HE’S picked up children on their first day of Kindergarten and dropped them home on graduation day.
On Tuesday, Timbumburi Public School bus driver David Platt drove the same route he’s travelled for 25 years for the last time.
“I’ve seen joy in parents faces when they put their kids on the bus to school for the first time, that’s unique,” Mr Platt said.
“Some children are very difficult to handle to be honest with you, others are a real joy to watch grow up.”
Mr Platt worked as a welder by trade before employment opportunities dried up, and he travelled to London to work for a travel company running tours through Scandinavian countries.
He loved the uniqueness of every country and drove numerous charters across Europe.
That was his first experience as a bus driver, before he moved back to Tamworth and took up the Timbumburi route with Hannafords.
The school children formed a guard of honour, chanting ‘David’ as Mr Platt ran through their hands, many of them stopped to give him a hug as they hopped on his bus for the last time.
Mr Platt fondly remembers two Kindergarten girls who got on the bus for their first day of school.
“I told them both that the other girl was a nice person and sat them together, they became friends and were friends right through primary school,” he said.
“Both of them had younger sisters and they became friends, the families became friends – just a little thought like that can influence people.
“It gives you a satisfaction to know they came to school safely.”
After a knee operation on Thursday, Mr Platt plans to travel to Israel once he’s back on his feet.
“There’s a lot of biblical history there, they’re rebuilding the old temple from 3000 years ago,” he said.
“I’ve been there twice before, both times were really good but there’s a lot of things I want to see, want to walk around the places I’ve been before and see it again.
“I’ve got mixed feelings about retiring to be honest with you, some of the children I’ll really miss because they’ve been a joy to watch grow up.”
As the bus pulled away for the last time, Mr Platt waved to parents waiting at the gates.