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!! ;-)

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Breathing down your neck!! ;-)

When I was appointed to my very first job as a teacher in Surrey, I took over from a lady
who was expecting her first baby. I had to spend the first two weeks in the classroom
with her, before she left. I hated every minute because I wanted to get stuck in,
make the class my own, stamp my own authority, mould them to my ways etc.
Pleasant as she was, to have her breathing over my shoulder, be it only for two weeks,
didn't help me one little bit. I was glad to see the back of her! (In the nicest possible way ;-)

So, on a much much larger scale, there you have a similar situation at Old Trafford!  Sir Alex Ferguson is sitting in the stands, every match, looking down; no doubt judging his successor,
David Moyes, on his every move. Sir Alex has a massive presence at Old Trafford...
and always will.
In my honest opinion I think that David Moyes was crackers to go there!
Perhaps he had a death wish?!

But did you know that this is history repeating itself?!

In June 1971, a very talented manager by the name of Frank O Farrell, stepped into the shoes of Sir Matt Busby at Manchester United. Frank, having  played for West Ham and Preston, took over the reins at Weymouth and then at Torquay United before moving to Leicester City. And very successful he was too. In my opinion, he was one of the best managers that Torquay have had and my memories of matches at Plainmoor in the 1960s, still live on. Wonderful, attacking football...old fashioned,with wingers and big centre forwards ...oh bring back those days where the game isn't coached to death and anyone could have a crack at goal. Flair,  creativity, individuality ; things that I love ...oh dear, I digress! I loved my visits to watch my team in action.
It was where 'I plied my trade' as a supporter! LOL!!!

Anyway, sad to say that moving to Old Trafford was Frank's downfall. Poor chap didn't stand a chance. Why? Because there was Sir Matt Busby, still there, always present,
breathing down his neck. Not good.
Had he gone in a 5 year holiday, things might have been different for Frank!

As Frank says, in this excellent article, below,' I felt his presence everywhere!' And later, ' Busby's power at the club was absolute.'

Poor Frank. I remember how we all felt for him, at Torquay. In fact, Frank returned to Torquay later on, mainly in the role as general manager and he now lives in Torquay.

But it's a bit like the situation at Old Trafford, today, don't you think? History repeating itself?

I think this article says it all:

I don't know what prompted me to write this blog, really!!
I am not an admirer of Manchester United, their philosophy, their fans ( or should I say 'sheep?!') that's for sure! I also think that Man Utd fans have had it too good for too long and they deserve a dose of reality 'to wipe the smug look off their faces!' ( words of someone to whom I was talking, recently) LOL!;-)

However, Torquay United ( I don't think I will ever shake off my Torquay United addiction, even through 45 years of doom, gloom, dejection and more lows than highs!)
have, this week, appointed a new manager. Chris Hargreaves. Greavsie!  Good luck to him! He needs all the luck he can get at Torquay!  At least he won't have the previous, successful manager breathing down his neck. (Well, we haven't really had many of those at Torquay! )
But I reckon that somewhere in Torquay, Frank will be taking an interest.

As will I! ;-)

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Dairy Diaries !

It's that time of year when some of you have probably started a new diary; that's

if you still enjoy keeping a diary and don't keep everything on your computer,

 what with the techno age we live in!

As I was browsing all that the Quay Antiques Centre, in Topsham,

had on offer, recently, I stumbled across some Dairy Diaries.

They were brand new; noone had even written in them.

£1 each.

Now, if you know Dairy Diaries, you will know that they are jam packed full

of the most useful information, recipes etc.

The first Dairy Diary that I ever owned was this one:

It was January 1982, my first year away from the classroom and I was rather lost. 

Pregnant and thrown into domestic bliss

(which was somewhat alien to me), my milkman

(yes, doorstep delivery for me in those days!) 

gave me details of the this diary.

 I think it was the first one published by the Milk Marketing Board.

In fact, thinking more about it, it might have even been free!

Whatever, I was delighted to have something at hand which taught me so much.

And I had 4 months to read it and inwardly digest before having

 my first baby in April 1982.

As I mentioned, it was packed full of useful information; not that I was likely to go 

climbing to dizzy heights in my state! But at least my Dairy Diary was at hand

should I need urgent advice about accidents! Not to mention

eating properly; stain removal ; food storage etc etc etc.

Better still, each page of the week included a recipe...nothing complicated

so nice 'n easy for a new stay at home mum. Boy did I need something like this

to start my climb up the ladder as a domestic goddess!!

I continued to look forward to my new Dairy Diary as each new year drew near

 and I have quite a selection from the 1980s and 1990s.

Far too good to throw away!