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, 12:23
National Trust East of England environmental awards 2014 Photo Phil Mynott ©NT

The guardians of the region’s stately homes and protected countryside have given a pat on the back their “green” champions.

Yesterday, 08:39
The church of St Nicholas, North Walsham. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

They are sites which tell the stories of our rich historical past – but more buildings, churches and conservation areas are now deemed at risk in the region.

Yesterday, 07:58
Chris Ball, pharmacist at Hurn Chemist in Norwich, who is part of a new campaign urging patients to cut down on wasted medicines. Picture: Supplied

Patients have been urged to help save the NHS millions of pounds after it emerged that almost £5m was being lost every year in Norfolk through unused prescription medicines.

Yesterday, 06:30
Fight for Fakenham presentations. At the front are (from left) Barry Bishop (First Focus), Debbie Brown (The Wensum Centre), Chris Smith (EP Youth) and EDP editor Nigel Pickover. Picture: Ian Burt

Thousands of pounds have been donated to three Fakenham charities thanks to the incredible generosity of EDP and Fakenham and Wells Times readers.

Most Read

Yesterday, 06:30
Fight for Fakenham presentations. At the front are (from left) Barry Bishop (First Focus), Debbie Brown (The Wensum Centre), Chris Smith (EP Youth) and EDP editor Nigel Pickover. Picture: Ian Burt

Thousands of pounds have been donated to three Fakenham charities thanks to the incredible generosity of EDP and Fakenham and Wells Times readers.

Read more
Tue, 09:35
Outside the new Chocolate Factory Shop in Fakenham is Sarah Ramm. Picture: Ian Burt

A confectioner will be hoping that a move of premises will give them the sweet taste of success.

Read more
Tue, 08:58
Glad Richards sits on the new bench in Fakenham, in memory of her husband Jack Richards who died earlier this year. Picture: Ian Burt

A memorial to Norfolk’s king of the road has been unveiled.

Read more
Friday, November 2, 2012
Nigel Morter and Claire Nugent outside the building they are refurbishing at the remains of the wartime RAF North Creake aerodrome at Egmere. Picture by Matthew Usher

It looks in places as if a bomb has hit it… or has gone off pretty darned close by.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:23
National Trust East of England environmental awards 2014 Photo Phil Mynott ©NT

The guardians of the region’s stately homes and protected countryside have given a pat on the back their “green” champions.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 7°C

Digital Edition

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