Last stop for bus driver

Eric Leverton has retired after 47 years as a bus driver for Trent Barton.
Eric Leverton has retired after 47 years as a bus driver for Trent Barton.

When Eric Leverton started on the buses, England was celebrating its 1966 World Cup win.

But the 65-year-old has driven his last route, retiring from his job at Trent Barton after an impressive 47 years behind the wheel.

In that time, Awsworth-born Eric has won the firm’s Driver of the Month Award a record nine times but now he’s planning to spend more time with wife Rita at home in Ilkeston.

“I’ve worked on the buses for almost my entire working life and I’ve loved every minute of it,” he said.

“I felt particularly proud when I collected my first award and over the years Trent Barton has been a great company to work for.”

To mark his retirement the firm in Langley Mill organised a surprise party and rolled out a vintage Leyland Leopard bus to remind him of his early days.

“It certainly brought back a few memories,” said Eric.

“Now I’ll really miss all my colleagues as we’re a tight-knit team and many customers have become good friends.

After leaving school Eric worked for a couple of years in a factory producing ‘wood wool’ for use in packaging, before he applied for his job at trent barton.

For the past decade he’s driven the 27, serving his home village.

Managing director Jeff Counsel said: “We’ll certainly miss Eric, but wish him a long and happy retirement.”