Friday, 28 August 2009


This bonnie mess may rekindle some pleasant trips for a few of you and unpleasant ones for the rest of you!
This was mostly an early 70's scene when gang culture was the thing.
With no bus conductors to watch out for anymore, out came the felt pens & knives. The green leatherette seat covers would be slashed, exposing the yellow foam stuffing. Sometimes it was so bad that often there was no seat padding remaining and you had to sit on the bare wooden board underneath. The slashed leatherette was used to sew patches onto jeans as a kind of gang fashion trophy!
Windows would either be panned in from the outside or kicked out from the inside (good to know there was a choice involved!!!). I can also recall a couple of journeys when the large emergency window upstairs at the back was opened and stuff got chucked out along the route, fag packets, cans, stuffing etc and of course the usual gang signs & chants presented to the passers-by in the street..!!
They introduced a driver periscope mirror to try and monitor upstairs, but 1 driver facing up to 20 gang members didn't stand much chance. Despite this going on for years, we all just seemed to take this carry on in our stride.
Shit happens!!
Although I didn't indulge in bus vandalism, I did have a way of leaving my mark. For I was..."The Phantom Window Scribbler"...!! Actually, what it was, was when the windows steamed up I would do wee doodles in the condensation, like most kids did. However, as I got older I took it a stage further and drew full cartoons on the windows. So subjects like having a pop at Maggie Thatcher & Ronnie Reagan would go up. A bit of satire to cheer the passengers up!! The cartoons really did get a laugh, so it was a good bit of practise for later in life.
A free blank canvas, some harmless fun and no damage done.
Better to knock the stuffing out of politicians than nick the stuffing out of seats!!
Incidentally, the above snap is only an artist impression of such a scene, not the real thing!


  1. Those gang signs are photoshopped in. LOL

  2. Yeah I did that myself. I was working from memory!! GG