TEARS were shed as the last of the iconic Yellow Buses fleet made their final journey after more than a century of service.

Buses of all shapes and sizes were driven back to the Yellow Buses depot in Yeomans Way, Bournemouth, on Thursday afternoon for the last time as dozens of current and former drivers with their friends, family as well as several ‘bus enthusiasts’.

Family was the key word for Irene Bishop, Yellow Buses’ longest serving woman driver who had served the company for nearly 20 years.

Bournemouth Echo: A Yellow Buses vehicle on its final day, Thursday, August 4A Yellow Buses vehicle on its final day, Thursday, August 4

An emotional Irene said the company was more than just about buses, but rather a family to all those who worked for it.

She told the Echo: “How I feel is absolutely gutted. When the news filtered through that we were going into administration we were all feeling deflated and sick.

"Then we heard there was a possible buyer so we all held out breath again.

“But to finally get that news yesterday that it’s the end, it devastated us. It’s been a very big part of my life.

Bournemouth Echo: Staff of Yellow Buses mark the end of serviceStaff of Yellow Buses mark the end of service

“Yellow Buses is not just about the buses, in our working environment away from the public it’s a family. We’re not just colleagues, we’re family and that has been the comfort my whole way through working here.

“We were a family, and that family has been broken up tonight. 120 years and it’s all gone away.”

Irene, whose last route was to Bournemouth Hospital on Wednesday, said she would not join some of her colleagues by going to Morebus because she was “yellow through and through”.

As well as the regular fleet, a long discontinued but immaculately kept vintage Yellow Buses vehicle was brought back to the depot by its private owner to mark the occasion.