Meet Ray Kirkup, minibus driver at Cragside

Ray Kirkup, minibus driver at Cragside  © National Trust / Barry Pells

Ray Kirkup, minibus driver at Cragside

Ray Kirkup
Minibus driver
Cragside, Northumberland

Ray is a retired police officer, having spent 30 years in service mostly as an advanced driver on motor patrol.

Ray first fell in love with Cragside while attending an accident near its entrance and now uses his skills to drive the estate’s minibus and safely guide visitors around the site.

Ray says: ‘It was a natural progression working for the National Trust, interacting with the public in such a beautiful environment.’

Best part of the job?
‘Meeting the visitors and making sure they have an enjoyable time at Cragside. I work so hard the visitors are surprised I’m the only minibus driver on the estate.’

Favourite moment on camera for Inside the National Trust?
‘Whilst taking the local community of senior citizens around Cragside, one of my passengers stole my thunder and gave a description of how as a young man he stripped the thatch roof from the Boat House of Blackburn. It was very amusing and interesting.’