A transport firm boss who has helped to keep thousands of buses on the road is retiring after almost 35 years in the industry.
Alan Richardson has stepped down from his role as engineering manager at Stagecoach North East’s depot in Dean Road, South Shields, after dedicating his career to engineering.
Gary Chisholm, engineering director for Stagecoach North East, said: “Alan has been such a valued member of the team for many years and a ‘safe pair of hands’ for the company.
“People with Alan’s many years of experience are always difficult to replace and he will be missed by me and his colleagues. We wish him the very best for a long and happy retirement.”
Alan,who is originally from the Nook, South Shields, began his career in 1972, when he joined the Tyne and Wear PTE in Byker as an apprentice at the age of 16. He then took up employment as a fitter at the depot in South Shields in 1976 where he developed his skills in the bus engineering workshop.
In a break from the bus industry Alan joined the Merchant Navy as an engineer, and in 1982 he moved overseas to work for a US company based in Siberia, where he was a specialist engineer looking after 200-tonne trucks at an open cast coal mine.
Three years later, he returned to the local bus company, now Busways, as a fitter at the Byker depot, before transferring back to South Shields after being promoted to engineering supervisor. A further jump up the career ladder to engineering manager saw Alan move to Stagecoach North East’s Teesside depot in Stockton before coming full circle in 2014, when he made a final move back to South Shields.