Topic: Swaggy Crew
This came in from Kieran Smith:
Have enjoyed your site so much. Takes me back many many years ago. I was a passanger and return courier in the early 70's on Asian Greyhound(Swagman tours)
I Also worked in London selling the tours and airline tickets,and then in Norms office in Windsor.Then Norm sent me around Russia,to follow one
of the buses that you have on the web site(Slide-RELH Kings road Windsor-I think). The reason for the trip was the new Trailer that Norm
had made, broke down on the M1 to Dover,with all the passengers gear and food in it,on its maiden trip.So I hired a transit van that
afternoon,drove down the M1 to pick up the contents of the trailer,and met the bus the next morning some where in France(I think),and followed
it around Northern Europe/Russia for the next 3-4 weeks. I also fondly remember the nights when Bob ,Fred and yourself would come
down from Slough and while the slides and the wine and the cheese were being presented to prospective passengers, you guys would relate stories
from previous journeys. Those stories really sold the trips. I also remember the name given to the bus that Bob Ashford was driving,
on one of his many tours.It was Bertha,but I can t remember the number plate(I must be getting old). I am part retired now and living in Kyneton Victoria,,and part working
at Central Queensland University(Rockhampton),so U see I still haven't got rid of my travel bug, and am about to go around Aussie for the next few years.
Once again, thanks for the initiative re the web site. I will be contributing as soon as I can. I also enjoyed reading what Fred Fisher was up to. I can still see him
sitting on a rock,somewhere on the road,rolling his cigs, while rebuilding an engine from the spare parts that he would bring with
him,to mend broken down buses,somewhere in Asia,on route to Kathmandu. I sent am email to Bob and Noreen the other month and will catch up soon
on my wanderings around Aussie.
Fred, I do hope that this email finds you in good health.
Reply from Fred
I recall walking into a detached cottage in the grounds of a hotel in Lahore to find you lazing on a bed, surrounded by trip accounts and
dictating to your secretary/passenger. I another corner of the room was a person ironing clothes (they were Bob's I later discovered) and in the
next room Bob Ashford lay neck deep in water held by a very large claw foot bath. A servant/passenger was serving Bob beer and I think that a
wench was washing his toes (this may be a figment of my imagination). I thought to myself; "this is the life!" Twenty minutes later I was laying
belly down over a hot Gardner engine trying to figure out (and later fix) what was wrong with a grumpy gearbox. I thought to myself; "now,
this IS NOT the life". We had a very jovial evening, I think.
Good to hear from you Kieran, we will keep in touch. Jan and I are happy and comfortable here in Hobart. Please pass on our regards to Bob and
Noreen when you are next in contact.