Author Topic: 15 Years of Suzy  (Read 224 times)

Offline Suzy Scott

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15 Years of Suzy
« on: April 08, 2019, 05:34:38 PM »
Tomorrow (Tuesday 9th April 2019) marks 15 Years of Suzy. For those who are newer to me than 2004, that was the day I came out/transitioned male to female. It’s certainly been a very interesting 15 years…. Here’s 15 highlights of 15 Years Of Suzy… (not planning to do any Suzy Day events BUT I have been doing a 40 Years/15 Suzy/55 Larrrrrrrry days out…) – see https://www.facebook.com/Suzys-40from55for40-Trips-In-2019-aka-Wheres-Larrrrrrrry-Tour-2402995013266650 if unsure.

1. XCity Direct bus service launch  in Dundee, October 2005
After a very early start to sample the first 13 and 14 (chronologically the first passenger on both services – as well as last off on the last 14 two years or so ago!!!), the time of the day changed several times. Got a phone call at Balgillo (half hour away) asking where I was… all bar one person held back so I can snap the event… as to why they delayed is still anyone’s guess – happy and surreal at the same time! Still makes me giggle today…It might be fair to say Neil G was my fan club at the time – including sending a “good luck” card to me pre-surgery signed by the entire team… and a congrats on the wedding card sent in 2015…

2. CBE and MBE In my address book
Jim Lee was given the MBE in the Queens’ Honours mid-late 2000’s, and he attended a meeting when I worked at ClientLogic/Sitel following repeated reliability issues on X-City 14 (which had the same drivers at the time as 9x/10x but not the same buses). This was interesting for the response to a letter someone else wrote to the paper mentioning snow, when it was actually quite mild in Dundee as opposite to Birmingham! As well as that, when I went south again, there was a second one to add – Nicky M CBE (highest woman in British army at the time).

3. Started Ltd company – self employed
After previous attempts at doing things on an amateur basis, and then also doing a year with Woottens, I ran Here To There Publishing Ltd from 2011 to 2018. This followed someone one of the Forums pining after the loss of the NX Coach Guide – so I put together one over a bank holiday. The next bank holiday, we set the company up. I’d always done a variety of selling etc. while at school, and this was kinda something that would have happened eventually… again.. now still selling these under my own name at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/suzyscottdotcom or by mail order.

4. First live wrestling event in person
After falling for Glasgow-based cult hardcore promotion Insane Championship Wrestling, I got tickets for their Spring 2015 event at Koko (was Camden Palace). Being there in a “TEAM GET/WASTED 69” Bucky Boys t-shirt was probably a good choice, as the first match saw Stevie Boy win the Zero G title in a six man match. You kinda get an idea how much of “The teapot” Kenny Williams was when he’s blasting the hell out of someone, while wearing Back To The Future style moon boots, about 12 feet from my face! (Yes some is “fake”, but this promotion defiantly is not!) Also Drew Galloway did walk past the crowd (as he entered the event at the back) and complained something like “You lot aren’t drunk yet???” lol Mark Dallas is also one of the people I hold in the highest regard for his business acumen as well as for keeping things how he wanted it.

5. PSV Circle
After seeing a message in one of the news sheets re the vacancy for a sub-editor for Herts, I subsequently became the first woman of any position in the PSV Circle (bus enthusiasts group), other than regular member. Subsequently added Cambs but was feeling swamped so gave up after two years  - left to concentrate on the day job, while still leaving a historical mark. Steve Curl (their Honorary managing Editor at the time) did do an interesting email to sub editors about my role, starting “Gentlemen (and that’s the last time I’ll be starting an email with that…” lol

6. Wedding to Caroline in March 2015 (100 months to the day we met)
I’ve written lots before about the early days of our relationship with Caroline, which I fell for her heart. After an amazing day centred around Brighton Cambridge and Royston, we kinda fell in love late that night… So, after many years postponing for C’s surgical work delays, we agreed that we would have it in 2015 If she wasn’t done by then. Since then we had moved to WGC, I’d started attending the Quaker meeting, and we had the first major event at Welwyn Garden City meeting since major rebuilding work, and also the first since the same-sex law changed earlier in the year. So for once, procrastination actually did pay off. All went well that day – one back to front set of postcodes on the buffet (fixed in two mins by phone), and Jim G’s taxi driver not knowing where it was (quickly fixed when I pointed out the place is next to the Barn Theatre… aaaah yes he knows where that is…) Amazing day weather wise, and everything just went well, for one day in my life!

7. Proposing to Caroline in October 2008
One I don’t really talk about is the day it happened – although it had been years before in 2008. An interesting day in several ways. After getting a few buses into Cambridge one Wednesday, I had an appointment for hair cut and colouring (surprise to C) at the Cambridge Regional College city centre campus – now long since demolished for flats – but the appointment over-ran – to five hours… Suffice to say C was more than a little surprised and a little concerned… in retrospect maybe another place for a quick job! I had rings (just cheap ones) on me when we got home, and after buying some pizza to heal things over, I asked a Caroline to CP/marry me (Civil partnership – see previous note about being delayed long enough it became a wedding!) – but did ask again each time the law changed, just in case of pedants! She said the following morning online she was still “pretty gobsmacked” with what had just happened!

8. Timetables earning many awards from Barry Doe
After working for MJW (see 10) and then moving onto my own publishing company (see 3), Barry Doe seemed to really like our publications. After getting many mentions on his Best Timetables in the British Isles part of his Bus Timetable directory website, one particularly struck a chord – Hertfordshire. Herts were more than happy to send me a full set of the seven books and maps to me in Dundee a few weeks before my first visit to Royston, not taking anything for postage. They subsequently helped in many ways, installing a shelter at my bus stop opposite Rock Road (I was used to being told “f**k off we’re broke” up north)…. And even as an operator and Intalink partnership member… but as soon as County Hall heard my intentions, that was the end of that! Transpires HCC had tried to ask Barry to remove the entry for my books under Hertfordshire… but he wasn’t having any of it!!!

9. Volunteering for Prisoner’s Families Helpline, LLGS and more
While I’d long wanted to do voluntary helpline-type work, the need for money from a day job had always precluded this in Dundee. However when heading south, I was finding potential employers were not too keen on taking on someone who would need 12 weeks off in six months time… (or was it transphobia? Ha ha we’ll never know!) But then I did do work for Prisoner’s Families Helpline via Ormiston in Milton, near Cambridge. I was referred to as “computer whiz suzy” as I was able to get a task done in one day that took them weeks… During my time at PFH some of the managers made representations to the Minister of Justice re problems with visits at HMP Risley, subsequently namechecked the hepline the government minutes and Hasnard. LLGS are more famous in comparison, and my time there was equally rewarding with lots of new friends made that I am still in contact with now.

10. MJW / T5 the bus that Suzy made
After completing training for LLGS in 2009/2010 I remember mentioning “if hell freezes over and someone offers me a paid job…” I had known Wooten’s/Tiger Line since they bought the six ex-Strathtay Myllenium rebodied Leyland Tigers. (I remember doing a similar X-City-style early start on the first morning of the T1 in August 2008…) So come 2010, Michael Wootten had been asking me to take a look at various ideas, and see what I thought for some feedback. I replied a few ideas like “if you start that one ten mins earlier it will meet the first London coach” etc. etc… - and I genuinely just helped, not expecting to be offered paid job out of it! It was a really good time, with lots of really good people – and some of the best bus drivers and coach drivers that I’ve ever met. Service T5 (the bus that Suzy made) was to be one of part of a further expanding network, but as the company ended up changing hands. I got a lot of really good feedback and support from the drivers – something I feel my predecessor clearly never had. All I did was respect them and support them “you were a breath of fresh air” one later said to me! Service T5 (Amersham – Hafield) was one of many ideas – with a lot of twists that made it many things, and as long as we could get in one service on domestic hours (the Saturday variations via Whelpley Hill and HMP The Mount were a shade over 49km on a 50 mile limit), and the one that I put together from scratch – registering the services with VOSA, driver information packs, route familiarisation, and a new design of livery – orange and black. My late father spotted that it’s the same as Dundee United colours, but that wasn’t (for once!) the idea – it was to look more like an orange and black tiger – similar to the costume we had for company events of Roary (choice of a children’s completion winner before my time) The Tiger.

Bonus bit for bus geeks - As there were only six rebodied Myllenium Tigers, we could not get any more of those, so we looked elsewhere for T5 buses. Initially the idea was to obtain the R-registered Volvo B10BLE’s from Oxford (MJW lived in Chinnor and was on the board at Oxford Bus Museum) after being displaced from their use – but Brighton wanted them back for driver trainers. So, we looked at something new. Initially we were looking at old Stagecoach Volvo/Alexander PS types (ironic as that’s what Sholto wanted before the rebodies were decided to be Leyland Tigers), but then five drivers went off to get Alexander Q-type Volvo-engine late model Leyland Tigers from Ulsterbus. I did feel guilty about losing former Strathtay Myllenium 430 in the storms of 2010 (after a tree sliced through the cab on Lye Green Road during my tenure, but every cloud has a sliver lining! I did point to MJW that former Strathtay 407 (60 seat Tiger prototype) was available for sale and almost went to be scrapped – this was bought, painted yellow and used on a run for parents of Chesham Grammar School to/from Berkhamsted that went from carshare to 49 seat, to two 53 seat coaches and a 49 seat service bus for Herts residents attending a Bucks school. And it’s still (mostly!) in one piece now.

11. The first day of the rest of my life
After making the announcement (after an evening out for a bite to eat with Tails the previous night) in the early hours of (Good) Friday 9th April 2004, many many friends took the time to reply with touching and supportive comments. It was one from Paul H (who did marketing for TWM which therefore included Travel Dundee) that I still think about daily… “We will be toasting your health tonight….”. Fair and nice enough – following morning “We toasted your health one too many times last night, and now I’ve got a headache….”

12. Surgical/Get her arse in gear…
It’s widely known I fell for C around a pre-surgery appointment on Saturday 31st March 2007. Now, Sarah Brown had the appointment before me, and my ex Claire Harris had the appointment afters. But, while I was in my appointment, the receptionist called through to let Phil (Thomas) know that she was running late… to which we heard him say “Tell her to get her arse in gear…” He didn’t mince his words right enough, but it took all my composure not to burst out in a fit of laughter.
We both worked at the same place at that point - she got three days off paid to fly down that morning, and for whatever reason, still didn’t make it on time. I got one day unpaid – but given the success of the meeting – and falling for Caroline – it proved to be irrelevant!

13. Forums/Love the new website…
After instigating the Dundee-Bus newsgroup during my move south in 1999, I remember being sick of the various email based group services. After several shifts, set up Dundee Area Bus Forum in 2005, and this resulted in a nine-fold increase in the number of posts made! So when I was heading south in 2007 and Busnews page was going, I offered to setup Anglia Bus Forum… and we did weeks later, and aside from expanding (in a combat-bus style response), to cover the Thames Valley – made sense when I was working in Bucks! But back to 2008 and I was installing TinyPortal one weekend, to give it a nicer look… the following Monday morning I was photographing buses at the entry/exit to Peterborough Bus Station… one of the Peterborough City Council Local Link drivers sees me, stops the bus, opens the door, and yells “I love the new website”, driving off with thumbs up and a smile on his face! I do like a lot of surreal things… maybe you’ve noticed? lol

14. Remembered for a lot of things – but my hair???
Ok, so after the split of Caroline and I, I ended up in two sets of temporary accommodation….  In the first one (where it transpires my godmothers son worked), it turns out I had a couple of the admins actually really fond of my hair! Its usually something transport (or bad) I’m remembered for… but… we discussed things when I saw her on a bus a few days after moving to the other place – where she explained the story…
 
15. Lots of really good people
It has been a really amazing ride, and I’ve met a lot of good people. Whether it was BT/ClientLogic/Sitel/Search, Ormiston/P.F. Helpline, LLGS, Wootens, PSV Circle, H2T or just general people, you’ve helped make a memorable time of the new start of my life. Some random 10 names of those not mentioned yet include Lisa Mayberry, Heather Martin, Anne Howard, David Hogg, Kerry from Ian Allan Waterloo bookshop, Jen Tiler, Jayne Bratton, Julia Hayward, Gill Cox, Steven Knight, amongst hundreds of others.

BONUS NAUGHTY ONE
made a man orgasm from over 4,000 miles away! Hello JJ if you are reading this…

Suzy Scott
Dundee, Scotland, UK
Forum Administrator (and founder) of A&TVBF and DABF

Find all my current and recent photos at ScotBus online! Update Pending