I remember the old works in Watery Lane as if it were yesterday. l had been off school after injuring my leg. I was about 14 at the time and I had heard about the works when I had been talking to some of the older drivers and conductors. They had said that it was not very easy to get in. Well, with my leg bandaged up after having treatment, I said to my mom "I am going to do some bus spotting". I took the bus to Keresley (my first mistake) and set off walking down Watery Lane.
I finally arrived after taking the long walk, but when I got there it was the lunch break. l could see some of the buses parked on the grass, but the fleet numbers had been painted out. I could see some of the houses in the road which overlooked the grassed area, so I decided to walk up to this area to see if I could see some of the parked buses. l eventually found a pathway and I decided to walk down the path but, from the path I had taken I couldn't see anything, so I climbed onto a fence at the bottom. I had just got a great view when the fence broke (my second mistake) and I fell onto my bad leg injuring it again. I then thought "I will not be beaten" so, walking back down Watery Lane with blood pouring out of my leg, I came to the gate.
I must have looked in a right state. I asked a gentleman in a suit if I could look around the works, but he said to me "I think it's more important to get that leg sorted out". He took me into the works where I was seen by a lady (I think she was a nurse) who re-dressed my leg. After about 15 minutes and a drink of tea, the gentleman came in to me and said "This chap will look after you and take you outside as well so you can see the withdrawn buses". After going around the works inside and out, it was time to go so I said "Thank you" and was going to walk to the bus stop, but the chap who took me round said that he was instructed to take me to town.
We were talking on the way to town and he said to me "Do you know who the gentleman was?" I turned and said that I didn't know. He said that it was Mr Fearnley, the General Manager. So I did get round the works, but it would have been better if I had not hurt my leg again. I told my mom and she said that I must write to him to say thank you.
Editor's note: Everyone who met Ronald Fearnley had nothing but praise for him.