Working at the bus garage

The view westwards along Conway Street, from opposite Ellen Place, in 1938, and before the garage was extended east to the corner of Goldstone Street. Many years ago the stables of the old horse Bus Company were here, and the premises were gradually converted to a garage as Motor buses replaced the horses.
Image reproduced with kind permission of The Regency Society and The James Gray Collection

One of my many jobs

Another of my many jobs as a teenager was working at the Brighton, Hove and District bus garage in Conway Street. My job was not a very clean occupation; I was a chassis cleaner. When the buses came in for their five year overhaul they were stripped right down to the bones and refurbished. My job after the axles and all the other bits and pieces were taken off, was to scrape the mud and all the detritus from underneath and clean it ready for painting.

Learning to be a mechanic

It never took me long to finish my cleaning work as I was a hard worker. But more importantly, when I finished I was allowed to help the mechanics cleaning and stripping down axles, gearboxes and loads of other interesting bits of work. It stood me in good stead as I have been a mechanic all my life from then on. I have never had to take any of my long list of cars and lorries to a garage to get fixed.

Comments about this page

  • I can remember the bus garage. My mother lived in Goldstone House, and I used to visit mum before going to work. I was working at Clarkes Bakery and I used to walk past the garage and under the bridge to work, sometimes I would stop for a few minutes and watch the buses being repaired. It was a different world then. I just wish I could go back to those happy times.

    By Dennis Fielder (07/12/2013)
  • Seeing this picture took me back. I was born that year and well remember Clarkes bakery, especially when the horse drawn wagons were parked in Conway Street, and the drivers going to Jack’s Cafe on the corner. My passion was horses. When they went motorised, we used to make camps in the wagons. Wonderful days even though there was a war on.

    By Sylvia Jones (nee Holden) (21/04/2014)
  • I worked at George Freeman builders’ merchants next to the bus company from  1967. We would go to the bus company canteen next door with a large white enamel jug which we got filled  up with tea, and a white cup and saucer were filled with coffee for our manager. It was hard to carry both when filled and once I was accused by the manager of drinking his coffee when i had spilled some.  My first job of the day was to polish the brass handles on the shop doors.

    By John Hewitt (30/10/2016)
  • I started work at Edward Street garage as bus fitter in 1977. Great bunch of lads and so much fun. Fred Sadler, Farmer John, Jack and others. Driving out through the arch in Lewes Road as one way in from Edward Street. Some of the best memories of my life. From there when it closed I moved up to Whitehawk Garage with George White, another great team and very fond memories. Had learnt to drive on the Queen Marys out from Conway Street in 1975. Instructor was ex-military man, very tall sergeant major-type – would poke you with his batton if you did anything wrong, always saying “cover your clutch”!” He was a nice chap though and very good instructor, wish I could remember his name. Do remember you had to change first to second at about 1.5 mph or it would never go in. Loved driving the Marys but hated driving the Loddeckers as quite big and smashed several wristwatches changing gear in them as gear lever so close to side of cab, reason I have never worn a watch since. Happy Days

    By Alan Watson (21/11/2019)

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