Trent Barton drivers have clubbed together to name a bus in tribute to a much loved passenger from Sandiacre who died earlier this year.
Jean Levers, 79, died in a road accident in April and has been dearly missed drivers on the My15 route, who knew Jean as ‘the fruit pastille lady’ because she would always give them sweets when she travelled.
My15 team leader Leeann Shearer said: “Jean was a much loved customer and the My15 team and drivers on the I4 too were deeply saddened by the loss. There were tears in their eyes when they found out what happened. It was really upsetting.
“Jean’s generosity knew no bounds for the six years I have served the route. She was a kind, warm and loving customer who will be most deeply missed by the team.”
Leeann added: “I wondered what we could do for such a wonderful person and thought that naming the bus after Jean would be nice for the family and for the drivers too.
“She got on our bus almost every day and this way she’ll somehow always be on the bus with us. Every time you saw Jean she would give you sweets. That’s why on the plaque it says thank you for the fruit pastilles.”
Jean’s husband Colin, 75, died on June 11, but three generations of their family attended a naming ceremony for the bus at Trent Barton’s Langley Mill depot on Sunday June 16.
They were joined by My15 and I4 drivers, many of whom attended Jean’s funeral a week earlier in uniform.
Jean’s niece Lisa Judson said: “Jean was very sociable and used the bus all the time. Leeann got in touch to say how shocked the drivers were and wanted to know if it was okay to send flowers to the funeral and for some drivers to attend.
“Then she told me the drivers wanted to club together to name a bus after Jean. The My15 drivers donated and then I4 drivers wanted to join in. It was amazing to hear about. The whole family was very touched by that.
Lisa added: “Jean would have been absolutely thrilled. She was so genuine and generous, not just towards bus drivers but everyone she met. I didn’t know about the fruit pastilles, but that did not surprise me at all about Jean.”
Each £100 donated to name a Trent Barton bus goes into its Namesake appeal, which was started in 1991 to raise funds for Derby’s breast cancer unit.
More than £100,000 was raised and donations now go to Trent Barton’s chosen charity, which currently is Alzheimer’s Society.