On January 27, 2012, Lewes MP Norman Baker and National Express unveiled a special surprise for a local councillor – a coach dedicated to his commitment to Polegate and the Wealden area.
Cllr Roy Martin was invited to a “mystery” event by transport minister Norman Baker at Polegate Railway Station. He was unaware his Liberal Democrat colleague had arranged for a National Express coach to be decorated with a dedication in his honour.
86-year-old councillor Martin was greeted by friends and family at the station as the dedication on the Caetano Leavante coach was revealed. The avid Jazz fan was playing with members of his band the ‘Jazz Caverners’, as the naming was revealed. In 2010 councillor Martin won Polegate’s first civic award for outstanding service to the community.
Cllr Martin has served Wealden and North Polegate for over two decades and is a well-recognised champion for the community. The plaque on the coach reads: “Dedicated to Councillor Roy Martin for commitment and service to Polegate.”
Norman Baker MP said: “Roy is a Polegate institution and has tirelessly served his community for decades. His enthusiasm for representing local people never relents and he has the kind of energy you would expect from someone half his age.”
Andrew Cleaves, managing director of National Express UK Coach, said: “We’re delighted to offer Norman Baker a coach for this special dedication. We’re very proud one of our fleet has been named in honour of councillor Roy Martin, who has shown such commitment to Polegate and Wealden.”
Cllr Martin’s name has been located next to the entrance of the vehicle and under the driver’s window, so it will greet passengers who travel on National Express coach services between Polegate and London.