Next Bus to Kathmandu
Trevor Carroll was a driver//courier with Top Deck in the 1970's
Below are his recollections and to the right, some of his photos.
I was a driver//courier with Top Deck in the 1970's and although I didn't actually have Tadpoles on any of my trips, I did drive Casper alongside tadpoles and dinger on a Kathmandu London overland in 1980. I had couriered 34 passengers from Sydney over 10 weeks from Sydney. First using two old 1947 Sydney double deckers from Sydney to Perth and from there to Kathmandu using hotels, flights, ferries, trains, buses, taxis and trucks.
Tadpoles on that trip was driven by Robert Dickinson, also know as two sheds, the courier driver was Michael Scwieger. This trip was undertaken in the extreme heat of the northern summer, we left Kathmandu in early May. The trip was not without incident, Casper had a collision with a camel towing a trailer in Pakistan which completely smashed the radiator and cooling system. It was completely rebuilt and it worked. A day later the main springs on the rear suspension snapped near Quetta Pakistan. A new one was manufactured using a Mercedes main spring and a local blacksmith.
Tadpoles was not without troubles, Iran was a hotspot at that time, the American Embassy staff were being held as hostages and they had the rescue attempt. It was our only way west so we decided to drive nonstop through to Turkey. Tadpoles blew a piston half way through. Most of us knew how this was fixed, take off the sump, pull out the piston, seal the oil on the big end using a bit of leather and a jubilee clip. Isolated the fuel for that piston and away on 5. It worked, the Gardiner engine was not as strong and it shook the bus with vibrations all the the time. Request for parts to be sent to Amman Jordan were made but not acted upon. In Jordan Tadpoles blew another piston. On this occasion pistons and bearings were moved to balance the engine to run on 4, it still shook the hell out of the bus and Two sheds continued on. Robert made a very slow trip of it all the way to Paris, or just 20 kilometers short of Paris. The buses were not that fast when in tip top condition, but Tadpoles was barely making 50 Klm an hour on the freeway when a French truck driver possibly drowsing at the wheel came upon Tadpoles and ran right up the rear smashing the stairs and downstairs kitchen. Nobody was seriously injured as everybody was in bed. Tadpoles was eventually taken back to England and the rear end rebuilt and back in service in no time at all.
Tadpole & others camping in the desert,Wadi Rum, Jordan.
Tadpoles in Amsterdam - Minus Roof!
Tadpoles former life - SV 559 In Service at Ryde Esplanade
Tadpoles and some passengers. Are you one of them? If so, get in touch
Bus after rear-end collision. Originally we thought this might have been Tadpoles but now we believe it's an unidentified FLF