End of the road for Hopper Bus driver Ken
- Credit: Archant
Civic leaders bade a fond farewell to the longest-serving driver of Sidmouth’s Hopper Bus, who hangs up his keys this weekend.
Jim Tucker spent his 10-year tenure ‘bringing the town to life’ as he took tourists from the Three Cornered Plot to Mutters Moor and the Donkey Sanctuary.
The 76-year-old is stepping down before new EU regulations come into force, which would require his employer to fund training.
“It’s grown and grown and grown – it’s amazing how many holidaymakers come back year after year,” he said.
“After 10 years it’s as good a time as any to step down,” he said. “But I’m going to miss the route and the people – I hope I helped promote Sidmouth.”
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In something of a busman’s retirement, Jim said he has ‘no doubt’ he will hop back on the Hopper when he visits the town from his Chard home.
Jim came to the Hopper Bus from an ‘odd bod’ role at his son-in-law’s company renovating church bells, before which he worked in a bank.
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“I’m Devon born and bred, I started out in Paignton, then moved to Newton Abbott – I’m gradually moving eastwards,” he added.
John Dyson, the town council’s Hopper Bus representative, said: “He made the town come to life for many of his passengers.”
He added that Jim had even had Christmas cards and flowers from some of them, and will be missed.
The retiring bus driver was presented with a certificate for his years of service at Monday’s town council meeting.
His last drives will be tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday.