Fathers and sons

Rob and Chris Stone, Stephen and Larry Male in Walsall paint shop.

Some National Express West Midlands staff will need no reminding that it’s Father’s Day on Sunday (19 June) – because they work alongside their dads at the bus company every day.

National Express West Midlands HR Director Madi Pilgrim says:

“We are one of the largest employers in the West Midlands, with over five and a half thousand staff. People stay at this company for years, and many people are related – not just fathers and sons, but also mothers and daughters, siblings, aunts and uncles. And of course there are many couples working here whose eyes first met on the buses!”

Frank Palmer manages the National Express paint shop in Walsall, where buses are repainted, as well as the trim shop in Birmingham’s Miller Street, where his team refurbish the insides of the vehicles, including the seats.

“Overall, I have five father-son pairs on my team,” says Frank. “There are two pairs in the paint shop – Rob and Chris Stone, and Stephen and Larry Male. On top of that, there’s a pair in the trim unit and two pairs in the repair teams.”

As proud fathers, both Robert and Larry say they always look forward to celebrating Father’s Day with the whole family. 

"We always make an effort to go out for the day and enjoy a family meal together," says Larry. "That really is a Father’s Day treat for me – cos normally I do all the cooking at home!"

Master Drivers Paul and Rod Dicken from Tividale There are also many bus drivers who are following in their fathers’ footsteps.

Roderick Dicken and his son Paul both live in Tividale and drive buses out of the company’s West Bromwich garage. They both recently graduated from National Express’ advanced Master Driver programme.

Dad Rod says:

“It was great to do our Master Driver training together. Paul just beat me to the final qualification by a couple of weeks, but I couldn’t be more proud of him.”

Pictures show Rob and Chris Stone, Stephen and Larry Male at Walsall paint shop, and West Bromwich Master Drivers Paul and Rod Dicken

Published 15th June 2016