First Eastern Counties’ painter hangs up brushes after 40-year career

A long-serving bus painter has called it a day after a career of more than four decades. Ray Yaxley, 72, joined First Eastern Counties’ predecessor in 1972 and has since worked at depots in both Norwich and Great Yarmouth. .

“I pride myself in always doing my best,” says Ray, whose most recent project saw him repaint a number of Routemasters. He retired at 62 but remained with First for another 10 years on a part-time basis, making the decision to say goodbye following diagnosis of bladder cancer in November 2013.

Photo shows: Left to right Mike Smith, depot engineering manager, Ray Yaxley and SteveHanner outside Norwich’s Roundtree Way depot. Steve is a supervisor and former apprentice who Ray trained.