Cliff Ton

Anniversary seats on buses

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At the recent meet-up, SueC (who only appears occasionally) mentioned something which brought back memories, although it was a phrase I'd not heard for many years.

On the lower deck in old-style buses, when you first entered there was a pair of seats arranged lengthways, before you got to the normal forward-facing seats. They were known as "Anniversary Seats", but no-one could say why.

bus%20interior.jpg

I know the reason why they existed - it's to raise the floor level over the wheel arch.

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Do you think it was something to do with Sunday School Anniversaries? Do you remember them? Where we had to sit in front of the congregation and recite and sing and had a special tea afterwards?

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Anniversary Seats on Buses, brilliant, as a young conductor on NCT used to chat up the girls on these seats, have a lay down at the terminus, happy days

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My thoughts are that they were originally reserved for ladies riding on the bus so they could be seated more "appropriately", if you know what I mean !

Ladies in years gone by just had to be seated correctly.

As terence12 said they were a handy place to have a nap on for bus crews at the termini ! (I did) hellothere

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And on the trolleybuses with twin rear axles they were very long - space for five or six in a row. I'd never heard them called anniversary seats before. My mum tended to dislike them. If there was nowhere else to sit without going upstairs (in the fog) she would mutter "I s'pose we'll 'ave to sit side-saddle then!"

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They were always called anniversary seats by the old timers when I joined NCT, but never knew the reason why !

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when she was young mum had a series of operations on her left leg, resulting in 4 inches of knee including the cap being removed and the lower shin being grafted to the thigh, resulting in later years of her wearing a 4 inch cork boot on her left foot, obviously she could not bend her leg at all so when she got on a bus, usually a 56 or 60 to bilborough, and it was full she would have to sit on the anniversary seat, her leg would stick out and as people got on and off they would bang against her leg, once dad got a car she would never travel on a bus again. i have to say though she never resented her leg or the people.

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They were always called anniversary seats by the old timers when I joined NCT, but never knew the reason why !

Old timers being the key phrase. 'Anniversary Seats' was used by my parents and grandparents, but I hadn't heard the expression for over 40 years.

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I wonder if it has anything to do with Rosa Parks. She was a black lady from Alabama and became famous for refusing to

give up her bus seat for a white man, something which was the law in those days. She was taken to Court and history shows

that it was the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement, something that brought Dr Martin Luther King to prominence.

The date of Rosa Parks actions is celebrated every year so I wonder if this is where the term 'Anniversary Seat' originated.

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#2 - I remember Sunday School Anniversaries Eileen, we used to get prizes for good attendance. Always a book with a religious theme, I received one called 'Horrible Harriet' about a young girl who hated nature and thought it was all 'horrible', especially when a butterfly landed on her raspberries and cream. Did you have the annual outing on a charabanc, we lived in Burton on Trent and one year the trip was to Trentham Gardens and I remember some swan shaped boats on the lake?

I desperately wanted to be an orphan so I could go on the outings for free. And go to boarding school - read too many Mallory Towers and similar books!! Now I am an orphan and it ain't what I thought....

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Hello Annie #12,

Our Sunday School went to Trentham Gardens one year. We were quite disappointed as we really liked Wicksteed Park near Kettering with its swings and slides and roundabouts - all free. Weren`t really interested in gardens. Other brilliant trips were to Belle Vue near Manchester and, of course, Skeggy!

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#9. MB.

Don't think so Michael, this incident with Rosa Parks was in 1955, I can remember my mother always referring to these seats as anniversary seats before that time !

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As catfan says, no connection. It's just googling anniversary + bus seat brings up the anniversary of the Rosa Parks incident as the biggest search.

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I use to sit on these seats sometimes to keep my eye on the tool bag which of course went under the stairs also at that time mini skirts were all the rage,I was only young.......

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#13 - we went to Wicksteed park too Eileen, and Alton Towers way before it became a theme park. The pagoda and chair lifts were there, and some small roundabouts in a courtyard. But my favourite was the miniature railway - you had to pay extra to go in but it fascinated me, especially when the lights went out and all the trains were lit up. :)

In Burton the Corporation buses were maroon coloured, all double deckers. The one on our route had those anniversary seats on the top deck going along sideways, with a side trench sort of walkway to walk along. Used to get very foggy as smokers had to go upstairs. I expect some of you aficionados will know what type/make they were!?

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The one on our route had those anniversary seats on the top deck going along sideways, with a side trench sort of walkway to walk along. Used to get very foggy as smokers had to go upstairs.

One of these....

low%20bridge.jpg

It makes the overall height of the bus lower than other buses.

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#20. Many of the Barton`s buses had this arrangement upstairs, Cliff. It was really uncomfortable and inconvenient for getting on and off as you often had to trample over people`s knees and shopping bags.

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I haven't heard that word 'trample' since I left the UK. What a lovely word it is too.

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#20. Many of the Barton`s buses had this arrangement upstairs, Cliff. It was really uncomfortable and inconvenient for getting on and off as you often had to trample over people`s knees and shopping bags.

And I believe it was also a pain for the conductors to reach across and get the fare from the person nearest the window.

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#24

One of the conductresses had a bad leg (or lazy one!) and used to collect the fare at the bottom of the stairs, either on your way up or back down. It used to cost threeh'apence to get to school, or a penny from the stop at the top of the hill on our estate. So we used to walk to there and spend the h'apenny on two Black Jacks or Mojos. Wouldn't do it nowadays!!

#22

Nowadays on single deckers it's a case of trampling through the kids congregating by the driver, can't understand why they want to stand when there are usually plenty of seats further up the bus. Of course they have their mobile phones which they seem to use as balancing devices to keep themselves steady as they are stuck to one ear.

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