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Saturday, 04 January 2014


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G'day David,

Back in 1997 I undertook a large safety study for the Kowloon Motor Bus Company [1933] Ltd as they were having a bit of annoyance from the Hong Kong Department of Motor Transport people who did not understand the relevance of exposure to collision occurrence. I digress.

One of the issues for drivers even back then was the ever present "bus spotter". I guess you have to spot busses as the trains are mostly underground.

One bus spotter I spoke to on the side of the very busy main drag through Mong Kok turned out to be a very senior personage in the Department of Justice. He could tell me more about the subtle differences in the bus fleet than the fleet manager.

Eccentrics are everywhere.

While not to do with train spotting but with trains may I suggest that when it opens in the UK [if it hasn't already] you take yourself and Mrs David/some significant other [but not together] to see "The Railway Man". If you want light entertainment forget it but if you want to see a good film it is highly recommended. Set in the UK and Thailand and to do with a Brit survivor of the Burma Railway.

And not I haven't mentioned the C word once.

Good grief, those damned bus-spotters are everywhere!

And, yes, AussieD, they are busy advertising "The Railway Man" 'up over here' because it's due to open. I trust Colin Firth as an actor so I think I will give it a try.

When serving in Hong Kong in the early 80's, I met a recently retired REME senior NCO who was such a 'bus nut' that he had taken a job with the bus company as an engineer on the proviso that he was trained and allowed to drive a bus on a regular basis. The story of the 'Gweilo bus driver' even made the South China Morning Post. He still worked for the company when I left the Colony a year or so later.

Thanks for that, Penseivat, all the best people are bus-drivers. I was one once for the Aldershot & District Bus Company known, for reasons not un-associated with myself, as the 'Aldershot & Risk It'! I believe my record for the late-night Cranleigh to Guildford run still stands!

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