Magazine article The Spectator

From the Archives: Bus Battles

Magazine article The Spectator

From the Archives: Bus Battles

Article excerpt

From 'The softening of street manners', The Spectator, 20 May 1916: Generally the public opinion of the 'bus entirely upholds the conductor. The influence of the tyrant is too strong to allow of protest, but now and then cases of rebellion occur, and bold females who consider themselves slighted vow that they will write to the company. But an ordinary 'bus-load contains no such heroines.... Sometimes, however, the will of the passengers prevails by reason of unanimity. A few nights ago a drunken soldier got, late at night, into a West End 'bus. The conductor civilly asked him to get out. The man began to argue, and a number of elderly women took his part. 'Let him stop,' they begged, one after another. 'It was not as if he were abusive,' said one. 'No, indeed,' agreed another, 'considering he has had a drop too much he's very nice.'

'If you don't mind, ladies, I don't,' said the conductor, and he retired to the top of the vehicle. Finally, it became necessary to eject the drunkard, and the little force used was deprecated by several passengers. 'What a shame to push the poor fellow! …

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