Stagecoach East opened the doors of its Bedford depot on Saturday 10 August and helped raise £1,500 for Cancer Research UK.
Visitors could see a selection of modern and heritage vehicles operated by several Stagecoach companies, along with a number of privately-owned buses.
The event was co-ordinated by the Herts & Beds Group of the Omnibus Society to celebrate 100 years of the building’s continuous use as a bus depot.
Around 1,500 visitors enjoyed the day with rides through the bus wash and the opportunity for visitors to see their name on the destination display of a bus proving extremely popular.
The event was officially opened by the Stagecoach East’s Engineering Director Darren Roe, the Mayor of Bedford Dave Hodgson and Richard Askew from Bedford depot who retired the day before – the official centenary date of the opening of the depot – after 57 years’ service.
The event raised £1,155 on the day, boosted with a £300 donation from Stagecoach East and a further £45 from transport PR and media company Steven Knight Media.
Stagecoach East Managing Director Michelle Hargreaves said: “Opening the doors of Bedford depot was a great way of showing the local community behind the scenes of our operation.
“I was pleasantly surprised by the number of families with young children who visited with young children who were genuinely interested in buses. There is hope for the future.”
Richard Morgan of the Omnibus Society said: “The number of visitors to the depot, both enthusiasts and local families demonstrates the interest that there is in buses.
“Many of the young visitors are the bus passengers of tomorrow. I would also thank the management team at Stagecoach East who agreed to open the doors of the depot to the public to celebrate this important milestone.”
Gemma Turpin, Senior Area Events Manager (East) Cancer Research UK said: “We’re very grateful to Stagecoach for making us a part of the day and to have received support for our vital work.
“Money raised from events like these will help Cancer Research UK to fund pioneering research to improve the lives of those affected by cancer.”
Nigel Eggleton, Omnibus Society Chairman said: “It is great that such a healthy total has been raised for the charity.”