National Express has honoured a retired driver on his 84th birthday for his bravery on the night of the Birmingham pub bombings on 21 November 1974. Anthony (Tony) Gaynor worked as a bus driver for over 20 years out of the garage in Hockley. On the night of the bombings, he drove his bus past the Mulberry Bush pub as the first of the IRA’s explosives went off. He helped all his passengers and his conductress off the bus and helped find taxis to take them to hospital. He then stayed with his bus for two hours before returning to the garage with the night’s takings and ending his shift properly. He then turned up to work the next day exactly as if nothing had happened.
Tony said, ‘I thought at first someone had crashed into the back of my bus. It was only when I got off the bus and saw the damage from the shrapnel that I realised it was something else. It was only some time later that I realised I too had been injured by the flying metal. I was told later that if it had been an eighteenth of an inch nearer, I might have had it.’