The familiar yellow Bexhill Community Bus made a detour from its normal route recently to stop at The Cooden Beach Hotel to deliver a very special passenger – Mr Ian Harris, MD of the Community Bus Company.
Ian was there to attend a dinner to acknowledge his retirement from the Charity, combined with the annual get-together of volunteer drivers, conductors and their guests.
Mr Harris has served the Charity in the capacity of Managing Director for the past 24 years, the longest serving MD since it’s inauguration in 1980. Over 50 guests greeted Ian.
After dinner speeches followed along with a toast to Mr Harris by Company Director Andrew Hymans, thanking him for his service and devotion to the Charity over the past quarter century. The event also included the presentation to the Charity of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
Mr Harris’ successor will be Mr Matthew Penny, who will head up a Board of Directors to continue this very important lifeline for the people of Bexhill.
Bexhill Community Bus is a volunteer-run service and a registered charity.
They operate four bus routes in Bexhill, providing a regular bus service to those parts of the town and outskirts that are not served by commercial operators.
All four routes operate from Monday to Saturday throughout the year, except Bank Holidays.
They also offer a Private Hire service to local organisations such as day centres and retirement homes.
The Bexhill Community Bus dates back to the 1980 cuts in support grants for public transport. Up to that time local bus services in Bexhill had been provided by Maidstone and District (M & D) Motor Services, who had a bus garage opposite the old Bexhill West station in Terminus Road. The cuts in support grant resulted in a drastic reduction in local bus services in Bexhill - and the closure of the M & D garage.
Volunteers number about 40 and include drivers and conductors.
Bexhill Community Bus is always looking for new volunteers, so if the idea of becoming involved appeals to you then visit their website at www.bexhillcommunitybus.co.uk.
Pictures by Derek Canty.
See also: Sainsbury to sell cheese Easter eggs