outer circle

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1986

Unlimited travel, freedom printed on my West Midlands Travel  pass.   Buses, seven days a week, 24 hours a day.   Trains too!   No more planning my journeys by cost or parental good will.  No-one I knew could afford a car.   Riding Double Decker buses above the driver with views across the city and into first-floor rooms of street lining houses.   Everything is on show through those windows: loneliness; lovemaking; waiting; TV watching; eating;  arguments; cats watching me watching them.

Sunday riding  the “outer circle”, route 11.   A circle by name,   squished octagonal by map, and  voluptuous curvacious rolling ride by road.   Either way if you keep going long enough  you  end up right back where you started.   The route  is strewn with churches, graveyards, suburbs, slums, shopping streets,   industrial ‘parks’ and other passengers.    A couple made love on the back seat of the upper deck.     When they noticed me noticing them we all giggled.   I respected their location choice because its warm, dry, relatively private,  and best of all it lacks  the scent of rotting mice

West Midlands Transit Map - SQUINT!

2006

Commuters reading books.    A lady explains to her phone  how to treat dry skin then takes its  advice on using a  tea-bag to treat a sore eye.   Everyone looked busy,   except me.    Passengers  in another part of Seattle could make a very different impression.    I wanted to ride the buses ’til the sun had long set and  the buses carried me home,  tired and sated.     But

My stop.      Temporarily mislaid freedom.

Maybe Sunday….

rate wendys scribble

2 bits of lovely banter on “outer circle”

  1. Eyan writes:

    Ay! And the no. 8 and the no.1

       0 likes

    [reply]

  2. Robert writes:

    Read with fascination your stories about the 11 Outer Circle, it maybe before your time but I own an old Birmingham Double Decker bus that regularly ran on the service from 1972-1977, when like the rest of the old back loaders was withdrawn. This particular bus was unique in it was the only BCT bus with rear end platform doors. She is now being restored along with 6 other BCT DDs. Which all at one time or another saw service on the route.

    I have many happy memories of the route, particularly the trips to Villa Park.

    Robert Hayles, Murcia, Spain

       0 likes

    [reply]

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