Peter Riley clocks out for the last time after nearly half a century in the bus industry

The Beating Heart of Ashton Depot: Peter Riley

Cast your mind back to 1970. 49 years ago, another English international side reached a World Cup Semi Final (as defending champions). SELNEC launched a new bus route from Bolton to Stockport known as the Trans-Lancs Express. On the box, that year’s must-watch comedy series was On The Buses on ITV.

Whilst Mancunian style Atlanteans and Fleetlines milled around Piccadilly Gardens, a fifteen-year-old school leaver began his first shift with SELNEC PTE as a messenger boy. Nearly fifty years on, the fresh-faced messenger boy was a storekeeper at Stagecoach Manchester’s Ashton depot.

After 49 years of continuous service, Peter Riley has hung up his toolbox for the last time. He spent his last day celebrating his long and successful career with his colleagues at Ashton depot. The Openshaw resident has worked at every Stagecoach Manchester garage, including those inherited from the purchase of GMS Buses and its more recent acquisitions.

After the purchase of Mayne of Manchester’s bus operations, Stagecoach Manchester’s Ashton depot opened in early 2008. At the site off Clarence Street, Peter was handed the task of ordering and managing parts for the Engineers. Peter’s manager Garry Rowlands appropriately described him as ‘the beating heart of the team’.

On his initial role for the newly formed PTE’s bus operations, he said that things when he started out were very different to the way they are now. “We didn’t have mobile phones, emails and computers, it was all much simpler back then!” Now aged 64, Peter has clocked out for the last time, as he prepares for a well-deserved retirement.

On his last day, Peter’s team gathered for a presentation, where he was presented with a customary engraved tankard, flowers, and a few beers, so he can enjoy a well-deserved toast to his retirement.  

Speaking about his career, Peter said: “My time working with Stagecoach has been really rewarding, and I’m lucky to have enjoyed working for the same company for such a large number of years. I’ll miss all of my colleagues, but I’m very excited for my retirement!”  

“I’m going to enjoy having the time to work on the house, spend time with my grandchildren and go on lots of holidays with my wife!”

Stagecoach Manchester managing director, Elisabeth Tasker, said: “Peter has demonstrated such loyalty to Stagecoach over the years, having been a key figure at every single one of our depots. I want to congratulate him on behalf of Stagecoach Manchester for celebrating 49 years of service, and wish him the very best in his retirement!”

An EM60 Presentation, 03 July 2019.

Images courtesy of Tangerine PR Limited, 2019.

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