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Arriva in the Midlands

Tamworth Launches Heritage Bus to Mark Major Retirement

02 May 19

John James and Simon Mathieson

One year since it marked its 90th year on Aldergate, and Arriva Tamworth is once again celebrating its rich local heritage with the unveiling of a bus decked out in the iconic former Midland Red livery which was last seen on the streets of Staffordshire in the 1990s.

The launch of the vehicle, which is due to serve routes across the local network throughout the rest of 2019, coincides with the retirement of another local legend, Arriva stores administrator John James, 65, who has been with the business for 35 years, and witnessed first-hand the transition of the business from Midland Red to Arriva blue back in 1996.

John JamesJohn, 65 from Birmingham, has seen not only the vehicles but also his role has change over the years, spending time as wash operative as well as doing some part-time driving, so local management thought it only appropriate to give him this fitting tribute as he heads off on the road to retirement.

Simon Mathieson, Area Managing Director at Arriva Midlands North explained: “John is a busman through and through. He has dedicated so much of his life to buses, not just in his day to day work, but also through volunteering at the Transport Museum Wythall, where I know he is looking forward to spending more time working on his heritage vehicles.

“He is going to be sorely missed by everyone at Arriva, but he’s very much earned his retirement after so many years of dedicated service. He may be gone, but he will not be forgotten as our Midland Red heritage bus will serve as a very poignant and special reminder of his time here. We wish him every happiness in the future.”

The Tamworth depot on Aldergate was previously owned by Midland Red, and latterly Midland Red North until it was sold in 1988. It later came under the ownership of the Cowie Group which was renamed Arriva in 1997.