by George Potter
I have been in bus work, more of less, all my life. I used to live near Cambridge and in the 1960s worked as a driver for a firm called "Progressive Coaches." The boss, a Mr Harris, was an Irishman and insisted that all the vehicles had some green in the livery. The standard colour scheme was green and white.
A lot of the fleet was second hand and included some ex-London Transport pre-war RTs. I also remember well a Dennis Lance double decker we had. (This was ex-Aldershot K3 No 127 - Ed.) I often drove it on Schools and contract work and soon got used to the back-to-front gearbox fitted, with the pre-selector overdrive. I always liked the overdrive top. I remember one day using the Dennis to take a party of youngsters up to London. Once I got the 5th gear selected, nothing could catch me on the A11!
Later on, I drove for another firm at Biggleswade. They had an 8-foot wide Dennis double decker, with a Gardner 5 pot engine. (An ex-Aldershot K4 - Ed.) The boss said to me "I don't know if you can manage this one - it's got Chinese gears". But he needn't have worried. I told him I had driven a Dennis bus with a gearbox like that in my last job.
This article first appeared in Newsletter no27, May 2000