This is, as you can see the M&S Bus. All done up in it's own distinctive livery. Looks smart. Most of the time it drives around South Devon picking up passengers and carrying them, for free, to and from the Willows, the shopping complex just outside Torquay. I use the word complex very loosely as there are only about 6 or 7 shops there, one of them is Marks and Spencer's. In the evening when it is not being used for this purpose it acts as a spare bus but it is only used if there are no other buses available. This situation occurred on Saturday and I was the poor sod that had to take it out as a number 12. I say poor sod as the most important piece of equipment on this bus, and any bus for that matter, is, sad to say dysfunctional. No, not the brakes, not the steering or the gears. Not even the engine. But the seat! The adjustment is almost none existent. It would move backward and forward, but only as far as the average tectonic plate moves in a week, and as for moving up and down, don't even try. It was too low for me, it felt like I was sitting in a hole, it was so far back I had to lean forward to turn the wheel. Enough to put you off wanting to drive the damn thing? I expect so, but there is one last problem. The padding in the seat had been removed, probably by the Spanish Inquisition. Ten minutes in that seat and you would confess to anything, after half an hour you start to look forward to being burnt at the stake. Finally, after whining like mad and annoying all the other drivers and control for a couple of hours an other bus came available and the M&S bus was parked in the garage for the night where it belongs.
I know I wasn't going to mention the Young Farmers again but the news from Kent prompts me to ask, Young Farmers or Earthquake? Looking at the damage and reading the stories of people caught up in the earthquake I have to say; "Come back any time you like." to the Young Farmers. Next week if you wish, no problem.