Driver John Shrubb Writes..

Born in Reading, Berkshire on 11/12/48.
john shrubb Adopted by Frank & Daisy Shrubb at 6 months old, brought up at Wrecclesham, a village just south of Farnham Surrey in a detached house on the A325 road to Petersfield.
john shrubbFrom being a toddler I was interested in trains & motor vehicles, from the front bedroom window I could see the Alton – Waterloo railway line & the 2 BIL EMU units that passed every 30 minutes, while outside our house the constant traffic passed through the village, including a lot of Army vehicles travelling between Aldershot & Bordon camp.
My paternal grandad Ernest had been widowed in 1947 so at the time of my adoption Frank & Daisy moved to his house in Wrecclesham to look after him, Frank had been bought up in this house with his younger brother Stan, lucky for me grandad owned his own business, he was a general carrier & operated a Kew Dodge, a LWB drop side bodied variant, a bonus was my Uncle Stan, he had worked for grandad as a young man driving one of his lorries, at that time grandad ran a small fleet as a coal merchant, peat & loam & manure etc. Uncle Stan started with one tipper on sand & ballast as an owner/ driver. By 1958 he was buying Commer TS3’s brand new & employing drivers.
My maternal grand mother lived in Reading & often Mum would arrange for Uncle Stan to pick us up & drop us off in Reading on his way to Sonning for a load which meant I got an hours ride listening to the music of a 2 stroke TS3 engine which put me in 7 th heaven !!!
Between the age of around 3 & 5 Grandad used to take me out in the Kew Dodge for the day on jobs, he let me stand in the back as we travelled on hot summers days !!! Get locked up today for that !!
I left school at 15 with a basic education & started a 5 year apprenticeship at ED Abbott’s in Wrecclesham to learn how to be a motor mechanic. In my 4 th year I met my future wife, Kathleen who hailed from Halifax, we wrote several letters to each other each week, & I drove up to Halifax as often as possible (money was tight as we were saving up to get wed & a house deposit) & Kath would come down for the weekend a few times a year by train as her nursing training hours & money would permit.
We got married in Halifax in 1970 & lived with my Mum & Dad for a while as we tried to find a place to buy, trouble was the property boom was under way, we could not get a big enough mortgage.
We checked out house prices in Halifax & found them within our reach, our first house cost £3,000 ! The dear old lady that sold it to us left all her furniture, a TV & even filled the cellar with Sunbrite smokeless coal so we would not be cold during the winter !
We had dropped on our feet ! I got a job without a problem as a mechanic at Mayfield garage – wage was 75p / hour !
Later I worked repairing buses at Skircoat bus depot, then Halifax Passenger Transport, later became Metro.
My first son John arrived so I needed a better wage, I got a job as a wagon driver at Dorlux beds in Ovenden, the night out & meal money made a better income, also history repeated itself as my son John , his brother Matthew & Kathleen could come away with me quite often in the summer, plus I could stop the night with family & friends when in their area of the country.
After Dorlux made all 52 drivers redundant I went self employed as a market trader selling cheap short date food mostly, we bought 2 corner shops, but sadly Kathleen passed on with cancer aged just 40, I could not run it all single handed so sold up & became a bus driver in 1992, still there now & retire this December aged 65.
Sharon, a customer at my Abbey Park shop befriended me after Kathleen’s passing & we married 21 years ago, between us we have 5 grand children to love & enjoy.
John.