Doreen meets an old friend in Bangkok!

Doreen Johnson is reunited with the 8A in Thailand. Picture: Glenn Johnson

Doreen Johnson is reunited with the 8A in Thailand. Picture: Glenn Johnson - Credit: Glenn Johnson

When holidaying abroad for the first time at the age of 88, Doreen Johnson had no idea quite what to expect.

However, one thing she certainly didn't anticipate seeing, was the very same bus she used to ride some 50 years ago.

Mrs Johnson used to take the No 8A from her then home on Girton Road in Gorleston to Great Yarmouth most days, so when she saw it in the Thai capital city of Bangkok she couldn't believe her eyes.

She had just been on a boat tour around the city's canals and waterways and was on the way back to her hotel when she saw the blue bus ahead of her.

'I was absolutely gobsmacked,' she said. 'Never in a million years would I have expected to see it still running thousands of miles away.'

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Mrs Johnson, now of Cobholm, had never even been on a plane before the trip, but plucked up the courage to go to visit her daughter-in-law's children, who live in Thailand. She visited various parts of the country, including Walking Street in Pattaya but it was the No 8A bus that created a lasting memory.

She said: 'Visiting the country you do see it in an entirely different light to how you do when you see it on television, and I had a wonderful time. However, seeing the Number 8a blew my mind.'

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Son Glenn, whose stepchildren they were visiting said it had 'shook her to the very core'.

He said: 'My mother had grown very fond of my stepdaughters via the Internet and was desperate to see them for real, so decided she wanted to go to Thailand to meet them. At 88 that is a very brave decision.'

The No 8A bus even has family connections - both her brother-in-law and granddaughter's other grandfather are believed to have driven it.

It featured in the Mercury earlier this month, pictured by tourist Stewart Linton.

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