For today we had to take a topic and tell about the changes that have taken place during the years. I took travel as my topic.
Going to school gave us, children, travel time in a bus.
I started school in 1952. At first, while in Pretoria we had to use a double-decker bus. This bus was still connected to electric wires at the top. They were electric buses. They only had the reaching space of the electric arm. They could not give way to traffic, traffic had to give way to them. They also had their own space on the road! Today we have petrol or diesel engines in our buses.
Then from 1960, we also had to travel by bus to our nearest High School. The first bus we used we called the Chicken(chook) cage. It had open windows with wires and no glass. There was only a piece of oil cloth rolled up which could be rolled down when it rained. When all were rolled down they flapped in the wind and it was quite dark and unpleasant inside.
Later on glass windows were used which you could open and close.
The seats in these old busses were also not as we know them today. The first busses had seats that were from the front to the back. Meaning lengthwise. One bench under each window and in the middle two long benches. You had to sit back to back on the middle seat facing the windows. It was difficult to climb over children when you had to find a seat deeper into the bus. The children getting off last had to fill up from the back (which some of them did not always do).
When I started teaching in 1968 I made use of the school bus again. The seats were then more as we know them today . Not one long seat from the front to the back anymore.
Today’s buses are much easier to use. There even is space for disabled people and also families with babies or smaller children.
We had to do silent reading each others writing. At the end we discussed some of the comments made on the writing.