Will we miss the No 10 bus?
It has carried generations of Dubliners from the zoo to the southside suburbs, but this month the number 10 bus reaches the end of the road. In a few weeks its route from Phoenix Park to Belfield will be covered by the 46A and the 39A. We asked 10 former and current number 10 passengers to remember their journeys
Growing up in Phibsborough, I liked the 10 because it was the bus I got to the park with my pals – I never got the bus with my parents. In the 1970s I joined a band who were based in the southside, and I’d get the 10 over to Donnybrook, which seemed miles away to a northsider. We’d play gigs around Donnybrook and Blackrock and Stillorgan, so the 10 was very handy. In recent years, when traffic in town got very bad, I’d park my car at my mother’s house and get the 10 over to RTÉ. In fact, now I know it’s going, I’ll have to do that again and take one last journey.
UCD student 1994-1998
I had a 9am lecture almost every day, so I spent most of my journeys to Belfield on the 10 sleeping. As long as no one spoke to me after I got up, I could fall asleep as soon as I got on the bus. There were often a lot of junkies on it – they’d get off at a clinic on Baggot Street. They never really hassled anyone, but I found it very upsetting, because they often had very young children with them. And they always took the back seats – the best places to sleep.
Actress, Fair City
I’m from Castleknock, and as a teenager the number 10 was the route to all evil: I was never allowed to get it because that would have meant I was going to Wesley [the teenage disco in Donnybrook]. My parents refused to let me go to Wesley, though I plagued them for months. When they finally gave in they initially dropped me off in the car, but eventually I was allowed to take the 10. A big gang of us would all go on it together, and the bus was probably the best part of the night. You got a chance to scope out who was going, and you saw them in the brightness before you reached the dreaded darkness of Wesley.
In the late 1960s I was living with my aunts in Phibsborough, just by St Peter’s Church. I was working as a primary-school teacher and doing an arts degree in UCD in Earlsfort Terrace at night. I often got the 10 into college. It was very handy, especially on the way home, because it stopped just outside my door. One evening in 1969 I took the 10 into town to see The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie; it was my first date with a fellow student called Robert Carey. We’ve now been married for 39 years.
It was when Jackie Jameson was transferred to Bohemians in 1981 that I began to go to Dalymount Park regularly. Coming from Palmerstown, I used to get the bus to Conyngham Road and then walk up Infirmary Road to the terminus of the 10 for the last leg along the North Circular to Dalyer. Once on the bus I would look out and count the Bohs scarves that were on foot until their number told me it was time to get off at St Peter’s Church. I enjoyed the historic features along the route from Arbour Hill past the old cattle-market site, and my family had connections with Blackhorse Avenue and Stoneybatter. Perhaps because the 10 wasn’t ultimately going to a suburban destination – it was going to a park – it had an odd feeling of going nowhere, and you made sure you got off before it got there.
Environment Editor, The Irish Times
When University College Dublin first moved out to Belfield the 10, which followed an old tram route, terminated at Donnybrook Church. I was on the Student Representative Council at the time, and it was the divil of a problem to persuade CIÉ to extend the route to Belfield. We regarded it as a major priority. There were no bus routes into the college: the 46A passed nearby on what was then a country road. It took us six months to persuade them, and I felt a great sense of achievement when we did. I was living off Blackhorse Avenue, at the other end of the route, so it was something I felt strongly about: the 10 was my bus to college, and I did a fair bit of studying on it.
I live on the North Circular Road near the Mater, and my kids love the 10 because it brings them to the park and the zoo. It’s a bus we take for special occasions, not every day, so you really notice the route. It’s a nice journey – the avenue of trees beyond St Peter’s Church has to be one of the grandest sights in Dublin, especially in the evening. The sun is directly ahead shining down through the trees, and you feel like you could be in France.
Artistic director, Project Arts Centre
The 10 isn’t just something I feel nostalgic about: I live in Phibsborough, and I was on one this morning. The 10 has been my bus since I came to live in Donnybrook, in 1988, to go to UCD. It has been the spine of my interaction with the city and has carried me farther north over the years. It’s got UCD at one end and the zoo at the other, and you might find yourself asking which was which. And it’s a safe route with a diverse population of users at different points along the way. I wish they weren’t dropping the name – 10 has connotations of the digital: it sounds euphonious. The 39A is more dreary and functional.
Press officer, the Labour Party
The 10 was my bus for years, and when I got a digital camera a few years ago I started taking documentary-style photographs when I was on it. It’s a very colourful route: you’d never know what you’d see from day to day. I’d take pictures of people smoking or playing games on their laptops, or of my view from the window. I never got any hassle. One day I snapped my whole journey, from waiting for the bus to getting off at the other end. I put the bus photos online, and they seemed to get a good reaction. Lots of people take public transport, so it really clicked with them.
Chief inspector, Dublin Bus
When I was a driver I’d drive the 10 once or twice every week. I always found there were four tiers of passengers: you picked up one group of people at the park to go to Phibsborough, another from Phibsborough to town, another from town to Baggot Street, then another from Baggot Street to UCD. You don’t get a lot of trouble on the 10; as an inspector, I don’t think I’ve been called in for any trouble on the route. The people are nice, and there’s no hassle. Am I sad to see the end of the 10? They’re just routes to me – it’s the end of an era, but everything has to move forward. Nothing stands still.