National Express model driver makes model bus

National Express West Midlands bus driver Gary Woodward has lovingly created a 14-inch model of the number 17 bus he drives every day from Small Heath to central Birmingham. 

He named the model in memory of a former colleague at the company’s Bordesley Green depot. And 53-year-old Gary from Kitts Green has now kindly donated the tiny vehicle to the National Express West Midlands fleet.

Gary says:

“I’ve been a bus driver for 15 years. I used to work at Jaguar Land Rover and I have created models of cars and planes for them and for myself over the years, but this was only my second bus model.

“I was driving this particular bus one day and I thought it would be a real challenge to make a model of it. All in all, it took me about seven weeks. It is all hand-made using a variety of bits and bobs that were just lying around.” 

The chassis is made from an old aluminium fire flue. The bus parts are made from - among other things - a 5p piece, some matchsticks, a McDonald’s straw, various nails, nuts and bolts. Gary also put tiny bus markings and miniature adverts on the model - all identical to how they appear on a real bus.

“When I’d finished it, I named it in memory of Paul Fieldhouse, our late traffic controller here at Bordesley garage in Birmingham. Paul was a personal friend of mine and this model is a homage to him,” Gary explains.

Paul Thomas, Chief Operating Officer for National Express West Midlands, was very happy to accept the generous donation, which now has pride of place in the reception area at company HQ.

"You only have to look at this model to see that a great deal of time and attention has been given over to re-create this model - the detailing is so precise. We are delighted to receive such a lovely gift.”

Picture shows driver Gary Woodward with model bus and actual bus

Published 9th June 2016