LONG-SERVING bus and coach driver Dave Field has come to the end of the road.
After more than 45 years behind the wheel, latterly working for Royton based coach company, Healings, Dave has transported his final passengers.But loving the freedom of the open road the 79-year-old great-grandfather intends motoring for fun in the future.
“When I first started driving for a living I did so for Oldham Corporation in their maroon and cream buses,” recalls the Saddleworth-based pensioner.
“Since then the roads have become a lot busier but I really enjoyed the job.”
He swapped maroon and cream for orange and white, driving for GM Buses and SELNEC (South East Lancashire and North East Cheshire) before taking up a job with First Bus until his first retirement.
With a wealth of experience behind him Dave’s services remained in demand and for the next 11 years he drove for Chadderton based Swans Travel.
Most recently, he has been working with Healings and relishing regular trips to Blackpool.
“I loved going out meeting people,” explained sprightly Dave.
“I kept working because I lost my wife, Kathleen, two years ago. It was all about keeping my mind busy.
“Now, I am not driving coaches I‘ll go out in the car.
“I liked Blackpool, the Lake District was nice too and I had a few good rips to Llandudno. I have enjoyed it, it’s been a good life,” said widower Dave who regularly volunteered to take pensioners on seaside trips.
“But I will be 80 next June and just thought enough is enough. Even though I am still fit and healthy, medicals cost £500 and I just decided I wouldn’t renew my licence.”
Healings office manager Dave Chew said: “We would like to place on record our many thanks to David Field for assisting us through our busy periods by devoting some of his spare time as a pensioner to driving our coaches.
“I view it that we also helped him to ‘keep his eye in with driving big coaches after he retired first time around.
“David was great to work with and people have commented his period here was too short and what a shame it was that he was turned 70 years of age when we were brought together.
“I do not recall him ever missing a day for which he was booked and he would drive any vehicle of ours to any destination without complaint from him. Not many people can match that these days.
“His favourite destination though would have to be Blackpool as it brought back many happy memories.
“David will always be very welcome to call in at our offices as I am sure he will and everyone here wishes him a happy retirement.”