September 18 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Malcolm Wetherell just loves life on the buses and getting behind the wheel to take passengers to and from Lowestoft.
Although he formally retired in April, the 65-year-old still works as a driver in Lowestoft two days a week, having been employed by the transport industry for 49 years.
He has been driving buses for the last two decades years and is well known to passengers in Suffolk and Norfolk on First Eastern Counties vehicles.
Mr Wetherell said: “Buses are in your blood – once you become a bus man, you are one for life.
“I still love driving buses and I find the newer buses are better to drive compared with when I first started. I now drive on a casual basis as and when. I love it and I wouldn’t change things.”
He started his employment in August 1965 as a 16-year-old apprentice engineer working at its Great Yarmouth depot when First was still a part of National Bus.
After a five-year apprenticeship, earning £7 a week, he was promoted to a charge hand engineer.
At 34, he became the firm’s youngest depot mechanical superintendent, and five years later became depot engineer for Yarmouth and Lowestoft.
In the late 1980s, he trained as a bus driver and after transferring from Yarmouth to the Lowestoft depot, has spent the past two decades driving buses around Norfolk and Suffolk.
Mr Wetherell lives in Lowestoft with his wife, Jennifer, and has one daughter, Lucy, and four grandchildren. He said: “I’ve really enjoyed my time in the industry. If I had my time again, I wouldn’t change anything.”
Hugo Forster, First Eastern Counties’ general manager, said: “I’d like to thank Malcolm for his hard work and dedication over the years – 49 years is a phenomenal achievement.”
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