School wishes happy retirement to bus driver who ferried generations of pupils for over 50 years

A bus driver who ferried generations of pupils for over 50 years has retired after a lifetime of school runs.

Ida Wilson, aged 78, has driven the run from Great Strickland, Little Strickland and Melkinthorpe to Lowther Endowed School at Hackthorpe since she entered the family coach business.

In that time, she has taken two generations of multiple families to school.

Her husband John also took up a job on a school bus when he retired as a lorry driver ten years ago.

Ida had to retire recently due to ill health and this week, John took his final group of schoolchildren to class.

Speaking on the outpouring of appreciation she received on her retirement, Ida said: "It's overwhelming to think about what they think of you and I think it's because you're not chopping and changing drivers. The children are with us all the time and I think that puts a lot of faith in the little ones.

"When the little ones say 'you took my daddy to school' or 'you took my mummy to school', that's nice to hear them saying that because they knew they were in safe hands."

John said: "It's a big day. It's a sad day. And it's a good day. I've enjoyed fetching them. I've loved every minute of it. It's going to be a big miss when schools go back and we're still lying in bed."

Paul Richardson and Mike Captrick are among those who were driven by Ida decades ago and whose children saw her last days behind the wheel.

Paul said: "Who would have thought that over 35 years, she would have driven me and then driven my son to school. Amazing."

Mike said: "It's absolutely incredible, the longevity of Ida's service to driving kids round the district."

John said: "It makes you feel old."

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