City's first female black bus driver to close shop

Sheffield’s first black female bus driver is to close the business her earnings allowed her to open after nearly 40 years.

Maxine Duffus, from Walkley, said becoming a driver in 1983 had allowed her to pursue her dream of running her own boutique.

The 62-year-old said she would have to close the shop at the end of the month as her lease was expiring.

Ms Duffus opened Maxine’s of Sheffield, on Queens Road, in January 1985.

She said her decision to open the boutique had been a "hobby turned job" and she would be "sad and devastated" to leave the business after 39 years.

However, the owner of the building wants to sell and her lease is ending.

"I would have liked 40 years in the building but I'm still going to be working," Ms Duffus said.

"Things happen for a reason. It's time to step back."

Maxine Duffus, Sheffield's first female black bus driver
Maxine Duffus intends to operate a mobile business offering repairs and alterations after her shop closes [Maxine Duffus]

It was in the early 1980s and aged 22 that she had become a bus driver.

Child fares were 2p and adults paid 5p to travel from Commercial Street to Walkley," she said.

"The conductor walked up and down collecting fares and chatting," she said.

"It was a different age. It was easier to talk to people".

She said she hopes her next venture when she closes Maxine's will "get a bit of that back".

She intends to operate a mobile business doing alterations and repairs from her home workshop in Walkley.

Ms Duffus said people increasingly want clothing repaired or altered rather than buying for one-off occasions.

"It's more sustainable too," she said.

"And I love doing alterations and transformations, breathing new life into a garment."

Ms Duffus said it was the "end of an era" to be leaving her shop on Queens Road and said the messages of support she has received has been "tear-jerking".

"The shop is my third child and I will be grieving for it," she said.

"My daughter was seven months and my son was just under four when I opened it, they spent a lot of time there when I was working.

"My granddaughter has been a baby here too."

Follow BBC Yorkshire on FacebookX (formerly Twitter), and Instagram. Send your story ideas to