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Transport enthusiast publishes book on Manchester bus experiences
A TRANSPORT enthusiast who worked on Manchester buses as a guard and driver for more than four decades has published a book on his experiences.
Ron Barton, of Bishops Road, Prestwich, has charted his time working on municipal and private buses for Manchester Corporation Transport Department (MCTD) from 1962 to 2006.
His 400-page book, called ‘Manchester Buses from the Platform’, pays homage to his love of photography and his large collection of transport ephemera.
The 69-year-old started working for MCTD as a guard — the previous term for a conductor — as an 18-year-old in August, 1962, and began documenting his experiences via his camera in 1964.
After deciding to write an article for Manchester Transport Museum’s journal, he realised he had enough information to write a whole book — which he has spent the past 11 years doing.
Ron said: “I loved my job because you would see it all — sunrises, sunsets, rainbows and rain — and I used to get teased for collecting things other people were throwing away.
“Everyone thought I was mad, but I now have a lot of valuable historical information which no one else has records of, and which otherwise would have been lost.
“I always loved taking pictures and collecting ephemera for the future — I thought posterity might not be interested but I would give them the chance to decide for themselves.”
Ron, who began his career on wages of £32 per month, retired in 2006 after a period of working part time and has printed 1,000 copies of his self-published book for sale.
His book includes before and after pictures of Manchester as it was at different stages in his career and how it looks now and is a social history rather than a factual text.
Ron added: “When I started working on buses it was another world, and that is what I have tried to convey.
“There is a lot of social history in it, not just of Manchester but of life because there are a lot of books on buses and how they work but not so much about what it was like to work on them.
“Once upon a time the idea of writing a book would not have been something I would even have considered — it was just not the sort of thing someone like me did.
“This book is my Magnum Opus, as it were. Something to leave behind once I am gone to ensure I am remembered.”
The book can be purchased from Ian Allan Publishing on Piccadilly Station Approach, the Museum of Transport on Boyle Street or direct from sonnickpublications.co.uk.
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