A five-year-old from Catchgate, County Durham who loves buses, was guest of honour at Go North East’s £8.5 million Riverside depot, and given an all-access tour of the region’s largest bus operator.
Spencer Holtham, his parents Graham and Suzanne, and three-year-old sister, Jessica joined Go North East’s Head of Marketing and Retail, Stephen King as he provided a behind-the-scenes visit of Riverside, which opened in January 2014.
The St Patrick’s RCVA Primary School, Dipton student is bus crazy and wants to be a bus driver when he’s older, having already completed several new driver applications for Go North East, despite being a little on the young side!
As part of the tour, Spencer was introduced to drivers, given an insight into how Go North East’s fleet of over 650 buses is managed, via the service delivery centre and visited the occupational health and training teams of the building. A highlight of Spencer’s visit included a stop-off in the engineering and maintenance garages, in which the Holtham family and Stephen enjoyed a bus journey round the depot before going through the bus wash.
Spencer gets the bus to school and in his spare time loves a day out on his favourite mode of transport with his dad, Graham, regularly using the Durham Diamond, Northern 6 and Coast and Country services. When not on the bus, Spencer’s happy playing buses – dressing up as a driver, dishing out tickets to his friends and driving using his giant steering wheel – a round tray. Plus, he’s a huge ‘On the Buses’ fan.
At the end of his visit, the youngster was presented with a Go North East satchel and other goodies, such as a high-visibility jacket and beanie hat.
Stephen King, Head of Marketing and Retail at Go North East, said: “It was lovely giving Spencer and his family a tour round Riverside. Being such a fan, he was really interested in all elements of operating a bus company and seems as keen as ever to become either a driver or an engineer when he’s old enough. We certainly hope to see him enrolling onto our training assessments in a few years’ time!”
Graham Holtham, added: “Our thanks go to Stephen and everyone at Riverside who made us all feel so welcome. Spencer absolutely loves buses and seeing his face throughout the tour was priceless – he’ll be talking about this for years.”