Bus-Mad Alfie Given VIP Tour of City Red’s Southampton Depot
Six-Year-Old Alfie Gale from Sholing lives, sleeps and dreams buses
When Dave York, Staff Manager at City Red’s Southampton Depot, heard about Alfie, from Sholing, Southampton and his passion for buses, he made the six-year-old’s dream come true by arranging a guided tour of its Southampton bus depot. This was after Chloe Gale, Alfie’s mum, contacted the company to ask if a depot visit would be possible.
Accompanied by his parents, Alfie was given the VIP treatment by City Red Operations Manager Mark Lovell and Senior Engineering Manager Neil Moreno. They showed him around the depot that holds and maintains many of the City Red buses that operate in Southampton. Alfie also had his own VIP drive around the depot in a bus. A highlight for Alfie was getting behind the wheel of a Ranger X4/X5, which is his particular favourite of his.
Speaking about Alfie’s love for buses, Chloe said:
It’s a real obsession for him. It started when he was three, and his love for buses has grown from there. He has timetables for pretty much every bus service in Hampshire, and also for those on the Isle of Wight, even though we don’t live there! He always gets excited when he sees them whizzing by, and knows exactly where each bus is going. His idea of a perfect day out is to travel on every single bus in Southampton. For his birthday he got a cake in the shape of the X5 bus, and I am arranging for a massive bus to be painted on his bedroom wall. We often get the bus because it’s an absolute treat for him.
Speaking about the depot tour, the proud mum said:
It was amazing to see his face light up when we were given the tour of the depot. He was so excited, we probably did the tour three times. He can’t stop talking about it really. And Mark, Neil and all the staff have been so kind; they really took the time to show him around, answer his questions. They even gave him a goody bag and an honorary bus driver certificate, which is quite fitting as he wants to be a bus driver when he grows up
Mark Lovell commented:
As you can imagine, it’s quite rare for someone to be so enthusiastic about buses at such a young age. It was great to have Alfie at the Southampton depot and let him go behind the scenes. He was very interested to know how things work, so we showed him the ticket machine and how to issue tickets. When he sat in the driver’s seat of a stationary bus, he issued his dad a £100-ticket to travel on his bus... priceless!! He has told us he will come back when he’s older as he already knows he wants to be a bus driver!