A FORMER Basingstoke school boy is celebrating a 30-year career working with buses.

Steve Thorpe started working for bus company Stagecoach in 1992 shortly after leaving Basingstoke’s Cranborne Secondary School at the age of 16.

Having previously completed work experience at the Basingstoke depot, Steve was offered a position by depot managed John Chadwick.

Steve said that he enjoyed his work experience and was “delighted” when John offered him a job.

He continued: “Hampshire Bus was the first operator outside of Scotland that Stagecoach purchased, so I have followed the Stagecoach story from an early age.

“I have always admired Stagecoach’s innovation and am so proud to have played a part in the continued development of the business, particularly here in the South”.

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Steve’s early career projects included co-managing the introduction of the Wayfarer three ticket machine across the Hampshire depots of Andover, Basingstoke and Winchester, as well as researching the Alders Valley network before its purchase by Stagecoach.

In 1996, Steve was successful in gaining his Passenger Carrier Vehicle (PCV) licence, which provided a long-awaited opportunity to get behind the wheel and drive the bus routes that he had been planning and scheduling.

He would later transfer to marketing in 2002, something Steve called a “natural progression”.

Steve explained: “I always had a creative flare and had previously worked on some branding projects for Worthing and Portsmouth when the low floor buses were first introduced.

“I also enjoyed creating leaflets and booklets to promote our network and the destinations they served.”

In this role, Steve worked on many major projects, including a marketing campaign to coincide with the launch of the Pulse route in 2006, as well as a campaign advertising the flagship Coastliner 700 route in 2007.

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Steve was later recognised for his work on the Coastliner campaign, recieving the Marketing Campaign of the Year award.

More recently, Steve developed a Platinum Jubilee bus livery, which was used across the wider Stagecoach Group, and was depicted on a miniature scale model.

Steve was awarded a Star of the Month reward for his hard work in crafting the design.

The livery received attention both locally and across the wider bus industry for its harmonious design, which celebrated The Queen’s Jubilee, whilst also keeping the distinctive Stagecoach branding.

Despite 30 years having passed since he first joined the company, Steve still enjoys getting out and about on the Stagecoach South network.

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