First Wessex Pays Tribute to Treasured Passenger on 101st Birthday
Bus operator First Wessex celebrates birthday of one of its regulars in a way only a bus company can do - by naming a bus after her
Mrs Carter, from Bridport, catches the Service 7 and X51 three times a week to do her shopping down town. Her upbeat character and chatty nature makes her a delightful passenger, and over the past 8 years or so, First Wessex drivers have grown very fond of her, and the feeling is mutual.
“She is just such a lovely lady. She is always impeccably dressed for a trip to town, complete with a hat and matching dress. She is always positive and smiling, which brightens up our day”, First Wessex driver Wendy Murray said. “And when I lower the ramp and give her a hand helping her off the bus, she jokes that I’ve rolled out the red carpet out for her and wishes me safe travels by saying “Vaya Con Dios”, which has a nice touch. Having Mrs Carter on the bus, with her positive disposition is a joy” she added.
It’s little surprise then that when Wendy found out that Mrs Carter’s 101st birthday was approaching, she suggested the company should do something to celebrate, and the company agreed. First decided to pay Mrs Carter a visit, bearing flowers, a birthday card, lemon drizzle cake – (Mrs Carter’s favourite) … and an X51 Jurassic Coaster bus with Mrs Carter’s name in vinyl letters emblazoned on the window as a lasting tribute to a treasured passenger.
“Do you do this often?” a surprised Mrs Carter asks Carol Sim, First Wessex’s operation manager when she was shown her name on the side of the bus. “No, you’re the first, it’s because we like having you as a passenger”. “It’s marvellous, it’s all so much, thank you very much”, Mrs Carter added.
“I am one of 10 children” she says to a reporter. “I am number 7. And seven is a lucky number.” She smiles. And her secret for reaching an old age? “Eat your greens. Five a day. Every day”. And then she laughs, with a twinkle in her eye.