First Eastern Counties reveals bus in tribute to Ipswich man Jim Long

Friends and family gather at Ipswich Transport Museum for the unveiling of a bus in honour of Jim Lo

Friends and family gather at Ipswich Transport Museum for the unveiling of a bus in honour of Jim Long. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

A heritage double-decker has been unveiled to mark the first anniversary of the death of an Ipswich man who spent his life admiring and photographing buses.

Friends and family gather at Ipswich Transport Museum for the unveiling of a bus in honour of Jim Lo

Friends and family gather at Ipswich Transport Museum for the unveiling of a bus in honour of Jim Long. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

The name of James Long, known to most people as Jim and who died in June 2016 from a heart attack at the age of 72, is emblazoned across the front of the First Eastern Counties vehicle, which is in service on route 66 through Martlesham and Kesgrave.

The bus was revealed on Thursday at Ipswich Transport Museum, to whom Mr Long left his entire photograph collection containing thousands of images of buses.

His daughter Lynn Theedom, 47, said: “It was an honour, it was lovely. We couldn’t have asked for anything more.”

Mr Long was a familiar face to staff at First Eastern Counties, with general manager Chris Speed previously describing his as “part of the furniture”.

Friends and family gather at Ipswich Transport Museum for the unveiling of a bus in honour of Jim Lo

Friends and family gather at Ipswich Transport Museum for the unveiling of a bus in honour of Jim Long. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

Life-time Ipswich resident Mr Long leaves behind his partner of 33 years Evie Clarke, as well four children, 10 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Friends and family were transported to Mr Long’s funeral in a bus which he helped to design.