In 2008 we started naming our buses after historic local characters who either lived or became famous in the towns and villages we serve today. From a small start, we now have over two thirds of our bus fleet christened in this way, which has generated lots of interest from our customers and the community in general – so we’ve now put together this page to list all of our bus names!
bus 1 Jamie Armstrong
Jamie Armstrong is probably the world’s number one fan of Optare Spectra double deckers, of which we now have nine. So we named our very first one after him!
bus 2 Adrianus Van Driel
Back in the 1950s and 60s when the Spalding Flower Parade was in its infancy, Dutchman Adrianus Van Driel designed the magnificent tulip-covered floats in the parade.
bus 3 John Palmer
John Palmer was the name used by infamous highwayman Dick Turpin, while he lived in the Long Sutton area in 1738 while on the run from the law who were in hot pursuit.
bus 4 Horace the Tiger
Horace the Indian Tiger was shot by Edward, Prince of Wales in India and has lived in Lynn Museum since 1928 when presented to them by the Sandringham Estate.
bus 5 Frances Burney
Born in King’s Lynn, Frances Burney became one of Britain’s earliest female authors, but she had to publish her first novel anonymously to overcome prejudice in 1778.
bus 6 Somerset Arthur Maxwell
Somerset Arthur Maxwell was MP for King’s Lynn during the Second World War, and he gave his life for his country, being killed in action at El Alamein in 1942.
bus 7 George Vancouver
Royal naval captain from King’s Lynn, who discovered much of the north west coast of North America and Canada, and the namesake of the Canadian city of Vancouver.
bus 8 Ted Martin
In 1985, Ted Martin and his friends set up King’s Lynn’s Festival Too, which has since grown to become one of the largest free music events to be held anywhere in Europe.
bus 9 Black Shuck
Black Shuck is a legendary ghostly apparition of a huge black dog, said to roam the coastline between Sheringham and Overstrand as well as other East Anglian coastal stretches.
bus 10 John Colton
Statesman and cleric born in Terrington St Clement in 1320, John Colton later crossed the Irish Sea to become Lord Chancellor of Ireland and Archbishop of Armagh.
bus 11 Samuel Pepys
Better known for his 17th Century diaries of life in London before the Great Fire, Samuel Pepys also found time to be made the Member of Parliament for Castle Rising in 1673.
bus 13 William D'Albini
William D'Albini, builder of Castle Rising who married Queen Adeliza, widow of King Henry I who held great political power.
bus 14 George & Jessie Ruhms
Gent's Hairdressers in Tower Street, King's Lynn who opened in 1937 and continued until 1982.
bus 21 Johnny Douglas
Educated at Moulton Grammar School between 1895 and 1897, Johnny Douglas went on to captain the England cricket team and to represent his country as an Olympic boxer.
bus 22 William Henry Mann
William Henry Mann became the first ever captain of the Sandringham Fire Brigade, and received much praise for his actions in preventing the royal house being destroyed in a blaze in 1903.
bus 101 Sir Peter Scott
Sir Peter Scott, ornithologist, conservationist and Olympic sailor, lived at Guy’s Head near Sutton Bridge where he painted birdlife, and later founded the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.
bus 102 Frederick Savage
Frederick Savage ran an engineering business in King’s Lynn, and in 1868 he invented the very first steam-powered fairground rides, making him famous the world over.
bus 103 Robert Stephenson
Robert Stephenson achieved many remarkable engineering feats, particularly with early railways, and designed and constructed the second Nene crossing at Sutton Bridge in 1850.
bus 104 Ruth, Lady Fermoy
Princess Diana’s maternal grandmother, Lady Fermoy was instrumental in saving King’s Lynn’s Guildhall and founded the first King’s Lynn Festival in 1951 to mark it’s reopening.
bus 105 Cyril ‘Kit’ Lowe
Cyril ‘Kit’ Lowe was born in Holbeach in 1891 and became an England Rugby Union player and a First World War flying ace, inspiring the title character in the ‘Biggles’ books.
bus 106 Maurice Johnson
Maurice Johnson was born at Ayscoughfee Hall near Spalding in 1688, and in 1710 he founded the Spalding Gentlemen’s Society, whose early members included Sir Isaac Newton.
bus 107 Andy James
King’s Lynn-based Andy James has his own popular online blog reporting the latest news for us and other bus, coach and train operators in the area at andysbusblog.blogspot.com
bus 108 Henry le Strange
Having inherited the land that would become ‘New’ Hunstanton, Henry le Strange set about developing the fashionable resort from scratch during the mid-19th Century.
bus 109 Elizabeth Fry
Born off the busy Magdalen Street in Norwich city centre, Elizabeth Fry later campaigned to make the lives of prisoners more humane during the early 19th Century.
bus 110 Roy Waller
Legendary Radio Norfolk presenter and ‘The Voice of Carrow Road’ who commentated on Norwich City FC games for over 30 years until he sadly passed away in 2010.
bus 111 Julian of Norwich
Unidentified mystic who lived and took her name from the Church of St Julian in Norwich, and the first woman to write a book in the English language in the late 14th Century.
bus 112 Claude Freestone
First World War veteran and teacher at King’s Lynn’s Kind Edward VII School, who set up what is now 42F Squadron of the Air Training Corps in the town in 1939.
bus 113 Chris & George Rockingham
Dedicated to animal welfare and co-founder of the PACT Animal Sanctuary in East Anglia
bus 121 Mucky Porter
Mucky Porter, landlord of the Silver Fleece public house in Southery, bravely agreed to escort King Charles I across the dangerous and wild fens during the English Civil War.
bus 122 Tom Hickathrift
Tom Hickathrift was a legendary giant of a man from Tilney All Saints, who slayed the terrible Ogre of the Smeeth, inspiring the character of Jack the Giant Killer.
bus 123 Tiddy Mun
A bog spirit worshipped in South Lincolnshire, Tiddy Mun is believed to be able to harness the power of the mists and the tides to avenge the draining of the fens.
bus 124 Florence Ada Coxon
Two years after her husband Stephen Arthur Thomas Coxon had held the same office, Florence Ada Coxon became the first of King’s Lynn’s many woman Mayors in 1925.
bus 125 William Punsfer
William Punsfer was the vicar of St Mary’s and Islington in 1867 when he built the small chapel at Islington to spare his parishioners the walk to their larger neighbouring village.
bus 126 Margaret Read
Margaret Read was burned at the stake in King’s Lynn’s Tuesday Market Place in 1590 for witchcraft, and a mark on a nearby house where her heart hit the building can still be seen.
bus 127 Herbert de Losinga
While Bishop of Thetford at the beginning of the 12th Century, Herbert de Losinga founded the church of St Margaret which helped establish the town of King’s Lynn.
Coasthopper bus 131 Sir William Hoste
Celebrated Royal Navy captain who served alongside Nelson in the Battle of Trafalgar, and who was born in Ingoldisthorpe, between King’s Lynn and Hunstanton, in 1780.
Coasthopper bus 301 Henry Blogg
‘The greatest of the lifeboatmen’, Henry Blogg was coxswain of the Cromer lifeboat from 1909 to 1947, and earned the George Cross and British Empire Medal for his bravery.
Coasthopper bus 302 Lightly Simpson
Lightly Simpson, who had various railway interests during the mid-19th Century, became the first chairman of the Lynn & Hunstanton Railway, which opened in 1862.
Coasthopper bus 303 Boudicca
Queen of the Iceni tribe that lived throughout East Anglia, Boudicca inspired and led the largest revolt seen in Britain against the occupying Roman forces in AD61.
Coasthopper bus 304 Clement Scott
Victorian playwright, poet and early travel writer, Clement Scott fell in love with the North Norfolk coast and helped make it a tourist mecca after coining the phrase ‘Poppyland’.
Coasthopper bus 311 Admiral Lord Nelson
British naval commander and national hero, Horatio Nelson was born in 1758 in the small village of Burnham Thorpe and learned to sail on the nearby Brancaster harbour.
Coasthopper bus 312 Sylvia Townsend Warner
An English novelist, poet and active communist, Sylvia Townsend Warner lived in the village of Salthouse in the early 1950s with her partner Valentine Ackland.
Coasthopper bus 313 Tony, Tom and Bob too
Not one name but three! Bus no 313 is named in honour of Tony, Tom and Bob, our first three regular Coasthopper drivers when the service first started back in 1996.
Coasthopper bus 314 Mercedes Gleitze
Famous for becoming the first female cross-Channel swimmer in 1927, Mercedes Gleitze was also the first woman to swim across The Wash, landing at Heacham in 1929.
Coasthopper bus 315 David Priestley
This bus has been named after our much-missed friend and colleague who cheerfully drove Coasthopper buses for us between 2008 and his untimely passing in 2011.
Coasthopper bus 316 Pocahontas
Immortalised by the Walt Disney film for saving the life of a British colonist, native American woman Pocahontas later married early settler John Rolfe who originated from Heacham.
Coasthopper bus 317 Thomas William Coke
The first Earl of Leicester, Thomas William Coke kickstarted the agricultural revolution across Britain in the early 19th Century through his work on the Holkham estate.
Coasthopper bus 318 Fanny Billing
Fanny Billing was one of the notorious Burnham Market Poisoners, who was finally brought to justice for her wicked crimes at the gallows in Norwich in 1835.
bus 501 Rebecca Fairhead
12-year old Rebecca Fairhead from Fakenham sadly passed away in 2005 but the Rebecca’s Wishes charity she inspired to help other children with cancer goes from strength to strength.
bus 502 Reeve Oswald
The title character from Geoffrey Chaucer's The Reeve's Tale, Reeve Oswald came from the Norfolk village of Bawdeswell, referred to in old English as Baldeswelle in the text.
bus 503 Sox the Dog
An RSPCA Rescue Staffordshire Bull Terrier who is now nearly 8 years old and is well known locally and helps to volunteer in the RSPCA shop in Hunstanton.
bus 504 John ‘Red’ Morgan
A US Air Force B17 bomber pilot during the Second World War, John ‘Red’ Morgan earned the Medal of Honour after a heroic crash landing at RAF Foulsham in July 1943.
bus 602 Octavia Hill
Octavia Hill was born in Wisbech in 1838 and went on to lead a remarkable life, during which she played a key role in establishing both social housing and the National Trust.
bus 603 Thomas Clarkson
Educated at Wisbech Grammar School, Thomas Clarkson played a significant role in campaigning for the eventual abolition of the slave trade by the British Empire in 1807.
bus 604 Maggie Castleton
A much-loved character from the North End fishing community in King’s Lynn, Maggie Castleton ran a fish processing business with her husband Jim and lived until almost 100.
bus 605 Wilbert Vere Awdry
The infamous Reverend Awdry, creator of Thomas the Tank Engine, who wrote many of his Railway Engines series of books while Vicar of Emneth in the 1950s.
bus 606 John Bailey
John Bailey was a popular and cheerful Norfolk Green bus driver in the Wisbech area for eight years, until he very sadly and prematurely passed away in 2010.
bus 607 Sir Robert Walpole
Born at Houghton Hall near King's Lynn in 1676, Sir Robert Walpole would become effectively the first British prime minister as First Lord of the Treasury from 1721.
bus 608 Lisa Wiles
Lisa from Blackborough End near King’s Lynn, passed away in 2011 with a rare brain tumour, but has inspired the Red Wellies fund to raise money for research into the condition.
bus 611 Turkey Smart
Born at Welney in 1830, Turkey Smart became the first of a family line of championship speed skaters on the frozen fens with his long strokes and low, crouching style.
bus 617 Benjamin Gimbert
A steam engine driver based at March, awarded the George Cross for his heroism that saved the village of Soham from destruction when his ammunition train caught fire in 1944.
Coasthopper bus 618 Allan Smethurst
Better known as the Singing Postman, Allan Smethurst was born in Sheringham in 1927 and went on to record many songs in Norfolk dialect, including 'Hev yew gotta loight, boy?'
bus 619 George William Manby
Born in Denver and educated in Downham Market, George William Manby is credited for inventing the first modern fire extinguisher and other equipment to save countless lives at
bus 623 Margery Kempe
Margery Kempe was an author, born in Bishop’s Lynn (now King's Lynn) in 1373, and credited with writing one of the first-ever autobiographies in the English language.
bus 624 Henry Bell
An architect and contemporary of Sir Christopher Wren, King's Lynn-born Henry Bell designed many fine buildings in the area including the town’s famous Custom House.
bus 625 Cornelius Vermuyden
Dutch engineer who controversially drained the Cambridgeshire and Norfolk fens in the 17th Century to make them into the productive agricultural area known today.
bus DD23 Kev Graves
Dedicated sports lecturer who always went the extra mile, an inspiration to all who knew him.
If you have any suggestions for remembering historic characters from the places we serve on future buses coming into our fleet, please do get in touch – many of the names above were suggested to us in this way!