Vintage bus honour for former conductor

Funeral of Mr Harris arranged by Payne and Son featuring a horse drawn hearse and a 1950s ex-London Transport RTL bus. may19th 2011 E20107M
Funeral of Mr Harris arranged by Payne and Son featuring a horse drawn hearse and a 1950s ex-London Transport RTL bus. may19th 2011 E20107M

FREDERICK Stacey spent most of his life aboard buses and it was a 1948 London RTL which served as the honour guard at his funeral parade.

Second World War veteran Mr Stacey spent his combat years country-hopping, bridge building, road building and even disposing bombs.

When the 94-year-old from Polegate made it through the war unscathed, he kept on the move and spent the next 46 years riding London buses as a bus conductor.

Buses were in Mr Stacey’s blood. His father was one of the first-ever bus drivers in the early 1900s.

Mr Stacey, born in Twickenham, even met his wife Jesse – a fellow bus ‘clipper’ – on the buses, working on RTLs and then the iconic Routemasters.

The two had photos taken in front of an RTL on their wedding day.

Derek Harris, married to Mr Stacey’s niece Jackie, said, “He just loved the buses, he just loved meeting people.

“He was a people-person, as long as he was surrounded by people he was in his glory. He was one of the really old ones, he liked to have a little moan and a groan but he would do anything for you.”

The 28 guests to Mr Stacey’s funeral boarded the London bus, manned by a driver and conductor, as old war songs played out during the funeral procession to Eastbourne Crematorium.

Mr Harris, 66, who also drove London buses for two years, said, “It wasn’t a nice day, but seeing everyone sitting there talking, I think Fred would have enjoyed it. It would have made his day.

“The guy who drove the bus said it was the first time ever that he had done a funeral on one of these buses.”