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Busman's Holiday (clip 2)

A bus driver's holiday by coach around Scotland

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Second part of a sponsored documentary that sees a Galloway coach driver take a 'busman's holiday' around Scotland touching on the different industries which are important on the way. People leave Urquart Castle and the coach is back on the round. A young lad Gordon brings out a harmonica but it is confiscated. The coach arrives at Inverness and drives across one of the bridges over the River Ness, then heads down the road to Loch Maree and over the bridge at Poolewe. Roadworks are encountered with resurfacing the road in progress with road making machinery and a road roller. Passengers singing 'Road to the Isles' on the bus accompanied by Gordon on the harmonica. Scenary as coach descends to Gruinard Bay. A man in white shorts runs across the white sand dunes and dives into the sea. A young couple dance to the harmonica and the other passengers look on and clap. Scenery on the way to Ullapool with shots of the town. Cattle and sheep on the road out of Ullapool with shepherds and Collie dog guiding the sheep in front of the coach.
Passengers feed a deer on the roadside. Views of the Sutherland coast and sun set. Secretaries sitting with two young men. Caithness with shots of a farmer with horse and farming equipment. Shots of Dounreay Atomic Energy Authority's Experimental Station. The last house in Scotland and the last bus stop in Scotland at John O'Groats. Passengers on the beach looking out. The end of the tour.

Questions & Activities


  • What is a busman'€™s holiday?
  • What do you think the message of this film is and what were the company trying to promote?
  • What are the words to the song that is sung on the bus?
  • Why can'€™t people travel by train to Ullapool?
  • What is the population of Ullapool today?
  • Do you think you could still meet 'a young crofter who hasn't even seen a train' today?
  • Where is Gruinard Island and what was it most infamous for?
  • What does the film suggests the benefits of travelling by coach are?


Geography: Research the activities of the oil lobby in promoting motor travel as opposed to rail travel?

English: Write a poem about the landscape of your village.

Drama / English: Assign characters to the people in the film and tell the story using dialogue.

Geography: The modern road system in the highlands is built on various road systems of the past. Find out about some them e.g the destitution road, drove roads and general wade roads/compaign.

Geography: Research Ullapool new town and why it was built.

Business / Enterprise / Geography: Find out what the modern equivalent of this tour and who might go on it.

Geography: Research the geology of Sutherland. What kind terrain is and how was it formed? How does Sutherland differ from Caithness in relation to terrain? Why is this? Research using a contour map.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-002-055-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 0345
Date 1959
Genre Documentary, Sponsored
School Subject Geography, Drama, English, Media Studies, Mathematics
Subject Matter Business, Enterprise
Who Anglo Scottish Pictures (production company), Eddie Earp (director), Films of Scotland, Shell-Mex, BP Ltd and Scottish Omnibuses Ltd (sponsors), Jim Goding (director)
Where Caithness, Dounreay, Gruinard Bay, Inverness, John O'Groats, Loch Maree, Loch Ness, Poolewe, Sutherland, Ullapool
Event Holiday
Attributes Colour, Sound
Clip Length 9:57
Film Length 21:19
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