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Help with school organised bus pick up with trombone

(13 Posts)
PlectrumElectrum Mon 27-Mar-17 23:48:32


Looking for any advice on this - I don't know if I'm making this something when there's nothing to be done about it but my DD is 11 & has been part of the LEA prep band since October last year. She's been picked up by a bus organised by the LEA every week, give or take, since then. The main bus driver who picks her up has to be asked each time to let her put the instrument in the luggage hold & makes clear it's a huge effort to do this every week. This week he refused completely & DD had to take trombone & stand onto bus & sit beside both items (unsecured) for both journeys.

I've raised this with school as I don't have direct contact with whoever organised the buses & I'm not happy with DD having to climb & descend the high steps on bus with the trombone & stand, & also not happy that the large heavy trombone sits beside her unsecured.

School came back to me to say person organising buses agrees trombone doesn't have to go in hold & prefers that as item can slide about & get damaged. His preference is on the bus beside pupils & it's ok on bus anywhere other than behind driver or next to emergency exit.

I'm not convinced that the risk of a large heavy trombone being damaged in a sturdy secure case while in the luggage hold is considered more of a risk than the large heavy trombone getting thrown around in the bus if it were to crash, causing injury etc.
But, I don't know if I'm being OTT in pushing for this to be sorted.

I've been told the luggage hold is an option (even if it's not the organisers choice) but the issue is the driver being difficult every time he picks DD up.

The case is almost the same size as DD & I've had an issue with it from the start because it's just too big & heavy for DD to carry anywhere muggins here has to do the bulk of the lifting/carrying

So can anyone help with anecdotal info on how this is dealt with elsewhere so I can either take it further to get the message to the driver that he needs to let the thing go in the hold, or give up cos I won't get anywhere other than a label of being a difficult parent.?


hapsburg Tue 28-Mar-17 08:29:05

I think I am looking at this the wrong way as my first thought was for the safety of the instrument not the passengers!! DD12 plays an instrument that has a similar size case to a trombone but is considerably heavier. It is worth a small fortune and there absolutely no way I would have it rattling around the luggage hold of a bus. Although she doesn't go on a school bus every day on the occasions she has to travel to a concert venue on a bus the instrument has the seat next to her. She knows this is non-negotiable, although she does give the instrument the window seat so she can still chat to her friends!
If your DD is finding just carrying the instrument difficult have you looked at different types of case - back pack straps made a huge difference to DD's ability to manage on her own. Also some cases are particularly heavy (a trombone itself is not very heavy) - we looked around a lot for the best compromise between weight of the case and protection of the instrument.
In the dark ages I used to take a tenor sax on the school bus almost every day and sometimes both a tenor and bari - no idea how I even walked to the bus stop! Again, would not have put in luggage hold due to risk of damage to instruments. Bari sax fits nicely across 2 coach seats!

stringchild Tue 28-Mar-17 08:46:37

Hi I agree that I wouldn't use the hold for our instruments - would be flung around I fear. Does sound like they need to help her up the steps and maybe find a lighter case? Or could the lea band have a loan instrument there to play for rehearals and save yours for concerts?

PlectrumElectrum Tue 28-Mar-17 14:22:20

Interesting replies! The instrument is hired by the LEA so we have no say on case but it does have back pack style straps. I have no idea of value tbh but seems I'm disregarding this aspect (possibly because I've not paid for it!).

DD has always struggled with carrying it, she's quite slight in build & the case & instrument together is very heavy.

Hmm, think I might be on a hiding yo nothing if the organisers are more concerned with instrument value than possible injuries if it was thrown around. There was an accident recently with one of the contract buses & I just keep thinking what would happen if this bus did the same (the bus flipped & a trombone in that scenario could have caused a serious/more serious injury.

I'll 'consider my position' further before I decide what to do.

Thanks for the replies, very helpfulsmile

llhj Tue 28-Mar-17 14:30:20

He sounds an ignorant pig frankly. To watch an 11 year old with a slight build struggle to get on and not move his lazy arse. Honestly what a cock. I'd take it further tbh.

SwissChristmasMuseum Tue 28-Mar-17 14:33:47

I always have mine beside me. You either wedge it between your legs or sit in an aisle seat and keep one hand in the handle.

SwissChristmasMuseum Tue 28-Mar-17 14:35:49

On the handle I mean.

Icouldbeknitting Tue 28-Mar-17 19:04:49

It wouldn't happen here because the LEA doesn't provide transport to groups. They move ensembles from a residential site to the concert venue but that's after they've all assembled so they all get on and off together.

Sometimes the school bus was a coach and DS did struggle with the steps carrying a school bag and a euphonium. The actual buses were much easier as they were level access and had storage. There was never any suggestion that the instrument go in the hold, with a couple of children at different stops on the same bus the timetable would have gone out of the window.

It sounds that this is the way that transport is going to be, if you are unhappy about it your option is to buy a lighter case (a gig bag) so that the stairs are easier or arrange your own transport if you are that worried about safety. Buses do have accidents and the ones that make the news are the ones that flip but the reason it's news worthy is that it happens so rarely. I had to stop and think about this one because I'm picking a car at the moment and I'm only looking at ones that have a boot that will take a euphonium, trombone and stand. I would not have them loose in the car but I feel differently about them being loose on a coach because to me the coach feels safer. If you've had a local one turn over than you are going to feel differently about how safe they are.

raspberryrippleicecream Tue 28-Mar-17 22:27:56

I'm not sure what the 'right' answer is and you've made me think about a couple of things, including securing the Bari sax when it needs to travel on the front seat of my car!

However my DC travel on a school bus to school ten miles away, instruments go in the boot. (Cello, Bari sax, alto sax, tuba, trombone). There are no spare seats.

We have had no damaged instruments from the boot.

Certainly the Bari sax would have been impossible on the bus itself.

When DD was in Y7 she took her alto sax on, because the boot was temporarily unopenable and put it in the luggage rack. It fell off and damaged the sax inside the case. Luckily it didn't hurt anybody.

One further thing. DD is now in Y12 and carries schoolbags of at least a similar weight to instruments. I don't like to think of all those bags flying round the bus!

QueenofLouisiana Wed 29-Mar-17 01:08:33

When I toured with a brass band in my youth, the trombones normally lived in the coach loo. We developed bladders like footballs as we couldn't use the loos (obviously!). The safety of the trombone was considered way more important than little details like getting to a loo! grin

1805 Wed 29-Mar-17 18:01:00

Just get a soft case even if the instrument is rented, and dd can take it on the bus with her.
Wait till you try and fly with a trombone - that is always fun (not).

BertrandRussell Wed 29-Mar-17 18:06:51

Trombone's aren't heavy-it must be the case. Get. Different one-search for trombone gig bag-and your problems will be over.

SwissChristmasMuseum Sun 02-Apr-17 12:35:29

Do you play, BertrandRussell?

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