I came across this article in Houzz of a bus conversion. An architectural student converted this old school bus into a mobile home for his thesis. He then toured the US before ending up at his grandfather’s property in Wisconsin where the bus is to take up permanent residence. What a glorious project and adventure.
Which made me reminisce, because I had lived in a bus with my family for a number of years. I love the idea of it being a great big adventure, I was too young to remember, but I am sure my mother wouldn’t agree.
For two years we lived in a converted Bedford Bus whilst my father was working across England as a steel fixer on building sites.
Every time the building project moved on my Dad would drive the bus to the new site and park it nearby at a local farm. (In England in the 1950’s there was always a nearby farm).
We weren’t alone in this, there were as many as 10 “vans” at any time moving from site to site. Once a week an old mini bus arrived to take the women and children to the nearest shops. With no refrigeration to speak of, no bathroom or toilet onboard, (no portable toilets either in those days) the facilities available on site would have been very basic indeed.
Cooking, was a gas ring, no oven. Washing and laundry? An enamel basin and boiling water from a kettle became the laundry, the kitchen sink and the bath. Our bus was in no way the luxurious mobile abode shown above and my mother deserved a medal for having a toddler and a newborn to care for in such conditions for nearly two years, moving constantly. We all survived, were fed, clothed, clean and healthy, a testament to my mother’s sheer determination.
Though when she became pregnant with her third child, she went to the local council and demanded they give her a house. Her plight must have seemed dire, as they immediately moved us into a 1900’s two storey, three bedroom house on the outskirts of a village. She thought it was heaven, although it needed a lot of work, but after the bus she didn’t care and my Dad was more than happy to fix it up.
This village developed into a “new town” with construction going on for many years. I loved growing up there and although I don’t really remember the bus, only the tall tales told about it, I love that it is part of my history.
My mother stayed in that house for 47 years until she died in 2003.
This is the “Bus”. The picture below shows my Mum with my baby brother in the pram, with me on the chair beside her. Just taking a good look at the photo the “Bus” has a chimney, so maybe it had some sort of solid fuel heating. I don’t think it would pass any regulation for health or fire risk today.