Seventy-four Go North East employees have been honoured for reaching significant long service milestones achieved by very few people these days.
Between them they’ve clocked up an incredible 2,390 years of getting bus passengers from A to B.
The employees all received special commendation awards for their 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50 years’ service at a recent celebration evening.
Bus drivers Michael Hendry, 67, and Keith Rutherford, 63, have each given 45 years’ commitment to Go North East.
Both men joined Go North East’s forerunner firm, the Sunderland District Omnibus Company, as conductors when they were young men and then progressed on to become drivers.
Speaking about his 45 years’ service, Michael said: “I’ve made lots of friends through Go North East. I’ve enjoyed driving the buses and meeting the passengers over the years.”
The Long Service Awards ceremony took place at the Hilton hotel in Gateshead.
The honours were presented on stage by managing director Kevin Carr and comedian and BBC radio presenter Sue Sweeney was compere at the event.
The award winners were given gifts and enjoyed drinks, music, a three-course dinner and dancing. Many of the award winners brought along their partners to help them celebrate.
Kevin Carr, managing director, who himself picked up an award for 40 years’ service, said: “The Long Service Awards event is about coming together to applaud our loyal, hardworking people who, quite frankly, provide a cracking service in a variety of roles, from engineering, to driving, to customer service.”