First Staff Celebrate 585 Years of Committed Service
Employees from bus operator First Hampshire, Dorset and Berkshire have been officially recognised for their dedicated service to ensuring bus-traveling public arrive at their destination safely and on time. 19 employees have together given an amazing total of 585 years' dedicated service.
They were honoured and presented with long service awards by Managing Director Marc Reddy at a special ‘Dedication Awards’ presentation evening at the Grand Harbour hotel in Southampton [on Friday 29 September] in the presence of partners, family and colleagues, including those who recently retired from the company.
Marc Reddy said: "These 19 wonderful colleagues represent an incredible 585 years' of loyal service," said Mr Reddy. "Some of staff present have been with the business an amazing 40 years, and started work with us in 1978 or earlier – what was it like then? Conductors were still on the bus, not all buses had power steering, the personal computer hadn’t even been thought of, a mobile phone was years away, and a gallon of petrol was 77p.”
“The Queen had just had her silver jubilee a year earlier, and for those football fans amongst us Nottingham Forest won the Football League First Division title for the first time in their history, Liverpool F.C. retained the European Cup, The Solomon Islands become independent from the United Kingdom, Dominica gained its independence from the United Kingdom. Inflation reached a six-year low, yes low, of 8.3%, although unemployment was at a post-war high of 1.5m”
“So, times have changed a lot since then……”
He continued: “Simply driving a bus safely on today’s busy and congested roads is an extremely demanding task, but factor in having to stop, start and manoeuvre in and out of traffic throughout a journey, plus dealing with a myriad of customer service issues and using the latest ticketing technology, you have a level of challenge that’s a real test of a professional driver. Now, drivers maybe the frontline ‘troops’ but it takes a team effort, also involving engineers, marketing, schedulers and administrators and many more to ensure that we deliver the services that our customers demand. The accumulated knowledge, dedication and professionalism are valued assets to the business and First is delighted to have had the opportunity to recognise their commitment. We are very proud of our staff and grateful for the service they provide to our customers."
The company also took the opportunity to pay tribute to recently retired staff present and celebrate the achievements of those who were successful in external and internal competitions and award events, such as Weymouth bus driver Nick Graham and Amanda Hough who last month were amongst the best bus drivers in the country at the annual Bus Driver of the Year Competition in Blackpool.
Honoured for 40 years’ service were:
- John McGinty
- Stephen Potter
- Malcolm Pottinger
- Albert Bowditch
Honoured for 35 years’ service was
- Tony Partridge
Honoured for 30 years' service were
- Gregory Lording
- Paul Mason
- Terry Pinder
- Mark Williams
- Dean Knight
- Mark Berry
- David Foot
- Paul Godfrey
Honoured for 25 years’ service were
- Keith Bond
- Darran Wood
- Adam Lower
- Robert Stickland
- Adrian Osborne
- Dean Moggeridge