South Tyneside bus manager retires after 44 years

Brian Sleightholme retiring after 44 years working in the transport industry
Brian Sleightholme retiring after 44 years working in the transport industry

A former bus conductor who worked his way up the career ladder to become operations manager has finally called it a day.

Brian Sleightholme has spent four decades of his working career dedicated to the transport industry.

“I feel South Shields has a good group of people of which I am very proud.”

Brian Sleightholme

But after 44-years in the job, the 65-year-old, who has held the position of operations manager at the South Shields depot at Chichester, for Stagecoach North East, for the past 13 years, has announced his retirement.

He said: “I didn’t really want to move around the region, as I was quite happy to stay at the South Shields depot, and when vacancies came up I applied and was successful. I have to say I have enjoyed all the roles that I have undertaken here, especially managing a team and seeing new people come in, become part of that team and progress up the ladder.

“I feel South Shields has a good group of people of which I am very proud.”

Brian started out as a conductor with Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive (PTE) in October 1973 gaining his PCV license a year later.

In 1975 he became a ‘one-man operation’ driving buses around South Shields without a conductor for 12 years before becoming an inspector in 1987 and then a duty manager in 1988.

He was promoted to assistant operations manager in 2000 and after three years in the tole he progressed to operations manager.

He oversaw a team of 165 drivers, 30 depot staff and 12 office staff and was involved in the running of the bus services across South Shields.

During this time, Brian was responsible for the 100-year birthday celebrations at the depot, which resulted in a great response from the public at the popular event in 2005, and the installation of the impressive depot gates which marked the occasion.

He was also responsible for bringing over £1 million of investment to the depot, which has seen a number of developments and improvements to the offices and facilities over the years.