Search

Fond farewell for school bus driver Maurice

10:29 23 July 2012

Maurice Parker from Hindolveston, is retiring from being a school bus driver at Astley Primary School after 45 years. Picture; Matthew Usher.

Maurice Parker from Hindolveston, is retiring from being a school bus driver at Astley Primary School after 45 years. Picture; Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2012

A hundred years of history came to an end after a well-loved school bus driver who has driven three generations of the same family hung up his keys after 45 years.

On Friday, Maurice Parker, 65, from Hindolveston, completed his final school run to and from Astley Primary School, in Melton Constable.

J Parker and Sons was opened in 1905 by Maurice’s great grandfather James Parker and was originally a haulage contractor, bus proprietor, radio dealer and motor engineer.

Maurice, who was born and bred in the mid Norfolk village, took over the business in 1965 after his father Herbert died.

As well as running the garage, Herbert also drove buses in the 1940s and 1950s for villagers who went on day trips to Skegness, Clacton, Great Yarmouth and the old cinema at Briston’s former Oddfellows Hall.

He even took the local cricket team and the Hindolveston Silver Band to matches and functions.

One of the Bedford buses driven by Herbert was nicknamed the cocoa tin because it was painted black and orange.

Maurice said: “I shall miss the children. I now take the grandchildren of the children I took years ago.”

He picked up and dropped off youngsters from Thursford, Barney, Fulmodeston, Swanton Novers and Hindolveston.

His wife, Sheila, 58, said: “There are friends of ours who remember getting on the bus and being as cheeky as they can, before Maurice would give them a quick clip on the ear.”

Maurice first learned how to drive a bus in 1967, aged 21, in an orange 29-seater Bedford OB and also drove youngsters to and from Melton Constable Secondary Modern and Reepham High and Primary earlier in his career.

“The children didn’t used to be as well behaved as they are now,” he added.

One unique way Maurice used to discipline the passengers many decades ago was tapping them on the head with a drumstick, which had a bobble on the end.

He also met Sheila while on a school run in 1970, while she was cycling on her way to work at the former Melton Constable Post Office.

She added: “He used to smile at me and winked at me one day. A couple of days later he asked me out.”

The couple married in 1972 at Briston Methodist Chapel and have two sons and one grandson.

Maurice received a crystal tankard from Astley Primary School on Friday as thanks for his 45-year service, as well as several gifts from parents.

The garage will be knocked down later this year for two new houses.

0 comments

Other news

Thu, 06:30
RTA Wine Rack on Station Roa in Great Ryburgh. Picture: Matthew Usher.

A factory near Fakenham, claimed to be the largest producer of wine racks in Europe, has been saved after its parent company went into administration.

Thu, 06:19
EDP reporter Kathryn Cross learning how to make sausages, with Creake Abbey head butcher Lisa Scothern. Picture: Ian Burt

When Lisa Scothern turned the handle of the sausage maker her years of experience showed.

Tue, 13:33
Police were called to a road traffic collision in Tottenhill, near King's Lynn.

A 53-year-old man has been arrested after alleged thefts in Fakenham.

Tue, 10:09
Rare bitterns are bouncing back with the highest number of

Numbers for one of Norfolk’s rarest birds have started to bounce back, according to wildlife experts.

Most Read

Tue, 13:33
Police were called to a road traffic collision in Tottenhill, near King's Lynn.

A 53-year-old man has been arrested after alleged thefts in Fakenham.

Read more
Mon, 13:01
One of the bridges at the former railway at Pudding Norton, Fakenham. A section of the railway is up for sale for the second time and could be an important factor in the future restoration of rail services to Fakenham.

Dreams of restoring a long-closed rail route have moved a step closer to reality, after train enthusiasts managed to buy a “missing link” section of the line, at the second time of asking.

Read more
Thu, 06:30
RTA Wine Rack on Station Roa in Great Ryburgh. Picture: Matthew Usher.

A factory near Fakenham, claimed to be the largest producer of wine racks in Europe, has been saved after its parent company went into administration.

Read more
Monday, January 9, 2012
Actor Johnny Depp, who is rumoured to have bought a house in Burnham Market.

Rumours have returned that Hollywood actor Johnny Depp has bought a stately home on the outskirts of Burnham Market.

Read more
Thu, 06:19
EDP reporter Kathryn Cross learning how to make sausages, with Creake Abbey head butcher Lisa Scothern. Picture: Ian Burt

When Lisa Scothern turned the handle of the sausage maker her years of experience showed.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 5°C

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Fakenham and Wells Times e-edition today E-edition