Double-decker driver sets off without his 'Clippie' after a town hall call of nature

5 September 2017 6:19PM

CLASSIC double-decker buses with a driver and a conductor returned to Morecambe Bay on Sunday.

The Leyland vehicles – which many will be familiar with from school or shopping trips in the 1980s – were helping provide a free shuttle service from Happy Mount Park and Heysham to the Vintage-by-the-Sea event in Morecambe.

These Ribble buses were provide by the Ribble Vehicle Preservation Trust and many other products of the Leyland bus works were once daily sights on the roads of Furness in the livery of Barrow Corporation Transport.

Buses with a driver and ticket-selling conductor – often called a clippie - could have funny moments, such as this snippet from The Mail of October 5 in 1966.

It noted: “Clippie Elsie Yates, of Yarlside Road, Barrow, missed her own bus and caught it up three stops away.

“Elsie took time off to ‘spend a penny’ when the double-decker Barrow Corporation bus made its usual stop outside Barrow Town Hall.

“When she came out the road was empty.”

Elsie, 46, had been on the buses for 15 years.

She told The Mail: “I got off the bus with a crowd of schoolchildren to pay a call.

“I thought the driver had seen me get off.

“We were already late so I couldn’t tell him.

“As soon as the bus had gone I knew what had happened.”

The article noted: “The driver, her brother-in-law, Douglas Corkill, of Harrogate Street, Barrow, kept going - unaware that he didn’t have a conductress.

“He said: ‘I didn’t see her get off. I thought she must have been upstairs when I couldn’t see her inside’.

“At the Ramsden Square bus stop Douglas, who has been a bus driver for five years, stopped to wait for his conductress and amused passengers saw her arrive on another bus.

“Elsie said: ‘It is just one of those things that happen when you are busy. We take it all as a laugh’.”

Among the buses is use at Morecambe was the last Leyland Atlantean to have been in service with Ribble.

Now registered as TRN 481V, it was one of a batch of 30 supplied to Ribble in 1980 and worked in Cumbria and Chorley before become part of the preservation group’s fleet in 2001.

By 1973 Barrow Borough Transport had a fleet of 63 buses and coaches.

At the start of 1973 the corporation had taken over 10 coaches from the Hadwin firm at Ulverston and became the first council operator in the country with a licence to run excursions and tours.

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