Overheard On The Bus


The following are all random questions asked between friends while I was travelling on the U1 bus last week. As a helpful and friendly person, I hereby try and answer them.

1. Where is the nearest Beach? 

A good question and one that few people think to ask. There are some good beaches in the New Forest such as the one at Lepe but they often need a car to travel to. Otherwise the standard destination is Bournemouth by train, a must do for any student.

2. Why does a cat live in the Union?

Because she just does and has for the past 12 years or so. Yes the reception staff knows she is there and she’s even had a mention on University Challenge. Next.

3. Why is there a rivalry between Portsmouth and Southampton?

Oh god you had to ask that one! OK, so lets be diplomatic about this. They are both big port cities right next to each other. One with a strong military leaning and the other a commercial port (that’s us by the way). Over the years the success of each port has had its highs and lows, with Portsmouth now looking like it’s in a bit of a low, but it’s still a nice enough place to visit. Also, the football teams both share a tad of a rivalry. Just a bit. Don’t believe me then ask the police that seem to hang around every time they play together.

4. What’s that tower in Portsmouth called? Spinnaker Tower

Couldn’t mean this one could you? The Spinnaker Tower by the way, offering good views of Portsmouth and possibly one of their most iconic landmarks and tourist attractions, although the Historic Dockyard with the like of the Mary Rose and the HMS Victory might have something to say about it.

5. There’s like nowhere on campus to get food. 

I’m afriad your information may be slightly faulty as both the Students’ Union and the University have places to eat. Because I’m lazy, and because you probably don’t want me rambling on about the pros and cons of each venue, watch this video instead.


6. What’s that ugly building?

I’m afriad that out of context this comment’s a bit vague. But fear not unknowing bus passenger, the building you were referring to at the time was the not yet finished new Arts Complex on Guildhall square, where the John Hansard Gallery will be moving next year.

7. Why is it so busy?

Again dear student you did ask this at rush hour on a Friday evening during the Southampton Boat show when people do actually come from all over the country to look and dream about what life could be like. Lots of dreamers = lots of cars on the roads.

8. Why do people ring the bell so many times?

I don’t know the answer, but I would hazard a guess it may be the students that are less well versed in bell etiquette than you are. For those students, to get on a bus simply raise your arm out when you see it approaching and it will stop (presuming you gave the driver enough warning). When you need to get off, ring the bell once by pressing the button marked ‘STOP’ attached to the poles inside the bus. You do not need to press it once for every person getting off and if someone’s already pressed it, then you don’t have to press it again – someone’s already done the job for you!

9. Do I get off here?

I am not a stalker, so I do not know where you are going and therefore do not know where you wanted to get off. If in future you do end up like this, ask a friendly student or the driver and they’ll help you out.


History student and passionate writer about everything connected to Southampton and its rich tapestry of stories and history. Due to an unfortunate case of graduation, this writer is no longer active.

Discussion1 Comment

Leave A Reply