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'Iconic' bus driver retires after 56 years and has party thrown for him to celebrate

'Iconic' bus driver retires after 56 years and has party thrown for him to celebrate

Bob Smith first joined when he was just 18 years old.

Bob Smith has had a party thrown for him to celebrate his retirement after 56 years of driving a bus.

The 75-year-old from South Yardley, Birmingham has finally handed in his keys following his record-breaking employment.

He joined National Express West Midlands at the age of 18 as a conductor and eventually moved on to become a driver.

For the last 20 years of his career, he switched things up and became a driver who picked up fellow colleagues.

Smith is the National Express West Midlands' longest serving employee and they wanted to make sure he finished his last shift with a bang.

National Express West Midlands

The BBC reports colleagues and pals organised a traditional 'bus pull' of a MCW Metrobus.

They surprised him on his final work day with the company and he got the send-off he deserved.

Operations manager Mat Dale said Bob is an 'icon' in their eyes and a 'top-notch bloke'.

"He's a bit of an icon at our Acocks Green garage and we'll all really miss him," he said.

"He's been a brilliant driver which was proven by his recent Master Driver status, and his knowledge and experience of the roads was unrivalled.

"Bob [was] very honest, kind, and always willing to help whenever he could. [He] will be sorely missed."

But Bob isn't the only person who has recently celebrated retirement after a lengthy career of local transport.

Joe Crean finished up his 52-year career driving trains around the UK.


He hails from Glossop in Derbyshire and was totally overwhelmed when he walked onto the platform after having completed his last shift on the job earlier this month.

A cheering crowd of Joe's nearest and dearest gathered around for the momentous occasion at Manchester Piccadilly station.

The 69-year-old first began his railway career back in 1971, starting as a steward in the dining car for British Rail.

Reminiscing about his decades-spanning vocation, he revealed: "I have over half a century of cherished memories on the railway, and it means a lot to have shared my final journey with both my family and my railway family.

"I’m looking forward to spending more time with my wife, Christine, my sons Gary and Shane, and extended family, who thoughtfully came to see my final drive."

The managing director at TransPennine Express, Matthew Golton, said: "Joe’s retirement marks the end of an era, but his legacy and contributions towards the future generation of drivers will carry on."

Featured Image Credit: National Express West Midlands

Topics: UK News