A second-class return to Dottingham, please

Yesterday I was up at the ungodly hour of 4.50 am to get my son ready for his school coach trip to Belgium, which got me thinking…

Peckham busYears ago in the Midlands was a travel company who would charter out their coaches for next to nothing. Word got around to the local punks who took advantage of the offer. Out of town gigs were now easy to get to and dead cheap, so the coach trips were well popular! Also, the coach was always driven by the same bloke who didn’t seem to care what went on and the punks used to turn a blind eye to his antics as long as he got them back home in one piece!

Some of stories will go down in Punk mythology. Like the time when the windscreen was “bricked in” in some sort of inter-town rivalry. The driver muttered something about “I don’t want to get the company involved so I’m not going to ring the AA” and had the bright idea of driving them all back without a windscreen as it was only ten miles down the road. Trouble is it was a winters night and it was snowing, madness!

Once on the way to a gig after everybody was picked up from the pub meeting point, someone on board realising the coach didn’t have a loo had the bright idea of popping into his mums house to using theirs as it was on the way to the motorway. His mum and dad must have been well happy when their son turned up at the door with a coachload of punks dying to go to the loo behind him. I bet there was a few net curtains twitching that night in the cul-de-sac!

Legend has it at one gig the driver got a bit over-excited, had a few drinks and even went down the front and done the “punk kicking dance” (as demonstrated above!) At the end of the night the punks were so worried that he wouldn’t get them home alive, a couple of them forcefed him coffee from his vacuum flask until he sobered up and then took him outside to “get some air” before the drive home. The sight of two Sid Vicious look-a-likes either side of an older bloke in a smart blazer and cap walking around a car park must have been bizarre. How he didn’t get stopped by the police on the way home I don’t know. Absolutely mental!

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