Simply the bus: Unsung Hero award is just the ticket for former Trafford conductor

A retired transport worker from Manchester has been commended at the UK Bus Awards for his efforts.

Chris Icely, from Trafford, picked up the esteemed Unsung Heroes award at the annual event, now in its 19th year, in London on Tuesday.

The 62-year-old joined the industry as a conductor in 1978 and retired as service performance manager at Stagecoach Manchester earlier this year.

He told MM: “I feel very humbled because I‘m quite a modest chap. I was only doing what I was supposed to do and this is the icing on the cake.

“I was very honoured to be nominated and it was a bonus that I won.” 

Chris, who grew up in Wythenshawe, revealed that he never imagined progressing as far as he did through the company and that it was a pleasure to work with the people of the city.

“I only went on the buses for six months after being made redundant as a plumber,” he said.

“When I started the second week of my job, I was with a driver who I’m still friends with today after 37 years, and we pulled up at a red light in Flixton.

“There was a girl on a horse who he knew, and they were trying to get the horse on the bus. I thought I was going to be the shortest serving employee for Greater Manchester transport.

“I loved the camaraderie within the depot at Princess Road. I loved the people and dealing with the public. Manchester is vibrant and the people you deal with are brilliant.”

He also revealed that he would willingly return to his former job if offered the chance, following his retirement.

“I’m finding it [retirement] a bit of a struggle at the moment. I’ve been retired for 12 weeks now and it’s alright at first until the novelty wears off,” he added.

“I play a lot of golf. But there’s only so much golf you can play and only so much jobs around the house you can do.

“You miss friends and colleagues – even the bad ones! I would certainly think about going back if it was offered on a part-time basis.”

Main image courtesy of Tom Milnes via video, with thanks.

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