'One of the coolest jobs I ever had, before I got fired'

Last updated 14:22 28/06/2014
Mark Sainsbury
KENY BLECHYNDEN/FARIFAX NZ
CAREER CHANGE: Mark Sainsbury spent a brief period driving Wellington's "big red" trolleys in the late 1970s.

Relevant offers

Capital Life

Plans to close two Wellington streets to prevent alcohol pre-loading Cafe Chat: Winetopia comes to the capital for the first time this winter Review: Kazu Restaurant, Wellington Second honeymoon: Mead has gone mainstream Tony Award-nominated show about demonic puppet opens at Wellington's Circa Theatre Author and poet Tourettes bringing his own style of teaching to the capital Leah McFall: A chilling realisation Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy visits New Zealand Secondary Students Choir Kapiti artist spreads her wings for new children's book The art of war comes to Wellington but does it belong at home?

Wellington's trolley buses have come a long way since veteran TV journalist Mark Sainsbury used to be behind the wheel.

Back then, it was not uncommon to see a driver sneaking in a cheeky cigarette while out on a run, or to get one who had enjoyed a few more beers than he should have during lunch.

"It was a different time back then, obviously," Sainsbury says. "It really was like [the TV show] On the Buses."

Sainsbury spent a brief period driving Wellington's "big red" trolleys in the late 1970s. They were the buses every driver in Wellington wanted to drive back then, even if they took some mastering, he says.

"Back then you could drive up Manners St, but there was parking on both sides, which was interesting. I remember driving through the Hataitai bus tunnel for the first time in my life. I almost shat myself, there was so little room. It was awful."

Drivers in those days were a different breed, too, Sainsbury says. It was not uncommon to see one of them jump out of their bus to help carry a passenger on board.

"Nowadays you wouldn't get away with any of that stuff. Occupational Health and Safety would get involved, and you would be sacked for abandoning your money box."

Sainsbury says he will feel a little sad when the capital's modern-day trolleys disappear from its streets in 2017.

But given how things go in and out of fashion, he will not be surprised if they make a comeback a few decades from now.

"They were cool. It was honestly one of the coolest jobs I ever had, before I got fired."

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

Will you go to CubaDupa, the Cuba St carnival?

Yes, it looks like it'll be amazing!

I'll see what the weather does

No, it's basically just another community fair

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content