Tuesday, November 12, 2013


 
England's traditional public transport, a double decker bus
 
AN EXTRACT FROM MY MEMOIR "OXFORD, A DECADE IN WONDERLAND"
 
            ...AND FOOTBALL HOOLIGANS

Boarding the bus at St. Aldates for a preliminary visit to our permanent residence the following afternoon left me feeling equally apprehensive. The house had been booked sight unseen through an Oxford agency called Finders Keepers. No sooner had we settled on the bus than a stream of football fans rushed the double-decker. About 25 youths shouting profanities scrambled up the narrow stairway to the upper level. Within seconds a wild-eyed young African tumbled down the steps, out of the bus and onto the sidewalk. No response from the driver. He looked the other way.

The noise from above was alarming, but even more alarming was the rocking motion of our transport. As we proceeded on down the High - Oxford’s main street - with our riotous load of drunken football fans, pedestrians stopped and stared. Many watched with mouths open, at what must have looked like the passing of a cage of monkeys. The noise from above was deafening. Were they breaking the windows I wondered. The bus driver looked stoically ahead, obviously used to this Saturday fiasco, or else he was not about upsetting a bubbling cauldron.

A brief ride up Headington Hill and the bus came to a halt at the Headington bus stop. The football fans, still bellowing, poured down the steps and headed off to the Oxford United Stadium for an afternoon cheering on the local team and hopefully getting rid of some of that testosterone.

There were police at the bus stop. They looked officious. The driver climbed out of his cab and joined the uniformed officers. Alighting, we stopped beside the group as they looked up at the top of the bus. I gasped. It looked as if every one of the windows was missing.

Another first I thought. We’d encountered a contingent of England’s infamous football fans … and we'd made it to Headington without calamity!!

More to follow tomorrow...
 
Photo copyright Anne Gordon
 
Posted by Anne Gordon on Tuesday, 12th November 2013.

 

1 Comments:

At November 12, 2013 at 8:42 AM , Blogger Nicola Gordon said...

Great article, and interesting insight into some of Oxford's inhabitants. Looking forward to more!

 

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