay where I lived, could never understand why it was 28A as there was not a route 28.
We also had direct Shiphay to Plainmoor number 54 for our football trip which wound its way through Barton and St Marychurch.
Loved the Newton Abbot bus station as there was always promise there of trips to everywhere in South Devon to behold.

galant said...

Graham ... I also used the 54 from St Marychurch to Torquay Girls' Grammar School. But in those days I seldom, if at all, went to Newton Abbot, Torquay was my stomping ground.
Margaret P