Couple buy old bus where love blossomed in 1970s

Sweethearts David and Maureen Hanson who met on the buses are pictured with son David's ebay find at his home in Padiham. G100211/2a
Sweethearts David and Maureen Hanson who met on the buses are pictured with son David's ebay find at his home in Padiham. G100211/2a

A HAPPY couple who found love in the bus lane have been reunited with the bus where it all began.

Sweethearts David and Maureen Hanson – a retired driver and conductor – managed to step back in time thanks to son Mark who bought the 1949 Leyland PD bus from internet auction site eBay.

Remarkably, Maureen was pregnant with Mark when they were working on the bus and other similar ones in the 1970s for the old Burnley, Colne and Nelson Joint Transport Company.

Reminiscing from their home in Chiltern Avenue, David (67) said: “I started as a driver in 1964 and Maureen started in 1969. We would chat at tea breaks and then on the bus.

“In fact, we had our first dance at a bus safety awards evening. I couldn’t believe it when Mark rang to say he’d found one of the old Leylands.

“When he said it was number 63 I knew I’d driven it. They were a lot different to the new buses and I remember having to stand up to turn it.

“They were great vehicles and it was a super job. I retired after 40 years without an accident.”

Maureen (59) admitted to “many a happy hour on the bus with David” and said the bus brought back some fond memories.

“I suppose we’ve got to thank that bus and others like it for bringing us together. It obviously was a lucky place to meet – next year will be our 40th wedding anniversary.” she added.

Mark (37) who paid £12,000 for the old bus, which still has the original maroon and cream colours and crests from the three towns, is now dreaming of restoring it to its former glory.

The owner of Hanson Civil Engineering in Burnley, said: “I love old buses and always wanted one of these Leyland PDs so I couldn’t believe it when I spotted it on eBay.

“Other bidders wanted to turn the bus into a bar, live in it or even make it into a nursery, but I want to preserve it and bring it back to its former glory.”

Indeed, Mark and David were so keen to see the bus – and drive it – they booked a flight to Devon to collect it before driving it, top speed 43mph, all the way back to Burnley.

“It took us around seven hours, stopping and taking turns. We got some funny looks on the way back and a few humorous comments about looking like Blakey from ‘On the Buses’ but it was worth it.

“I’m going to renovate it and want to find any old painters who used to work for the bus company.” Mark then hopes to loan his pride and joy to Leyland Bus Museum as well as display it at vintage shows.