The 100th birthday of Beeston’s newest centenarian Kenneth Wareing was marked by a trentbarton bus being named after him by his family.
Kenneth is a former Trentbarton bus driver and his family chose to celebrate the milestone by donating £100 to trentbarton’s Namesake initiative, which this year is raising money for the children’s charity When You Wish Upon a Star.
For the surprise on Kenneth’s birthday, he was taken by his family to Barton’s historic Chilwell depot where the indigo bus was waiting alongside a vintage Leyland Leopard of the kind he would have driven.
Born in Suffolk and raised in Devon, Kenneth moved to Nottinghamshire when he was demobbed after WWII.
Kenneth’s daughter, Lynn Gosling, said: “Mum and Dad met, got a house and in 1947 he got a job at Barton Transport.
“He drove buses until he retired in 1981. Dad worked on many routes including ones that went to Derby, Coalville and Loughborough. He drove holiday services to Wales and Skegness.
“The university climbing club used to ask for him to always be the driver on their outings. When he retired they sent a bottle of whisky and a silver salver. He used to bend over backwards to help people, so he was very popular for excursions.”
Lynn said they had no idea what to buy their dad for his birthday, so the naming of the bus is a perfect present:
She continued: “What do you get for a 100-year-old man? He’s been joking that all he wants is a tin of sardines in tomato sauce.
“It’s a bit special to have the bus named after him rather than buy a box of chocolates, or a tin of sardines come to that.
“He was a bit flummoxed by the surprise but thinks it is brilliant to have a bus named after him.”
Kenneth said: “It’s an absolutely terrific surprise. It’s meant a lot.”
Jordan Kemp, marketing & communications manager at trentbarton, said: “What a lovely gift from the family.
“Not only has a very popular former driver got his name on a bus, the charity will put the donation to good use making a poorly child’s dream come true.”