Clippies recall days on the buses

FORMER clippies and bus drivers travelled back in time today at Ipswich Transport Museum.The women, who all worked on the trolleybuses during the Second World War, spent the day reminiscing about their days as conductors and drivers.

FORMER clippies and bus drivers travelled back in time today at Ipswich Transport Museum.

The women, who all worked on the trolleybuses during the Second World War, spent the day reminiscing about their days as conductors and drivers.

During their reunion they also vividly recalled the arrival of the Americans in Ipswich and near misses and prangs in a blacked out town.

In the war women were relied on to keep the buses running while the men were away fighting, and it was hard work.

The youngest conductor was Joan Pascall, who began working on the buses in 1945, on her eighteenth birthday.

She said: "Sometimes the buses would come off the line and we'd have to run behind with a pole and put them back on the springs, being little I nearly went up with them.

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"I've got some good memories of those days, I was lucky to have my teen years during the war because there was plenty to do.

"The buses were full of American forces but we couldn't get involved, it was a case of them being there one day and gone the next."

Mrs Pascall's sister Margery Race was a driver on the buses. She recalled: "I pushed an American off my bus once.

"He got a bit too much, standing on the running board- he wouldn't leave me alone so I pushed him out.

"I was proud of my job and it was lovely to do my bit for the war effort.

"We got to wear a lovely navy blue uniform and the men were really jealous because it was made of the best serge material, the men's uniform was really coarse.

"I would have loved to have kept that uniform."

The eldest driver, Lillian Seymour, 92 was not so lucky she said: "My brakes failed once and the bus was full of men hanging out of the doors and windows.

"I managed to slide it back gently and drive it into the kerb."

Today's reunion was organised as part of Suffolk Records Office, Archive Awareness month, aimed at promoting the county's record offices and museums.

Kathy Pollard, a member of Suffolk County Council's executive committee, said: "It's been a big success, it's good for the women to look back and have a chat about those days.

"It is important to remember these things and encourage people to use the record's office."

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