Bus driver takes trip down memory lane – more than 50 years after first stepping behind the wheel

Leslie Good was given a tour of Stagecoach North East's bus depot.
Leslie Good was given a tour of Stagecoach North East's bus depot.
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A former bus driver took a trip down memory lane as he reminisced about his years behind the wheeel.

Leslie Good, from Seaburn, was invited to Stagecoach North East’s bus depot in Sunderland, for a tour.

Leslie Good was given a tour of Stagecoach North East's bus depot.

Leslie Good was given a tour of Stagecoach North East's bus depot.

The 80-year-old looked at the buses of yesteryear and today, as well as the engine pits, where inspections take place, the MoT lane and re-upholstery workshop.

Leslie drove the first 70-seat fleet line, which was launched in 1962 for Sunderland Corporation, and was a bus driver for more than eight years.

He thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to take a ‘real nostalgia trip’.

He said: “I really enjoyed being out and about driving and meeting people, so it was the perfect job. £10 a week and then £20 overtime for school specials!

The visit was fantastic, especially being able to see the old buses and sit in the cabs

Leslie Good

“I was really sad when I left, although I did move to a job which still involved being outside and meeting people, when I became a postman and then transport manager for the General Post Office.

“When I was a bus driver, I worked at depots in Fulwell and Hylton Road, and this depot didn’t exist at this time, so it was great to have a look round and see how it has all changed.

“The visit was fantastic, especially being able to see the old buses and sit in the cabs.

“Of course I would have liked to have driven a bus! In fact, I would like to take them home! Thank you so much to Stagecoach North East for inviting me and taking the time, it has been a real nostalgia trip.”

From left to right, Ann Good, Leslie Good, Judith Slocombe and her partner Derek.

From left to right, Ann Good, Leslie Good, Judith Slocombe and her partner Derek.

The tour was organised by Leslie’s daughter, Judith Slocombe, and hosted by Sunderland depot assistant operations manager, Stephen Todd, and engineering supervisor Grahame Gibbson.

Leslie was also able to look around some vintage buses which were brought in for the occasion, assisted by the North East Bus Preservation Trust.

To reflect the changes in buses over the years, Stagecoach lined up the latest gas bus with its modern eco-driving system.

Meanwhile, Mr Todd researched the cost of the bus Leslie drove, which was around £6,500, compared to about £150,000 for a gas bus with its new technology.

From left to right, Ann Good, Leslie Good, Judith Slocombe and her partner Derek.

From left to right, Ann Good, Leslie Good, Judith Slocombe and her partner Derek.

Mr Todd said: “It was a real pleasure to show Leslie around our depot and to hear about his time as a bus driver and how it compares to now.

“I am delighted that he and his family had such a good time and hope the experience brought back some fond memories.”

For more information about Stagecoach North East, visit www.stagecoachbus.com/northeast