A RETIRED bus driver’s wish came true when he got on board a big red bus for a special trip down memory lane.

John Northcott, 100, who is a resident at Clacton’s Corner House residential care home, longed to get back on a London bus.

His dream came true after pinning his request to the care home’s wishing washing line, a special project run by the home’s staff to grant residents’ wishes.

The centenarian was surprised to be greeted by a double decker bus outside the care home, in Wash Lane.

Mr Northcott, who was born in 1918, left school at the age of 14 to become an apprentice electrician.

But following his demobilisation after the Second World War, he was encouraged to take up driving by his comrades in the Royal Air Force.

Mr Northcott retired at the age of 83, having driven a variety of buses around London and coaches across Europe.

He also worked as a taxi driver, driving stars such as singers Rod Stewart and Tommy Steel and comedy double act Mike and Bernie Winters.

Mr Northcott, who turns 101 next month, had no idea his wish would be granted and

was pleasantly surprised when the bus pulled up outside the home.

He said: “It was great to be back on the bus and it has brought back loads of memories.

“I have always loved driving, so it was a really good day.

“I didn’t know anything about it, but I was wondering why they made me put on a smart shirt and socks.”

Viv Carter, who runs Carter’s Heritage Buses, said the firm was happy to bring back such wonderful memories for John.

She said: “It was a first that someone had come to us to grant a wish.

“We were more than happy to do it, as we wanted to make someone’s wish come true.”

Adina Giurgiu, who helps with activities in the Corner House Residential Care Home, said John enjoyed his special day.

She said: “I am so pleased with how it turned out.

“It was hard to keep the secret as John is clever and can

always get the truth out of someone.

“I was even keeping secrets from the staff, just in case they let it out. John is very special to us at the home and we hope

that we can do more things like this.

“It is not every day that you get to do things like this, so when you get the opportunity you can’t turn it down.”

Mr Northcott loves his iPad and is an animal lover and is fond of a friendly seagull called Charlie who visit the home.

He has two children, five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.