Bus Enthusiast Etiquette.

Beemax

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When I was a small child in Southampton I used to impress my mother by being able to point to the offside of one of the city’s 200 identical Guy Arabs and predict with 99% accuracy what advertisement would be posted on the nearside. I think she used to think I had supernatural powers though in reality it was more like borderline Asperger’s. As I’ve grown up I’ve learnt to appreciate the importance of seeing something from someone else’s point of view (something which many on the autistic spectrum find difficult) and to think, before doing or saying something, about how my actions or comments will be perceived by others. I would imagine that quite a few contributors to this wider forum are somewhere on the ‘spectrum’ and possibly living quite fulfilled lives, but you sometimes suspect that they do fall short on the ‘emotional intelligence ‘ side of things, and don’t always look at themselves in the way that others might see them.

I think enthusiasm for various forms of public transport is a harmless pastime, provided people keep things in perspective. So, for example, when you read about a local serious bus crash, try to think about the people involved rather than the vehicle.
 
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richw

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Thank god - I thought it was just me! One visit to Showbus and that was enough for me o_O
I took an open top VR to Penzance rally a couple of years back.
I had a couple of hardcore enthusiasts criticise me for wearing jeans and a polo shirt whilst driving a heritage bus. Being the quick witted type I replied I am here for you to enjoy the bus not me!
As for the number of people pointing out I had my headlights on, or ask to turn them off for a photo I lost count. Although a day off work and my own time And a bus unrelated to my employer, I was in my employers premise of Penzance bus station where company policy is headlights have to be on. Anyone observing would have noticed that every colleague also had headlights on! If on company premises company policy applies whether I’m working or not.
 

carlberry

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As for the number of people pointing out I had my headlights on, or ask to turn them off for a photo I lost count. Although a day off work and my own time And a bus unrelated to my employer, I was in my employers premise of Penzance bus station where company policy is headlights have to be on. Anyone observing would have noticed that every colleague also had headlights on! If on company premises company policy applies whether I’m working or not.
I dont know the arrangements for the Penzance rally however it's fairly usual for attending drivers to be told to follow the rules of the site owner, after all it's quite easy for the company to withdraw permission.
There were loads of moans at the last Taunton running day because First had asked the organisers to keep the bus station yard clear of visitors whereas the previous year it had resembled a bowling alley every time a vehicle had to be moved!
As for all the moans about banksmen in hi vis when it's usually the only thing that's stopping me running people over when I'm reversing!
 

Mwanesh

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Some companies want their PR photos to appear first than on other pages. When i used to see some one with a camera i slowed down for a good picture.
 

Busaholic

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I took an open top VR to Penzance rally a couple of years back.
I had a couple of hardcore enthusiasts criticise me for wearing jeans and a polo shirt whilst driving a heritage bus. Being the quick witted type I replied I am here for you to enjoy the bus not me!
As for the number of people pointing out I had my headlights on, or ask to turn them off for a photo I lost count. Although a day off work and my own time And a bus unrelated to my employer, I was in my employers premise of Penzance bus station where company policy is headlights have to be on. Anyone observing would have noticed that every colleague also had headlights on! If on company premises company policy applies whether I’m working or not.
I'd call Penzance a running day rather than a rally, especially as time has gone on. These days, the number of locals perhaps even outnumbers the real 'enthusiast' community, with many not knowing anything about the buses but just wanting a ride into the country on what often proves to be a lovely day weatherwise (and was this year for the cancelled event, natch!). I see very few problems with individuals getting in the way deliberately or disobeying orders: the lack of people looking to boss people around undoubtedly helps to create the right atmosphere in any case. It's slightly annoying when a trip for which you've been waiting patiently, having bought the programme/brochure, gets rushed by hordes who take a fancy to a particular bus, usually a doubledecker and sometimes in a shade of red never favoured by Western National or its successors. :)
 

TheGrandWazoo

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I took an open top VR to Penzance rally a couple of years back.
I had a couple of hardcore enthusiasts criticise me for wearing jeans and a polo shirt whilst driving a heritage bus. Being the quick witted type I replied I am here for you to enjoy the bus not me!
As for the number of people pointing out I had my headlights on, or ask to turn them off for a photo I lost count. Although a day off work and my own time And a bus unrelated to my employer, I was in my employers premise of Penzance bus station where company policy is headlights have to be on. Anyone observing would have noticed that every colleague also had headlights on! If on company premises company policy applies whether I’m working or not.
Yes - you should be in a full NBC uniform for them....sounds a bit fetishistic TBH.

I think enthusiasm for various forms of public transport is a harmless pastime, provided people keep things in perspective. So, for example, when you read about a local serious bus crash, try to think about the people involved rather than the vehicle.
Very true.
 

RJ

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If you have a well-rounded life with plenty of interests and a good social life, no-one will bat an eyelid if you have a soft spot for a particular bus. If it becomes all-consuming and excludes everything else, such as a normal social life, or familiarity with soap, then that's a problem. I do have a tendency to take things very seriously, which was a problem when I was younger, but it's much less of an issue as I career chaotically towards middle age, and I'd like to think I'm pretty well-rounded.

Something that has always bothered me, though, is that if you're obsessive about football, no-one will bat an eyelid, but an equivalent level of obsession about practically anything else will get you labelled as some sort of weirdo.
I agree with this.

Being an enthusiast doesn't automatically make someone weird. But if it's your only hobby, to the point you can't hold conversations with non-enthusiasts because you have no other interests or knowledge of anything else then it will be difficult to establish a rapport with the majority of people who are not enthusiasts.

The thing about football is it's popular. If you know about football you can form connections with a much larger group of people. Football simulators like Fifa have millions of users who play interactively. The matches and technical side of it provides plenty to follow and discuss with others, but there's the people side too. A lot of people are inspired by and interested in the experiences and enterprises of millionaires, like to follow the progress and performance of players in all leagues. Some like to watch people who are at the peak of fitness and enjoying what they do. Although I don't follow football, I do get it.

Many people I know have a varied set of interests, in some cases following specific things for the sole purpose of expanding their social networks. For some, transport is one interest but outside of socials with other transport people, they probably don't talk about it.
 

jp4712

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As the owner of an open rear platform bus, I operate a very simple rule for people boarding: if you ask to board and look around, I always say yes; if you say nothing and just walk past me (or head up the stairs), I’ll tell you it’s a private bus and you don’t have permission to board.

That may seem childish but I’ve learned from experience that the group of people who don’t ask before boarding and the group of people who don’t treat my bus with respect are correlated 100%. Bus owners put huge amounts of money and time into their vehicles so it’s a shame when visitors spit out chewing gum on board, drop litter or swing on the platform pole.

Oh, and my pet peeve is to be sat on my bus at a rally eating my egg sandwich when an enthusiast comes up and engages in earnest conversation even though it’s obvious I’m halfway through eating. Again a small issue but at least give me a FEW minutes, lads...?

I’m reminded of an occasion many years ago, when I accompanied the owners of a newly restored bus to its first rally. The bus had been converted to a play bus and had taken a huge amount of effort to convert it back to 1956 spec. Anyway, hardly had we got there when a gricer got on the platform and proceeded to tell us which parts of the restoration were inaccurate (wrongly, as you can imagine the owners had had five years to study and get things right). At the end of this speech, there was a slightly awkward silence until one of the joint owners said “thank you. And which is your bus?” “Oh, I don’t own a bus.” “I see. Well in that case, please do me a favour - go and buy a bus, spend a few years and thousands of pounds on it, and THEN come back and tell me what you don’t like. Until then, please leave!”
 

DunsBus

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I’m reminded of an occasion many years ago, when I accompanied the owners of a newly restored bus to its first rally. The bus had been converted to a play bus and had taken a huge amount of effort to convert it back to 1956 spec. Anyway, hardly had we got there when a gricer got on the platform and proceeded to tell us which parts of the restoration were inaccurate (wrongly, as you can imagine the owners had had five years to study and get things right). At the end of this speech, there was a slightly awkward silence until one of the joint owners said “thank you. And which is your bus?” “Oh, I don’t own a bus.” “I see. Well in that case, please do me a favour - go and buy a bus, spend a few years and thousands of pounds on it, and THEN come back and tell me what you don’t like. Until then, please leave!”
Had I been one of the owners, that gricer would have received a FUTA (foot up the @rse) for good measure.

It really boils my pee when you hear so-called "experts" telling a vehicle owner that such-and-such isn't right and I get a great satisfaction when said "expert" then gets brought crashing back down to earth by the owner.

It reminds me of a phrase that my late mum used to often say - "Mr Know-All kens f**k all". How very true.
 

jp4712

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It’s true. My other bus isn't finished yet but when someone told me I was restoring it to the “earlier colour scheme, which this one never carried” I did enjoy showing him a photo of the bus when a year old, wearing that exact livery which according to him it had never received!
 

Journeyman

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Does anyone else reckon that being a bus enthusiast is viewed by "normals" as being much weirder and sadder than a rail enthusiast? As someone who is both, it's certainly the impression I get.
 

Jordan Adam

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Does anyone else reckon that being a bus enthusiast is viewed by "normals" as being much weirder and sadder than a rail enthusiast? As someone who is both, it's certainly the impression I get.
Yes I'd say it is. I think people assume when you say you're a rail enthusiast that you're just in to old steam engines. Which more often than not isn't the case!
 

Albaman

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Something that has always bothered me, though, is that if you're obsessive about football, no-one will bat an eyelid, but an equivalent level of obsession about practically anything else will get you labelled as some sort of weirdo.

A couple of years ago I was in a taxi with my brother and he was in conversation with the driver on football related matters and it struck me that the nature discussion was exactly what you would expect from transport enthusiats exchanging view on buses, locomotives, aircraft or ships. The similarity, in my opinion, was that regardless of the views expressed, the football club or transport operator would do whatever they had to do. It then made me wonder why in the main stream media transport enthusiasts are ridiculed whilst footbal industry customers are treated in a much more reverential way.

The only conclusion I could reach was that the football industry customer spends lot of money and it is in the interest of all concerned ( the media and the football industry ) that nothing is done to change that situation.
 

TheGrandWazoo

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Equating this to football or other mass participation sports is sort of missing the point. The fact is that they are mass participation rather than niche.

It's like comparing museums. I mean, museums all work on the same basic premise but the Natural History Museum appeals to a wide demographic rather than the National Coracle Museum in Wales which is rather more specialist.
 

route101

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Does anyone else reckon that being a bus enthusiast is viewed by "normals" as being much weirder and sadder than a rail enthusiast? As someone who is both, it's certainly the impression I get.
Yes , buses can have a poor repuation amomgst normals. Can be seen as more mundane or boring.
 

scotrail158713

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A couple of years ago I was in a taxi with my brother and he was in conversation with the driver on football related matters and it struck me that the nature discussion was exactly what you would expect from transport enthusiats exchanging view on buses, locomotives, aircraft or ships.
Yep. As a football fan, as well as transport enthusiast, I feel there’s more crossover than initially meets the eye. A lot of people like the numerous, fascinating statistics that you can get from any football game.
The biggest similarity though is probably “groundhoppers” who spend their weekends visiting new grounds. Many of these fans will have lists of all the grounds they’ve visited, and often make special visits to grounds for one-off games. (One example being a Highland League game earlier this season which was played at a nearby rugby ground - that brought a good few hundred “hoppers”). Much like transport enthusiasts though, there’s a big variety as some are very particular about what they like and must have certain proof of being at a ground, whilst others just watch the game and go home.
Shame the authorities did not take this attitude with speed cameras. I've been startled when someone coming the other way has set one off!
Agreed. I don’t even drive and they give me enough of a shock when I pass one - I can’t think what it’s like for a driver.
 

cnjb8

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I agree with this.

Being an enthusiast doesn't automatically make someone weird. But if it's your only hobby, to the point you can't hold conversations with non-enthusiasts because you have no other interests or knowledge of anything else then it will be difficult to establish a rapport with the majority of people who are not enthusiasts.

The thing about football is it's popular. If you know about football you can form connections with a much larger group of people. Football simulators like Fifa have millions of users who play interactively. The matches and technical side of it provides plenty to follow and discuss with others, but there's the people side too. A lot of people are inspired by and interested in the experiences and enterprises of millionaires, like to follow the progress and performance of players in all leagues. Some like to watch people who are at the peak of fitness and enjoying what they do. Although I don't follow football, I do get it.

Many people I know have a varied set of interests, in some cases following specific things for the sole purpose of expanding their social networks. For some, transport is one interest but outside of socials with other transport people, they probably don't talk about it.
To be fair, I've met more people supporting Nottingham Forest rather than Nottingham City Transport
 

anthony263

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I work for Adventure Travel at Taff Wells and my colleagues just groan and say he's off again when they see me taking photos just help when senior managemnt at some operators are enthusiasts themselves
 

Pat1105

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I work for Adventure Travel at Taff Wells and my colleagues just groan and say he's off again when they see me taking photos just help when senior managemnt at some operators are enthusiasts themselves
It’s funny in that pilots are ‘supportive’ of aviation enthusiasts and are happy to have photos with passengers, but it is completely the opposite with some bus drivers.
 

Weemidi135

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Theres one particular enthusiast that has a practice that really grinds my gears. He's got names for every single vehicle in the fleet.

None of the vehicles in the fleet are officially named. That's literally why we have fleet numbers.
Well except HAMISH or 856
 

DunsBus

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Well except HAMISH or 856
And that's another one which, like Olympian X285 has certain enthusiasts reaching for the Kleenex. I kid you not, when 856 lost its Hamish wrap for the eBay wrap which it has now, there was an outbreak of mass mourning. Or at least it seemed like one...
 
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And that's another one which, like Olympian X285 has certain enthusiasts reaching for the Kleenex. I kid you not, when 856 lost its Hamish wrap for the eBay wrap which it has now, there was an outbreak of mass mourning. Or at least it seemed like one...
Edinburgh City Centre wrap* not ebay lol, can see why you got that idea though
 

OmniCity999

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Well except HAMISH or 856
Even then. Buses dont have names or genders. Really grinds my gears when people refer to a vehicle as "she". They are vehicles, tools for business - they are non binary. They also dont have feelings, so saying a vehicle is "poorly" is a cringefest in itself, but when a vehicle is written off, exclaiming RIP is just ludicrous.
 

DunsBus

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Even then. Buses dont have names or genders. Really grinds my gears when people refer to a vehicle as "she". They are vehicles, tools for business - they are non binary. They also dont have feelings, so saying a vehicle is "poorly" is a cringefest in itself, but when a vehicle is written off, exclaiming RIP is just ludicrous.
That's another one which irritates me. Case in point, there was a rather nasty accident in Filey recently between a motorbike and a Shoreline Suncruisers double-decker which resulted in the motorcyclist being killed outright and both the motorbike and the bus exploding in a fireball. Almost right away there were RIP messages for the bus involved - never mind the fact that there had been a fatality.
 
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Even then. Buses dont have names or genders. Really grinds my gears when people refer to a vehicle as "she".
the amount of time on facebook groups people say that and ive told them its a vehicle is unreal, people who refer to inanimate objects as “she” are definitely on the registser
 

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