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

Yesterday, 11:59
Housing in Norwich's Silver Triangle.

Explore our interactive map to find out how much homes are selling for on your street.

Yesterday, 10:43
Gresham's School, Holt.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

The body of an 18-year-old woman was found at the Gresham’s School in Holt on Saturday, it has been confirmed.

Mon, 12:57
Planners have agreed six new homes can be built on Walsingham Road, in Burnham Thorpe - a stone's throw from the idyllic village church.

Six new houses have been approved for the coastal hamlet where Nelson was born - despite opposition from villagers, who fear most of the properties will become second homes.

Mon, 06:28
Cyclists on the Holkham Estate, taking part in the 'Pedal Norfolk' weekend. Picture Ian Burt.

They could have changed its name to Ride Blue Skies, as perfect cycling weather greeted the first two days of Norfolk’s premier bike-fest.

Most Read

Monday, April 25, 2016
The number of new homes built in Norfolk has fallen over the last ten years.

A master plan drawn up to shape two decades of key housing growth in Norfolk is behind schedule, which could start a property-building gold rush as planners try to catch up, an investigation can today reveal.

Read more
Norfolk County Council
Monday, April 25, 2016
Thousands of new homes are planned for the

Explore our interactive map to find out how many new homes are planned in your area of Norwich and the surrounding towns and villages.

Read more
US Federal Reserve
Yesterday, 11:59
Housing in Norwich's Silver Triangle.

Explore our interactive map to find out how much homes are selling for on your street.

Read more
Norfolk
Yesterday, 10:43
Gresham's School, Holt.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

The body of an 18-year-old woman was found at the Gresham’s School in Holt on Saturday, it has been confirmed.

Read more
Mon, 12:57
Planners have agreed six new homes can be built on Walsingham Road, in Burnham Thorpe - a stone's throw from the idyllic village church.

Six new houses have been approved for the coastal hamlet where Nelson was born - despite opposition from villagers, who fear most of the properties will become second homes.

Read more
West Norfolk council

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 7°C

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

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

Newsletter Sign Up