As you will know from my last blog entry, I have been struggling to find a number 61 for my photography project. So I was pleased to find in the travel instructions for a course at Woodbrooke Quaker Study centre in Birmingham that I would need either a 61 or 63 bus to get there from New Street train station.
Talking of which, New Street is now brand spanking new. Now incorporated into the Bullring, it’s a destination in itself.
Leaving the station I found the bus stop I needed easily. There was a ‘Not in Service’ bus parked there and 4 bus employees in the bus stop.I asked if I was in the right place and one said, “Oh, I wouldn’t bother if I were you, we hardly have any drivers, they’re off, I think it’s Eid”. ‘Well,” I said, ” I have to get somewhere”. So I waited. Then a driver got in the seat. “Do you know yet what number this bus is?” I asked. “Number 61” was the reply. So I got on, thinking I could get a photo as I got off.
I expected a 30 minute journey at the outside, but there had been an accident on an adjacent road. 4 blue light flashing ambulances passed going the other way. So the road we were travelling on was jammed. The bus was crowded too as few buses were running; at least I had a seat. But then it got dark and I had no idea where I was. Though the instructions given me were good, I couldn’t see the landmarks. And I was late. It took an hour and a half to reach my stop, as long as it had taken me to travel from Milton Keynes to Birmingham. Thankfully I was helped by 2 ladies I was sitting near and they told me when my stop was reached.
I struggled to get off the bus with my case past those standing in the aisle. As I stood in the dark orientating myself I thought to take a photo but wasn’t quick enough. I took a mental photo of the back of the bus displaying the number 61, but until Apple can retrieve memories pensieve-like, that’s how it will stay.
So this is my alternative 61 photograph, the instructions I was given. and a picture of the beautiful gardens at Woodbrooke. The course was a good one, and I caught a taxi back to the station!