Oct 04 2012

Standing Room Only…

Published by at 1:53 pm under News

‘Standing room only inside, plenty of seats upstairs now. You’ll have to put that pram under the stairs Misses’. ‘But Mister the child is in it and he’s asleep’…and so it went. The Dublin Bus Conductors  were a rare and they were our own, no imports as the Da’ would say. They understood the moods and swings of everyday life on the buses. Sometimes they’d even let you off paying if they knew you were going in to sign on the Labour in Gardiner Street. My favourite bus conductor was Eddie Mitchell from Rathoath Road, he wouldn’t take any money off the Ma’ when she’d be dragging a half dozen or so of us into town.

He was never disrespectful to the elderly people and he knew all the scams that the younger ones tried to pull. There was one conductor in particular that we used to call ‘The Whistler’ because that’s what he did all the time, even when he was collecting the money he’d still be whistling. He’d rattle the coins in his hand to the rythm of the tune he was whistling. He threw me and my pals off the bus in Phibsborough just because we asked him if he ate budgie seeds for his breakfast. Do you ever remember shouting at the bus as it was leaving the stop ‘Hey mister throw us out a roll’. The next thing two or three rolls of ticket paper would come flying out as the bus sped off. There’d be killings between the kids to get a roll. I remember you could tear off a piece and we would bend it in half and tear another little piece off and if you held it up to your mouth you could blow through it and make a quaking sound like a duck.

I always remember running up O’Connell Street for the last bus at half past eleven at night. Or the other way was to run to Aston Quay for the 38 or the 39 and get off at Cabra Cross near the Deaf and Dumb. All along O’Connell Street you’d hear the Bus Inspectors blow their whistles on the dot of half eleven, enginges would start wup and vroom, off they’d go.

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