Tireless trio clock up 150 years on the buses

Published on: Thursday, 30th July 2020

Three trentbarton bus drivers have clocked up an incredible 150 years of combined service.

Clive Parr, Mick Fordham and Steve Slater all reach their half centuries of service within a few days of each other.  Steve will complete the trio on Monday 3rd August. 

Clive, 71, who lives in Aldercar, joined Midland General in 1970 at the age of 21, did his six months as a conductor and then joined the driving school.  His first route was the B6 between Mansfield and Ilkeston, which was similar to today’s black cat.

Clive then spent 11 years as a National Express contract driver out of Alfreton, between the late 80s and the turn of the century, whilst Trent were providing a contract service to National Express.  He then came back to Trent to drive the Tiger Tours excursions to holiday spots such as Skegness and Great Yarmouth. 

He did a brief stint on zoom and is now a spare driver based at Langley Mill, where he fills in when needed on all the local routes

Clive’s manager Aaron Irwin said: “His best memories are of the close-knit team of friends he has worked with.  He puts his long service down to the support of his loving and understanding wife.

“To be with us for 50 years shows his dedication over the decades. He does lots of extra hours and will come in on a day off at short notice if we need him.  It’s great we’ve got him.”

Mick, 65, who lives in Chilwell, started as a 15-year-old apprentice in the radiator shop and at 21 became a driver. 

Mick is currently driving i4 between Nottingham and Derby. Prior to this he did the Park and Ride and Long Eaton xprss, before becoming a senior lead driver in the Nottingham traffic office.

Christian Allen-Clay, service delivery manager at Nottingham, said: “Mick is great. He is well known by customers and colleagues – he’s part of the family and has a great sense of humour. He loves his driving and you never see him in a bad mood.” 

Steve, who lives in Alvaston, started on his 19th birthday as a conductor and passed his driving test at 21.  After decades driving almost all the routes out of Derby, including the mickleover, red arrow and X38,  Steve, 69 on Monday, now drives the night spare and staff buses.

Steve’s manager Kurt Capello said: “Steve must have driven every route going. Now he’s our ‘night man’ shuttling our night staff around for their shifts.  He is so reliable and really dependable.  His favourite route is the villager as he enjoys the scenery.

“Steve’s favourite runs were the Manchester, Blackpool and afternoon mystery tours in the 1970s and 1980s.  He’s had great attendance throughout his 50 years and is a really nice guy who loves his job.  He is rightly proud that he has achieved 50 years of service by making a real career out of it.”

Jeff Counsell, managing director of trentbarton, said: “Congratulations and our thanks to Clive, Mick and Steve.  In their long careers they have contributed so much to their customers, our communities and inspired their fellow drivers for decades.   They all encapsulate the values of trentbarton and we’re extremely fortunate to have worked with them for the last 50 years.”

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