Passengers make poignant bus journey to pay tribute to well-loved driver (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Passengers on the 194 Malton to Hovingham route make poignant bus journey to pay tribute to well-loved driver
REGULAR passengers on the number 194 bus made a deeply poignant journey today - as it took them to the funeral of its popular driver.
The bus normally used on the Malton to Hovingham route was taken out of service by way of tribute to driver, Ian Newby, who died of a heart attack earlier this month.
His death at home near Bilsdale, at the age of 45, was completely unexpected and shocked family and friends.
Hundreds packed into Bilsdale’s small, remote church, on the North York Moors, where his funeral was held today (Thursday, October 17).
Joining many family and friends were dozens of passengers where were brought to the church in the coach Mr Newby drove so many times.
Regular passenger, Marian Hardy, from Barton-le-Street said: “He called everyone by their Christian names. He built up a rapport with everyone who got on his bus.”
Another passenger, Ann Chapman, from Hovingham, added: “He would stop us outside our houses if we had a lot of luggage, or if it was bad weather. He was brilliant. We will all miss him.”
Former neighbour, Phil Leverington, from Gillamoor, said: “He had a wonderful sense of humour.”
Susan Bowes, from Barton-le-Street, said: “He picked up a lot of school children on his route. He was very popular with them, he knew them all and all their names and would ask about what they were doing that day. He was always happy, never moody. He was just such a genuinely nice person.”
Mr Newby lived with his partner, Richard Johnson, also a bus driver with Stephensons of Easingwold.
Company director, David Stephenson, said: “He built up a rapport with everybody he met. He was such a nice guy.
“With rural bus services, people need to know there’s someone there who knows them, who might notice if they weren’t around or who might help them with their shopping if they can’t manage. Ian was the perfect rural service driver. He was just so well-liked, a great personality, great sense of humour.
“None of us had any indication he was ill. It was such a shock.
“Ian and Richard are exactly the kind of drivers and employees that any company values and needs to keep. We would have hoped to have kept him for a long time.
“We’re very, very sorry to have lost Ian and wish he was still here.”
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