Archive for September, 2013

Morris Minor

September 25, 2013

Spotted this classic Morris Minor in the rain :
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The Morris Minor was manufactured by Morris Motor Ltd in UK between 1948 and 1972. It was once very popular in Singapore with many of them used by driving instructors. Many grandfathers and grandmothers got their driving licences by driving these vehicles as a L-learner. One unique feature of this car was the semaphore type turn indictor. It was stowed in the B-pillar, the center pillar between the front and rear window. It flipped out when the blinker was activated :

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The semaphore type blinkers were replaced with normal round blinkers located below the head lights from the 1961 onwards.

Memories of bus rides – ticketless system

September 19, 2013

Long before the introduction of ticketless fare system using contactless smart cards, there was already a version in use. This is a bus conductor going round doing his work on board an Isuzu bus in the 1960s :
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Bus crews from this company were notorious for pocketing fares. This is how it works. A passenger board the bus, the bus conductor collect the fare and issue a ticket. Instead of punching a hole on the fare stage where the passenger board the bus, he punch the ticket way head, so technically the passenger board the bus at a much later stage of the journey. When the passenger reach his or her stop, he go over and ask for the ticket back. He then gave the same ticket to the next passenger. The ticket got “recycled” a few times before it was discarded. The passengers will not have any ticket for the trip (hence “ticketless”). Any fares the bus conductor collected while the same ticket was being “recycled” will go into his own pocket.
This is the ticket used by the company :
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Note the words printed on the tickets “ticket must be punched in passenger’s presence”. That’s a joke.
Once while on a trip with my mum, a ticket inspector board the bus. The conductor immediately start to punch tickets and hand it over to those passengers without tickets. He was not caught as there were not many passengers. It was much later that I learnt from my parents that some ticket inspectors were also involved in pocketing fares by demanding a “cut” of the pocketed fares from the conductor for not reporting him to the management. This is one of the many reasons why the company failed and collapsed under a mountain of debts.

Acknowledgement : Photo from National Archives Singapore

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Volvo Olympian 2-axle double deckers

September 11, 2013

September 2013 marks the end of the era of non aircon public buses as the last of the Volvo Olympian two axle double deckers were withdrawn from service. All public buses from hence forth will be equipped with aircon.

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The Volvo Olympian non aircon double deckers entered into service from 1994 to 1995. These were the last non aircon buses introduced by SBS. Total number is 100 units, registered as SBS7198 to 7297. They were powered by Volvo TD102K 9603cc engine coupled to an automatic Voith D851 gearbox. Each of them was 10.5m in length and bodied locally with Alexander R-type body kits.
Initially these buses were used on various routes. Eventually, all of them were moved west to serve as feeder services for Jurong Industrial Estate from Boon Lay bus interchange.
Unlike in Hong Kong when the last non aircon double deckers were withdrawn, huge crowds of bus fans turn out to bid farewell. Some almost rioted just because they could not board the last bus on on the final run. It was a quiet affair here.

R.I.P. Peanuts

September 4, 2013

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Good grief Joe Cool! They have yanked my favorite Peanuts cartoon off the papers!
Open up last Sunday’s newspaper and noticed something is different. Instead of the usual two pages of cartoons, there was only one page. Looked for my favorite cartoon Peanuts and it was not there. The local paper chop off 50% of the cartoon page. Not enough money to be squeeze from these pages? More surprises on Monday. Open up the Life section, 50% of the cartoons including Peanuts also got the chop.
I have been reading Peanuts since I was a kid and I always love Snoopy and his gang. Very disappointed with the local paper. The last Peanut cartoon published on 31 August 2013:
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The story of Peppermint Patty taking over from Charlie Brown in a ball game. Peppermint Patty talked Charlie Brown into handing the team to her and she boasted that she can win this game. What is the ending? Did the team win the game? Something happen that derail Charlie Brown’s team dream of winning the ball game? We will never know.
Disappointing!