A much-admired woman, who took ‘a man’s job’ in the 70s because she needed to earn a man’s wage, has retired from the company 43 years later.
Driving buses was still very much a man’s world when Maisie Boreham started working for Mulleys Motorways in 1971.
She drove children to schools in and around Bury St Edmunds and took countless passengers on excursions around the country.
“We didn’t know what we were going to do from one day to the next - we might be in London, Norwich or somewhere else, nothing was the same two days running,” said the now 79-year-old.
She was a single parent with two children to support and says she became a driver because she needed to earn a man’s wage, though she ‘enjoyed every bit of it’.
She knew of only one other female driver but says everyone was proud of her and treated her with respect.
“When I used to take Culford School out, I was asked to sit at the top table with the teachers. We were just something if you know what I mean. Today they (women bus drivers) seem to be 10 to a penny.”
But Maisie’s career as a driver came to an abrupt end in December 1996 after she slipped and broke her ankle, injuring her braking foot.
She moved into Mulleys’ booking office in St Andrew’s Street North, Bury, where she continued working until a fall last month forced her to make a difficult decision.
“Heading for 80, I thought it was time I retired,” said Maisie, a grandmother-of-five and great-grandmother-of-two.
After some well-earned rest, her plans for retirement include gardening, crossword puzzles and perhaps a return to playing whist.
Director Jayne Munson, who bought Mulleys in 1980, said of Maisie: “She’s been such a loyal member of staff - she was here when we bought the company!
“She’s part of the fixtures really so it is sad to see her go, but I think she feels she’s done all that she can. I’m sure the public’s going to miss her because a lot of people come in just to see Maisie.”
Maisie’s visitors have included retired headteachers and adults who, as school children, used to ride her buses.
“I’m going to miss the people most because the people are friends,” said the retiree.