16 April 2019
After 53 years of driving millions of customers right across the Black Country, local legend Dave Gerrard has finally driven his last bus journey.
Friends, family and work colleagues gathered at National Express West Midlands’ Pensnett garage to welcome Dave as he drove in for the very last time.
Known locally as a Master of the Black Country for his driving and charity work, Dave completed his final trip on a bus that’s actually named after him in recognition of his work in the community.
Dave has raised over £22,000 for the many charities that are close to his heart, including Birmingham Dogs Home, Russells Hall Hospital, the Royal British Legion, Macmillan Nurses and many others.
For his final shift, Dave wore the very same uniform that he wore on his first day as a bus driver over 50 years ago.
And to celebrate his retirement, National Express West Midlands colleagues presented him with a cake that features Dave's original Public Service Vehicle driver badge number.
Dave (pictured) said: "As a young boy I used to stand outside Bearwood garage taking down the bus numbers. Drivers used to doff their caps to me.
“I couldn’t wait to start my dream job - so as soon as I turned 21 I applied. I passed my test and drove my very first bus out of the very same garage - and I doffed my cap.
"I’ve had a great career and been lucky enough to have made so many friends with my customers, colleagues and charities that I’ve worked with.
“Now I’m looking forward to spending more time at home with my wife and receiving visits from my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. But most of all, I’m looking forward to ditching my alarm clock!”
Phil Bowen, operations manager for National Express West Midlands, said: “Dave’s an absolute legend and very well thought-of both here at National Express West Midlands and in the wider Black Country community.
“He’s given so many years of loyal service to our business and our customers across the region, and he’s dedicated so much of his own spare time to help many different charities.
“We’d like to wish Dave all the best for a very happy retirement with his family.”