Bus drivers celebrate 100 years together with Stagecoach North East
Three South Shields bus drivers have been recognised for their dedication with long service awards.
Stagecoach North East celebrated Peter French, David Fleming and Stephen Martin for a total of 100 years service between them.
Peter, 64, from Brockley Whins achieved his 45-year milestone earlier this year.
His dad and brother also worked at the depot.
Peter said: “I love driving, be it buses or cars.
“We have great banter with the lads in the depot and also very nice customers who appreciate you, even if you are running late.
“I did have the chance to take early retirement but didn’t want to because I love it so much.”
Fellow driver David Fleming, from Biddick Hall, turned down a role as a college lecturer at 32 to continue driving buses.
He said: “Some passengers you could call friends, and when I pull up to the bus stop and we have a bit of banter from regulars, it is really nice to hear.
“I also met my wife on the bus, as she had a green pass which was out of date so I took it off her, and then I took her out the following weekend!”
Driver Stephen Martin, 54, is delighted to reach the 25-year milestone.
He said: “As I work on different routes, I meet people from all walks of life, which keeps the job really varied and interesting.
“I feel very proud, and a little old, to have achieved my 25 years’ service!”
Bus drivers, engineers, administration and management staff based at Stagecoach North East’s depots were praised at the awards.
This year, 96 long-serving staff were acknowledged after accumulating 2,655 years of service between them.