New Cumnock, Edinburgh
Thank you to Matt Rooney, New Cumnock. Ayrshire, Scotland, for the
recollections one of his many jobs in and around Edinburgh -
driving SMT buses.
Driving SMT Buses
a driver with the S.M.T. at Dalkeith when there were
and Conductresses taking the fare's
new, like others before me, I was put onto 'split shifts' where I
might work for a couple and a bit hours very early in the Morning
and have to go back later on in the day to finish off the rest of
Then I was put on a regular route. One
week it would be the Musselburgh to Penicuik run - the journey time
was 55 minutes and believe me if we got held up at all.
following week it would be the Birkenside / Newtongrange and into
Edinburgh and outgoing from St Andrews Square where the original
stances used to be.
Dalkeith was where we started and finished our
shifts. Most of the bus crews liked practical jokes, especially if
they'd been a holiday to Blackpool, as I don't remember many joke
shops in Edinburgh."
"The only time that we didn't work out of Dalkeith was in the
when the older drivers were put on the London run's,
and then we would cover their shifts from Edinburgh, for a
"SMT had enough contract's to keep them going. One of the
Contracts was with the National Coal Board where they picked up the
miners from Smeaton Pit and take them to Dalkeith
Colliery (which was on the road from Dalkeith to
Wallyford just before you get to Whitecraigs).
Smeaton Pit didn't have washing facilities
like showers so the miners had to go to the other pit to get
showered, then return to Smeaton pit and get their buses home.
I was glad that I was just a driver as I
didn't fancy the job of cleaning out the bus after the miners had
sat in it."
run as we had a Following of girls that seemed to be
on our bus more than they ought, I was still
single at the time and 24 ish. it was the Same when I was in
the Army. They say its the draw of the uniform. It does
sound far fetched but it was a fact."
Driving for other Companies
driving the buses for SMT, I continued to work as a bus
driver, mostly in my spare time. This was when I worked as an
insurance agent in the Loanhead and Gilmerton areas.
odd occasions I worked part time for "Hunter's of Loanhead," for
in the summer months extra drivers were needed to take parties of
folk to see the Sites of Scotland.
I also worked for
William Stewart's coaches of Dalkeith."
Rooney, New Cumnock, Edinburgh ( now aged 73) : August 2005
Thank you to RA Whyte who wrote:
"Here is a photo of SMT Staff, taken some time in the 1920s
at the SMT Bus Depot in Edinburgh.
In the front row, third from the left is
my late Aunt Nan.
Reproduced with acknowledgement to
Thank you to George Renton for writing again.
Long Distance Journeys
"I remember my dad would on
occasion make the comment when he was describing someone looking
disheveled in appearance as "looked like they fell off the back o'
an SMT bus.
I remember those buses highballin' up
and down the road. I think I only ever rode in one a couple of
times, as they were in my young mind a bus going long distances with
few stop in between.
On a side note, here in Canada,
Greyhound has stopped service to the majority of there lines.
It's become quite a hardship for many northern communities - a
sign of the times?"
George Renton, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada: 20