Tribute to a much loved and respected employee, Joe Cook (Cookie)


It was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of a very valued and long serving member of staff on Friday 19th May 2023.

Walter Cook was known to his friends and family as Joe or Cookie, and when asked how he got the name Joe he replied "I've been called Joe for so long that I can't remember".

Joe left school at the age of 14 and started working for the Eastern Counties Bus Company as a conductor until he past his PSV test and become a driver working out of the Holt out-station until it closed in 1986.

Joe was not happy at being made redundant from Eastern Counties Buses, and initially refused to work for Sanders Coaches when he was offered a job, but on April 1st 1986 Joe changed his mind and started as a driver at the Sanders Coaches Holt depot, and it was there that he remained as a loyal, trusted, and well respected member of the team for just over 37 years until his passing at the age of 82.

Joe never really relished the idea of retirement and just pottering about in the garden nurturing plants, so he carried on working and was driving buses well in to his late 70s prefering to encourage and nurture new comers in to the bus and coach industry instead.

In his later years Joe would still be among the first to arrive at the depot where he would assist with getting the buses ready to go out on service, may be with a quick sweep of the platform, dusting down the dashboard, or emptying the bin from the previous days service run.

Joe loved the bus industry, and meeting the people that travelled with him, always having time for a "mardle" as they got on the bus. He had also gathered many a funny story over the years of things that had happened, and the older buses that he had driven which he would tell to the younger members of the staff in the drivers rest room over lunchtime.

Sadly after 68 years of service to the public transport industry, working for only 2 companies in all that time, Joe (Cookie) has hung up his bus keys for the very last time.

Rest in Peace dear friend, and know that you will always be loved, respected, and greatly missed by everyone that you have known, nurtured, and influenced in your time.