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#ThrowbackThursday; The Londoners

Happy Thursday one and all. I’ve started to really enjoy these trots down memory lane, when I’m not shocked at the amount of time that has passed! My first driving job was on buses in West Wales, home, at large local operator Davies Bros. They did a wide variety of work so I expected to be there a few years until I got a truck driving job, working my way up to international tours. The bottom fell out of that plan when they went bust & were promptly taken over by First Bus. I had no interest in working at First at the time so when someone showed me an advert for a company called The Londoners in, you’ve guessed it, London I rang up. I went down for an interview. Like an idiot I drove a V8 Range Rover at time so that was no small investment! They had a small yard behind some houses in Peckham! Brabourn Grove, it’s a small industrial estate now.

Being a forward thinking coach company and not trucking they saw me being a 21/22 year old local bus driver from Wales and said ‘when can you start?!’ They offered accommodation with the job, in house with four other drivers on corner of yard. I’ve always been a bit fearless when it comes to changing jobs and I think it stems from that, leaving my parents house in rural West Wales to share with a load of other drivers, they were all Northern (Warrington & Yorkshire if I remember rightly) and very straight talking, it was great! It was a dramatic learning experience. 

Anyhow Mick McCausland the boss must have liked me as after 3/4 months I was give the brand new coach, on left in picture. W875 UGY. A Plaxton on top of a Volvo B7R chassis and fully automatic, heaven. And I loved it. One of the first Londoners coaches to use the new ‘Status Group’ livery which they were now a part of and which would lead to their demise the year after when Tellimgs Golden Miller, those behind what I always thought was the pompously named Status Group pulled the plug. I was elsewhere by then, driving a super high luxury coach round Europe! But that’s another story.

Have a great Thursday all.

Edit just had a search online and found pictures of two really important vehicles! N9 LON, the first Londoners coach I ever drove, drove different ones every day at first, then below what was R8 LON......the first vehicle I was ever specifically allocated! They didn’t want me to be allocated it as it didn’t have a tow bar as having my HGV meant I was one of only 2 I think that could pull the luggage trailer. But I won out, but only for a few weeks before the one at top appeared! I lost a load of pics in a flood years ago so one at top is one of few I have. 21 years ago. 21. Years. Ago! Only 6/7 months of my life were at Londoners but far and away some of the most influential. Leaving the security of Rural West Wales to go to London to be out on tours on own after only 3 days with another driver set up my entire career frankly. I learnt so much so fast and it gave me a totally fearless attitude. Far and away one of if not the most important time in my working life. Great great memories. Thanks for reading my waffling on

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