The "longest serving" female bus driver in the country has retired after more than four decades at the wheel - covering millions of miles in the process. 

Angela List, known to her passengers and colleagues as Angie, clocked off for the last time as her depot in Chester-le-Street was shut down last week.

First taking to the wheel in 1979 when she was 20, the former Go North East driver has become a well-known face - covering routes as far as Darlington and Middlesbrough over the decades.

Read more: PICTURES: Last buses leave Go North East Chester-le-Street depot

Speaking to The Northern Echo, the Pelton woman admitted she "misses" a job she loved, but did not want to relocate and "be the new kid on the block."

The Northern Echo: Angie List in the cab of one of her buses Picture: NORTHERN ECHOAngie List in the cab of one of her buses Picture: NORTHERN ECHO (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

Angie said: “I loved my job, I’m devastated that it’s closed."

Revealing how she first started on the buses, Angie had not driven a vehicle until she managed to secure a job at the Northern, what is now known as Go North East.

She said: "I started at the depot in 1977 as a conductoress and it was brilliant back then, I was only 18-years-old.

“When I first went for an interview, they said 'sorry we can’t start you', they said you have got to be 21 to join.

Read more: Final Go North East buses leave as Chester-le-Street depot shuts down

“But my dad worked there for 20 years at the same depot and I got him to phone them up – and eventually they gave me the job."

But just two years later, Angie would swap her ticket machine for a life behind the wheel, somewhere she has remained ever since. 

Now, it is widely believed she is the country's longest serving female bus driver with 43 uninterrupted years under her belt. 

The Northern Echo: A Go North East bus in Chester-le-Street Picture: NORTHERN ECHOA Go North East bus in Chester-le-Street Picture: NORTHERN ECHO (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

She said: “Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of change, I have gone through 12 different bosses alone and all the runs have been changed.

"When I started, the Northern (Go North East) had 16 or 17 depots so on a Thursday, we’d play darts and dominoes and fives and threes.

"We used to go to different depots and play against each other and that doesn’t exist now."

The 63-year-old, who has worked on services including the 21, X21, 78, 34 and X22, has driven a mix of mini buses, single-deckers and double-deckers.

The Northern Echo: Angie while collecting her 40th anniversary certificate at Go North East Picture: NORTHERN ECHOAngie while collecting her 40th anniversary certificate at Go North East Picture: NORTHERN ECHO (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

In her time, Angie's covered services to the likes of Durham, Consett, Sunderland and Newcastle but over her career, she has driven services that went much further afield.

As a result of this mileage, she has got to know hundreds and thousands of passengers from around the North East and beyond.

She has also picked up numerous awards over the years in recognition of her continued employment at Go North East.

She said: "We used to go to Darlington and Hartlepool but they brought in new rules where you didn’t do the big long runs.

The Northern Echo: Angie as she clocked out of the depot Picture: NORTHERN ECHOAngie as she clocked out of the depot Picture: NORTHERN ECHO (Image: Northern Echo)

"I used to like going down there, but didn't mind going back and forwards to Newcastle on the 21, something that a lot of drivers don't always like.

"You'd get to know people on the bus and they'd say 'are you still here'."

Officially retiring from Go North East just a few days before the depot's closure on September 2, Angie said she was devastated when she found out the news.

She said: “I had always worked at the depot. I had never been anywhere else.

"I was just totally devastated I told I didn’t want to move anywhere else and be the new kid on the block elsewhere.

“It was one big family, some of the drivers that have worked with me I used to take them to school as kids. I’m 63, I couldn’t have started somewhere else."

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