Veteran driver takes a new direction

A LIFE on the buses has come to an end for David Bacon after 40 years of ferrying passengers around the county.

A LIFE on the buses has come to an end for David Bacon after 40 years of ferrying passengers around the county.

Now entitled to a bus pass himself, Mr Bacon was just 24-years-old when he joined the forerunner of the company now called First Eastern Counties.

Today he beginning a new life of leisure after his last day on the job yesterday but he still intends to enjoy the delights of the open road as he and his wife Stella are looking forward to getting away from it all in their new caravan.

David, whose grandfather also worked for the company during the Second World War, said: “I'll miss the camaraderie in the company and I loved driving through the countryside early on a frosty winter's morning.

“It was wonderful to see the sunrises on an empty road. I shan't miss the busy traffic we get these days although I do prefer driving the modern buses as the power steering and fully automatic gearboxes make them much easier to handle.”

When Mr Bacon began on the buses in 1966 he was based at the Woodbridge depot and remained there for many years until it closed in 1997, when he moved to the Ipswich depot.

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Along the way there have been many cherished memories.

Mr Bacon remembered one occasion many years ago when his conductor asked him to stop the bus on a rural route so they could drag on a large tree trunk they found lying by the side of the road.

The conductor wanted to take it home for firewood and, as the bus was empty, thought it wouldn't cause a problem. However they picked up a couple of unexpected passengers at Framlingham who were obliged to climb good humouredly over the offending log to get to the upstairs seats.

Shaun Daw, operations manager at Ipswich, said: “David has been a pleasure to work with - a gentleman of the old school and a real inspiration to today's younger drivers.

“The dedication and professionalism of him and his generation has been a big factor in our development. We wish him well in his retirement and all the best for the future.”

Weblink: www.firstgroup.com

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