Coasthopper bus driver creates new book to get children into reading

Paul Smart, Coasthopper bus driver and author of Ena's New Home, the story of a bus in north Norfolk

Paul Smart, Coasthopper bus driver and author of Ena's New Home, the story of a bus in north Norfolk. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A bus driver on the popular Coasthopper service has used the rural route and his life as inspiration for his first book aimed at getting young people into reading.

An image of Beth the bendy bus from Ena's New Home created by Coasthopper bus driver Paul Smart.

An image of Beth the bendy bus from Ena's New Home created by Coasthopper bus driver Paul Smart. - Credit: Archant

Ena's New Home was written by Paul Smart who based the story on experiences and 'characters' from the Norfolk Green route which runs from King's Lynn to Cromer.

Mr Smart, 46, from Oaklands Lane, Runcton Holme, hopes to create nine more stories in the Ena's World series and described the under threat Coasthopper as a 'integral' to Norfolk tourism.

He said: 'It is about how a little bus called Ena leaves the big city and moves to somewhere small close to the coast.

'My idea with the book was to get kids interested in books.


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'Kids have a fondness for anything that moves, especially buses, and I'm trying to capture that.'

Mr Smart, a former fruit seller in Coventry, became a bus driver after being made redundant in 2000.

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He started his career working in the West Midlands, but moved to Tydd St Giles, near Wisbech, about 11 years ago after he fell in love with the Fens.

Since then he has completed a three-year degree in English literature and sociology at the College of West Anglia in 2012.

The bus driver, who wants to mentor young people and write more books, hopes Ena's New Home will inspire creativity with its artwork.

He said: 'I didn't want it to be too perfect because in a child's world nothing is in proportion. I wanted it to be quirky.'

He described Ena as his alter ego and named the main character after the registration ENA on an old Norfolk Green Mercedes bus.

Mr Smart said the Coasthopper was important to the county and added: 'North Norfolk is heavily reliant on tourism and the tourist information centres, cafes and the Coasthopper is an integral part of that.'

The book costs £5.99 and can be bought from Sainsbury's in Hunstanton, the tourist information centres in Wells, Cromer and Hunstanton or by visiting http://enasworld.co.uk.

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