Coach company says farewell to top driver

By Rob George Friday 21 December 2012 Updated: 21/12 09:20

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Mike with driver Matt Elia. (s)

A DROITWICH man nicknamed ‘King of the Coaches’ was given an extra-special retirement present to celebrate almost half a century’s service with National Express.

Mike Lambden was treated to a unique leaving present when was picked up outside from his home in Primsland in a National Express coach complete with his name showing on the destination blind.

The 64-year-old’s final trip into work at the coach operator’s head office in Birmingham was also unforgettable for Mike’s wife Doreen, daughter Emma, son-in-law David and grandchildren Sebastian, aged 16 months and Alex, 4, who were all on-

hand to wave him off.

Mike has spent an amazing 46 years in the transport industry, including the past 40 years helping to grow and develop the coach operator. He began his career in transport literally on the day he left school at the age of 17.

He left his school in the Isle of Man in the morning before starting his first shift at the local bus station in the afternoon.

During his unforgettable trip into work Mike, who has lived in Droitwich for 28 years, enjoyed coffee and pastries with colleagues on the coach, which was decked out in bunting.

And there was one final surprise at Birmingham Coach Station with crowds of colleagues waiting to cheer his arrival with flags.

“It was a wonderful surprise to see the coach at the bottom of the street. My colleagues kept it top-secret and I didn’t guess until the last minute,” Mike said.

National Express colleague Bryan Bannister, who also lives in Droitwich said: “We wanted to do something really different to say goodbye to Mike.

“He has helped to create a lifetime of achievements for our business and we wanted to create a final memory that recognises those achievements.

“Mike’s knowledge of the coach industry is second-to-none and we will all miss his cheerful smile at work,” he added.

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