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Ipswich boy ‘mad about buses’ surprised with 18th birthday ride

PUBLISHED: 18:53 21 August 2020

Ben Gostling, from Sproughton, got to sit for pictures in an Ipswich Red as part of his birthday surprise. Picture: FIRST BUS

Ben Gostling, from Sproughton, got to sit for pictures in an Ipswich Red as part of his birthday surprise. Picture: FIRST BUS

Archant

A young man from Ipswich was surprised with his “best birthday ever” when a bus decked out in balloons turned up to take him on a special trip to celebrate.

Ben Gostling's family and friends gathered outside his house in Sproughton for his 18th birthday surprise arranged by First Bus. Picture: FIRST BUSBen Gostling's family and friends gathered outside his house in Sproughton for his 18th birthday surprise arranged by First Bus. Picture: FIRST BUS

Ben Gostling, who has autism, is mad about buses and was over the moon on August 8 when an Ipswich Red pulled up outside the front of his house in Sproughton.

His mother Lena had organised the surprise for his 18th birthday, as she knew his present needed to involve a bus in some shape or form.

Russ Smith, operations manager at First Ipswich, arrived in plenty of time for Ben to make the most of his big day by getting photos of him in the driver’s seat.

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Then, Ben’s friends and family were treated with an exclusive ride in the empty bus to Felixstowe beach to celebrate his big day.

Ben said: “I had the best 18th birthday ever on the double decker bus!”

Mr Smith said: “When Lena contacted me with her request, I could see it would make Ben’s day if we could pull it off and arrange a surprise day out.

“To see Ben’s face when we arrived, said it all.

“His family and friends joined in the occasion and travelled on the bus to the seaside and a great time was had by all, I am pleased we were able to be part of Ben’s special day.”


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