Joe and Muriel kick-started my memory into gear with their so graphic descriptions of the trams and buses in Coventry. As most of you know my childhood was spent in NW London and we were blessed with some cheerful bus conductors who kept up something of a running commentary rather than a conversation with the passengers.
Although it was many years ago I can still remember a couple of their witticisms. The trolleybus conductor who as the "trolley" approached Child's Hill would call out "Child's 'ill, call the doctor!" and the conductor on the 28 bus route who, as the stop for West Hampstead Cemetery loomed, would shout "West Hampstead Cemetery! Any more for the Underground!" And the terrifying noise of the trams as they passed under the railway at Cricklewood. As a four year old I hated them and was so pleased to see them replaced with the splendid new trolleybuses.
'Impression of Killer Fog'
by Jacqueline Morreau
When I was much older and worked in London I came to like the trams and was sorry to see them go. Of course its all right reminiscing but if you had to cycle on a tram route the tracks were a nightmare and having your wheel stuck in a tram rail whilst a noisy, clanging tram bore down upon you was not much fun. The following extract from "My Story" (a personal memoir for my grandchildren) gives another angle on the trolleybuses.
I remember London fogs. So thick that it was hard to see more than a yard or two and so mucky that a handkerchief tied over your mouth and nose became filthy in minutes. Going to school by trolleybus was almost impossible so I would set out to walk going from one lamppost to the next. Sometimes I would come across a chain of perhaps half a dozen "trollies" following one another nose to tail with the leader following a bus inspector or conductor carrying a blazing torch of pitch as he walked a pace or two ahead of the following bus. If I were thus fortunate I would jump aboard and hope that they would keep going until they reached Finchley. I would not get to school any quicker but at least I did not have to walk and there was always the chance that the fog would lift a little as we moved further into the outer suburbs. Hold very tight please! Ding! Ding!