Bus Names

Some of our buses are named after people who have made a significant contribution to Nottingham or had a strong connection to the City during their lifetime.

We consider requests for individuals to have a bus naming based on the following criteria:

  1. Made a positive or outstanding impact or contribution to the city or people of Nottingham
  2. Raised Nottingham's profile nationally
  3. Nottingham born or based and has received national recognition
  4. Winner of an award sponsored by NCT

Lots of people do great things and whilst we'd love to name a bus after everyone we're approached about, it's sadly not possible. It's important that to maintain the reputation and honour of a bus naming, that any request demonstrates why the person being nominated is truly outstanding. If you think someone should be considered, please email [email protected] and tell us what they've done that's so unique and why they're deserving of the honour. 

Our current named buses are:

Bus 331 - Sgt Heather Sutton

Sgt Heather Sutton won the first Nottingham Post Local Heroes Award in 2014 for her bravery after jumping into the River Trent to rescue a lady. Living on the Green 11 route, it was only fitting for one of her local buses to be named after her, which brings great pride to her children when they see ‘mummy’s bus’ on their way to and from school.

Photo of Sgt Heather Sutton Bus

Bus 334 - Amanda Ogelsby

Amanda was the first female Nottingham City Transport bus driver to be crowned NCT Driver of the Year and won the title for 2015. The Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Cllr Jackie Morris unveiled her bus at our Trent Bridge Garage. Outside of work, Amanda has raised lots of money for charity, including Diabetes UK.

Photo of Amanda Ogelsby Bus

Bus 354 - Helen Richardson-Walsh

In recognition of Helen’s outstanding achievement in the Rio Olympic Games, where she scored one of the penalties that secured Olympic Gold for Team GB for the very first time in its history – a number 8 bus was a fitting choice, as not only is 8 the number on Helen’s team shirt, but the Green Line number 8 is also regularly caught by Helen’s mum who still lives in West Bridgford!

Photo of Heather Richardson-Walsh Bus

Bus 403 - Henry Blofeld OBE

Our first Gas Bus to be named was after cricket commentating legend, Henry Blofeld OBE, on the first day of England’s test match against South Africa on 14 July 2017. Kept a secret from Henry, the presentation took place at Trent Bridge to coincide with his last Test Match Special commentary from the Ground ahead of his retirement after 45 years. His unique style, with regular use of the phrase “my dear old thing” has become part of Test Match Special during Tests, alongside his regular mentions of the colourful buses passing Trent Bridge.

Photo of Henry Blofeld Bus

Bus 407 - Dave the Cockle Man

To anyone who’s been a regular Nottingham pub-goer since ‘The Cockle Man’ first began his rounds in 1965, Dave Bartram is something of a legend!

Although many probably won’t know his name, most of us will have succumbed to buying one of the tasty, shellfish products from his trademark ‘D & S Quality Seafood’ Basket during the past few decades.

He’s still welcomed with open arms as something of a tourist attraction by over twenty landlords and landladies at pubs and bars across the city - his distinctive white fishmonger’s coat and hat making him easy to spot! He’s also to be found at other venues as diverse as the annual Robin Hood Beer Festival and the monthly market in his home village of Ruddington.

Now in his seventies, even a mugging, a cancer diagnosis and a broken hip in 2018 didn’t stop Dave for long. He’s now the last Cockle Man in Nottingham and says he’ll continue his daily rounds whilst ever he still can.

Dave is a frequent passenger on NCT’s Green 10 buses to and from the city.  So it’s a great pleasure to have named a state-of-the-art Biogas bus in his honour!

Dave the Cockleman

Bus 412 - Greta the Gas Bus

Greta is a gas from Nottingham, who moved to the city in 2017 after her birth in Falkirk, Scotland. Greta can often be seen operating around the Netherfield and Gedling area. Her hobbies include carrying passengers and flirting with friends of the Sky Blue variety. 

Greta the Gas Bus

Bus 426 - Albert Ball VC

Born and raised in Nottingham, Albert joined the Sherwood Foresters at the outbreak of the First World War and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in October 1914. He transferred to the Royal Flying Corps the following year and flew reconnaissance missions before being posted in May that year to a fighter unit. He accrued many aerial victories, earning three Distinguished Service Orders, the Military Cross and the Victoria Cross. He was the first ace to become a British national hero and was tragically killed in action on May 7th, 1917, aged 20.

Photo of HMS Sherwood

Bus 427 - HMS Sherwood

This Bio-Gas double deck bus has been named after HMS Sherwood, the East Midlands’ only Royal Naval Reserve unit. HMS Sherwood were recently granted the Freedom of the City of Nottingham by Nottingham City Council and exercised this right for the first time on 2 June 2018, the same day the new re-named bus was unveiled.

Photo of HMS Sherwood Bus

Bus 438 - George Powe

George was born in Jamaica and volunteered to serve in the RAF in 1944, serving as a radar operator until 1948. After being demobilised, he was an electrician, who retrained as a maths teacher in 1969-1972. He then taught in the maths department at Robert Mellors School, retiring in 1983.

Amongst his many achievements were being elected as a councillor on to Long Eaton District Council in the 1960s, the second black person to achieve such a position in the country, and being elected as a councillor in Manvers Ward for Nottinghamshire County Council in 1989.

He was a founding member of the African Caribbean National Artistic Centre in St Ann’s, now one of the UK’s oldest Black community centres. Throughout his working life, and when he retired, George became a prominent voluntary community advocate for the rights of the African Caribbean Community, particularly in Nottingham.

george powe bus and family

Bus 442 - Jonathan Ball

Jonathan Ball is a Professor of Molecular Virology at the University of Nottingham and since the start of the COVID pandemic, he's been answering coronavirus questions from listeners on BBC Radio Nottingham. His support, advice and answers have been invaluable to the people of Nottingham - and to NCT too, with Jonathan's calm and clear responses guiding us all through unprecedented times. When listeners were asked how Nottingham could thank Jonathan and they suggested a bus naming, we couldn't wait to help Radio Nottingham make it happen. 

Jonathan Ball Bus

Bus 458 - Deborah Spence

Deborah Spence, Deputy Team Leader in Urology at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH), was the winner of the prestigious Chair’s Award at the hospitals’ staff awards, and her prize is a bus named after her. Deborah was chosen as the winner for the exceptional work she has done to mentor and teach the Theatre stars of the future (known as student Operational Department Practitioners (ODPs)). She also works tirelessly to improve the urology service to further improve patient and staff experience at NUH, including admissions to urology theatres to ensure it runs more smoothly for patients and staff.

Deborah Spence Bus Naming

Bus 464 - Jatinder Kumar

Jatinder has worked for NCT for 11 years and is a very popular driver on our Lilac Line services. He has received several customer commendations over the years and his positive approach and dedication was recognised when he was crowned NCT Driver of the Year 2018. His mystery traveller score was a fabulous 93% and he was credited for being extremely polite to all passengers, mixing up his farewells with either a smile, thumbs up, thank you or a wave.

Jatinder Kumar

Bus 472 - Aaron Johnson

Aaron Johnson was crowned NCT Bus Driver of the Year 2017, after scoring an exceptionally high mystery traveller score during his assessments. A year later, he went on to be crowned Top National Bus Driver in the UK Bus Awards 2018. He has excellent customer service skills and frequently goes 'above and beyond' which is demonstrated by him receiving 24 customer commendations in the last decade. Poorly passengers, people who have fallen on the pavement near his bus, school children on trips and a lady with learning disabilities who became anxious when she missed her stop have all praised Aaron. His attendance record is remarkable, with just 1 day sick and he has never been late for work since he joined NCT in 1997. Aaron's driving skills mirror his fantastic customer service skills and he hasn't had a blameworthy accident in 20 years. His 100% accident free record only tarnished in 2015 when a motorist steered into his bus and caused a small scratch. Customers can also depend on Aaron to get them to their destination on time, with 92% of the buses he drives turning up on time. 

Aaron Johnson Bus Naming

Bus 478 - Henry Normal

Henry Normal is probably best known for his work with Steve Coogan and Caroline Aherne and for co-creating and co-writing the first series of The Royle Family. He co-wrote on The Mrs Merton Show and much of Steve's early television and live shows. In 1999, he established TV comedy production company, Baby Cow Productions, with Steve Coogan,  producing many well-loved and popular shows such as Gavin & Stacey, Red Dwarf XI and XII, The Mighty Boosh, Alan Partridge and the Oscar Nominated film, Philomena. Locally, Henry jointly established the Nottingham Poetry Festival which is now in its fifth year and grew up in Bilborough, where Pink 28 operates.

Henry Normal

Bus 504 - Betty Higgins

Elected as a City Councillor in 1971, Betty Higgins became the first female Leader of Nottingham City Council in 1983 until 1987 and then again between 1991 and 1993.

Whilst many other towns and cities sold off their bus companies, Betty had the foresight to keep Nottingham City Transport in public ownership with NCT one of only a handful of council-owned bus companies left in the country. It is one of Betty’s lasting legacies that NCT is a national award-winning bus company that’s a key part of the city’s excellent public transport system, used by more people each year.

Through its public ownership, Nottingham City Transport is able to provide a comprehensive network of services throughout the city, 7 days a week, whilst also providing a modest dividend to the City Council that puts its profits back in to council services provided for the residents of Nottingham.

Betty Higgins

Bus 510 - Ernesto Marongui

Ernesto won the Trust Award at the 2023 NUH Staff Awards for always having a positive attitude and uplifting presence. He deals with patients with very complex needs with great understanding and approaches everyone with compassion and without judgement.

In his nomination, he was described as being “encouraging, supporting patients to make their own food choices, and is kind, caring and passionate about his work. He asks appropriate questions around care, supports the rehabilitation of patients and encourages patient interaction. He has a significant and positive impact on both patients and staff and always brightens everyone's day. He is an example of how any role can have a trusting and positive impact on a patient's experience while in hospital.”

Ernesto and his named bus

Bus 524 - Jonathan Smallman

NCT Driver of the Year 2022, Jonathan Smallman was crowned Top National Bus Driver at the UK Bus Awards in 2022. 

UK Bus Awards judges shortlisted five drivers from across the UK for the award that year, describing the shortlisted drivers as a “particularly strong field of entries this year”.

Jonathan has an exemplary record, with several customer commendations, mystery traveller assessments of 93-95%, 100% attendance and a driving standard score in the top 1% of all NCT drivers.

His excellent attitude and customer service sees him help new drivers settle in as a Support Driver and Mentor, spending time with them during their first two weeks on the road after passing their PCV test and then as a friend throughout their career.

Jonathan Smallman collecting his UK Bus Awards trophy


Bus 613 - Sheku Kanneh-Mason

Sheku has grown up in Nottingham and currently goes to school at Trinity Catholic School, Aspley, where he is a key member of several orchestras and ensembles and it is the bus he uses to and from school, Turquoise Line 77, which has the honour of displaying his name. Holding a junior scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music, Sheku began playing the cello when he was only 6-years-old and achieved Grade 8 examination by the time he was 9 – scoring the highest marks in the UK in the process. He now regularly performs in the Chineke! Orchestra and the JRAM Symphony Orchestra. He was named BBC Young Musician 2016 in May of this year, after a captivating rendition of Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto no.1 at the Barbican in central London. Sheku fought off competition from around 450 entrants, performing through 5 rounds of competition and impressing industry-leading judges in order to claim the title.

Photo of Sheku Kanneh Mason Bus

Bus 617 - Wally Swift

Nottingham born Wally Swift, took up boxing at the age of 10 and won three schoolboy titles, before beginning his professional career at Nottingham Ice Stadium on 7th October 1957 and winning his first nine fights whilst also working at Raleigh.

In 1960, Wally won the British Welterweight title and twice fought for the Commonwealth title before moving up to Middleweight. He was British Champion between 1964 and 1965 and went on to fight for the European Super Welterweight and Middleweight titles and the British and Commonwealth Middleweight titles.

Photo of Wally Swift Bus

Bus 624 - Robert Howard

Robert Howard is a local historian and former County Councillor, who is passionate about Nottingham and Nottingham City Transport. We have recently produced the "History by Bus 35" Guide with Robert, which details the fascinating historical importance of places along the route. You can download a copy here.

Robert Howard Named Bus

Bus 625 - Kenneth Alan Taylor

Kenneth Alan Taylor is synonymous with Nottingham Playhouse Panto, which he has written and directed for 35 years. To coincide with the last day of his 35th Nottingham Playhouse Pantomime - Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood – Panto sponsor, a route 35 bus was named after Kenneth. As well as writing and directing Playhouse Panto for the last 35 years, Kenneth was Artistic Director of Nottingham Playhouse for seven years. His theatre and television credits are vast, including The Cherry OrchardThe Father, Noises Off on stage and Coronation Street, Emmerdale and Cold Feet on screen. He received the MTA award for Best Supporting Actor in The Price (Octagon Theatre Bolton).

Kenneth Alan Taylor Bus

Bus 638 - Gregg Sandall 1 PARA

Gregg served with 1 PARA and was tragically killed at just 22 years old in April 1989 in a car accident in America, where he was posted at the time.

He was a very popular and well respected soldier, missed by his family and many friends to this day.

Outside of his service for the Armed Forces, Gregg received a police commendation for coming to the aid of a young female who had been involved in a hit and run outside of our bus garage on Parliament Street. Closer to the family home in The Meadows, Gregg also helped a young man who became very unwell at the bus stop and, with the help of one of our drivers, ensured an ambulance was called and the man looked after.

Gregg’s parents Sandy and Marina attended the unveiling on Wednesday 24th May, which took place at the bus stop on Robin Hood Way where Gregg assisted the unwell young man.

The bus named Gregg Sandall with his parents Sandy and Marina in front of the bus

Bus 641 - Neil Parnell

Neil was a community hero and youth worker, from Wilford, who was an asset to the Nottingham community, after helping thousands of disadvantaged youths in the city break away from gang culture and play football instead. Neil was a founding member of Unity FC and was a Programme Manager at Catch 22, arranging schemes for disadvantaged young people, supporting them back in to education or employment.

Photo of Neil Parnell Bus