Last stop for Northampton bus driver after 39 years at the wheel
A Northampton bus driver has pulled into the depot for the last time after 39 years of driving the town's public.
But 64-year-old Steve Fitzpatrick was met at his final stop by his friends and family to wish him luck in his retirement.
Dozens people with balloons and banners were waiting for him at the end of his last route yesterday (April 13) at the University of Northampton's Park Campus.
"I was overwhelmed," said Steve. "What I've seen today has just unbelievable.
"It's just been a job, I didn't even think it warranted all this. All I've done is work my whole, finish up and go home.
"But I didn't realise just how much support I had. Thank you so much to everybody."
The surprise retirement party was organised by Steve's bosses at Uno Northampton.
By the time he pulled into his last stop, his friends and family were waiting for him with confetti.
Steve's wife, Bev, said: "Today went brilliantly. He told me afterwards how the penny dropped as he rounded the corner and saw his grandaughter."
The surprise was followed by a "memory-filled" tour around town in one of the original red double-decker buses that Steve passed his test in 29 years ago in 1979.
Steve was invited to drive the vintage bus. He was able to start it - but realised he had forgotten how to drive one, and got out the seat.
Steve said: "I've enjoyed every minute of it. It's not like I've been working in a garage or an office or something, it's got me out and about."