Preston Bus Station came to a standstill as drivers and customers lined up to pay tribute to a “special” woman.
Joan Dalton would bake cakes and biscuits every day for Preston Bus workers and they stood to say a final goodbye to the 82-year-old at her funeral yesterday.
After an emotional service at St Peter and St Paul’s Catholic Church, on Lea Road, the hearse made its way to the city’s historic station.
Jean Crook, Preston Bus duty inspector, said: “Joan was very, very well-known. I’ve been here for 22 years and knew her all that time.
“She was so warm and chatty and will be very much missed by all the drivers and our customers.”
Accompanying Joan was a large display of flowers surrounding a picture of a Preston Bus, paid for by the company and made by florist Margaret Mason.
People who couldn’t get to the church or the crematorium wanted to pay their respects, and that was Stagecoach drivers too - she knew them as well.
Jean added: “People who couldn’t get to the church or the crematorium wanted to pay their respects, and that was Stagecoach drivers too - she knew them as well.
“The bus station stopped, there was no bus moving while that cortege went passed.”
And after a heartfelt goodbye the hearse was driven to Longridge Road Crematorium. The grandmother died suddenly on June 1 of a brain hemorrhage.
Her youngest son Darren, 32, works as one of the drivers and middle son John has paid tribute to the mum with “a heart of gold”.
“She looked after me all my life,” said the 52-year-old. “She was a lovely, cracking lady.
“She would have given anyone her last penny, that’s just the sort of person she was. She would do anything for anyone and she’ll be missed by a lot of people.”
John says his mum was born in Dublin before moving to live in West Cliff, Preston in 1969.
During her 82 years, Joan worked for a television company in Dublin, Bass Brewery in Preston and Travis Perkins.
She had four children, Paul, 55, John, Marie, 50, and Darren, who all live in Preston.
She was married to Jim Dalton for 17 years until he died in 2001.
“She was a typical Irish woman, she loved singing, having a bet in the bookies and she often chatted to Tom Finney when she passed him in the street,” John said.
“Mum would bake cakes and biscuits for the drivers at Preston Bus every day and she got so friendly with them she was even allowed in the lunch room with them.
“She treated them all like sons.”