Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The Children on the Bus Go...

I'll not be posting much about my current bus tour of East  Anglia. After all there's not a lot to say: the buses (and trains)  turn up when they are due,  go to where they are supposed to be going and arrive when they should, just like buses all over the country every day.
But I was surprised when I turned up at Old Cattle Market Bus Station in Ipswich (Ipswich has two bus stations,  the other one is called Tower Ramparts,  what great names) to get the bus to Shotley Gate. Surprised because despite it being a rural route with an infrequent service the bus was a double-decker and surprised that although it was nowhere near school time the top deck was full of school children.
The lower deck was full of "ordinary " passengers and the front seats up top were free so I braved them for the journey to the coast.
The children were from Shotley and on their way home after a school trip to Ipswich. Some enterprising teacher had realised that 30 half fares on the bus would be cheaper than hiring a coach! Presumably they had told the bus company they were coming and a big enough bus had been supplied.
The kids were well supervised and well behaved and kept the adults entertained with songs and singing - games throughout the trip.  One of the few other adults upstairs turned out to be a lady now living in Australia visiting her former home and who used to be a pupil in the school and who knew some of the children's families.
Shotley turned out to be a great place to visit with views across the estuary to Harwich,  where the Esbjerg ferry was waiting to complete one of its last runs before yet another short - sea route from the UK to the mainland falls victim to the low - cost airlines. The container ship trade from Felixstowe however,  also visible,  is clearly thriving with many such vessels in port which I spent a happy half hour identifying with my new "Ship Finder" app.

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