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Lincoln bus driver taken to funeral in vintage double-decker

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: February 27, 2014

  • Dennis pictured with his wife Shirley.

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A well-known bus driver was taken on his final journey in a vintage double-decker as he was laid to rest in Lincoln.

Thomas Dennis Mapleston was taken from the Co-operative Funeral Home to the city's crematorium on Wednesday, February 26.

The former Lincolnshire RoadCar bus driver, who worked in the city for 45 years before retiring in 1993, died from heart failure on February 7, aged 85.

At the funeral his wife paid tribute to a loving husband, father and grandfather.

Mr Mapleston, who known as Dennis, was born in Bernard Street, Lincoln and had many nicknames including Pee Wee in the army, Den or Del boy and deep rough Den in his later years when he took up golf.

He was also made a Freeman of the City of Lincoln in 2002 and was a member of many clubs and societies, including Lincoln Cardiac Patients Association and the Lincoln Vintage Vehicle Society.

His wife Shirley said: "When he was younger he was a choir boy at Saint Martin's Church in West Parade. He was also a member of Kirk Whites boys club, a Boy Scout and in the army cadets."

The couple met in September 1956 when he was 28-years-old. After courting for a year they were married the following June in Saint Mary's Church in Horncastle.

Their first daughter Julie arrived 11 months later and Wendy was born two and a half years after that.

Mr Mapleston carried out his national service as a tank driver in Palestine.

As a surprise for his 80th birthday the family organised a trip to drive tanks at Armourgeddon near Leicester. He spent an afternoon driving tanks with his two son-in-laws.

"It was a total surprise and he was really in his element, he thoroughly enjoyed the day," added Shirley.

Mr Mapleston played golf for 30 years and was a member of the senior section at Canwick Park Golf Club.

"He loved playing golf. He wasn't the best at it but he felt happy out on the course. We decided to have pictures of a golf course on his coffin. I didn't tell many people before the funeral because I wanted it to be my last surprise for Dennis.

"He was very proud to win the Eric Orton Shield and said it was one of his finest achievements," Shirley said.

Mr Mapleston loved photographs but preferred to be behind the lens.

"We've got a cupboard full of old cameras that he collected throughout the years and boxes of colour slides. We found a picture on his mobile phone of the whole family at Christmas which we didn't know about," said Shirley.

"Dennis was a man who took everything in his stride and rarely every lost his temper."

Mr Mapleston passed away on Shirley's birthday at Lincoln County Hospital.

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