Special surprise for bus fan

News stories are free to read. Click here for full access to all the features, articles and archive from only £8.99.
For one bus fan, a final trip on his favourite bus was a special surprise. BRIGHTON & HOVE

It’s well known that Brighton & Hove’s buses carry the names of people with local connections. When one of the operator’s fleet, carrying the name of Samuel Lewis, was retired, it was used for a special journey for 13 year old local bus fan Peter.

Peter first started travelling by bus when he was 5, and his first journey was on bus 682, a Scania N270UD OmniDekka, which carried the name Samuel Lewis until it was withdrawn in May. The bus became Peter’s favourite to travel on, and so as a special surprise before it was sold Peter was collected from his school in Lewes by the bus, where he, his sister and his parents got to enjoy a final journey aboard.


Are you enjoying this feature? Why not subscribe to continue reading?

Subscribe for 6 issues/weeks from only £6Or login if you are already a subscriber

By subscribing you will benefit from:

  • Operator & Supplier Profiles
  • Face-to-Face Interviews
  • Lastest News
  • Test Drives and Reviews
  • Legal Updates
  • Route Focus
  • Industry Insider Opinions
  • Passenger Perspective
  • Vehicle Launches
  • and much more!

Peter said: “The reason why I love Samuel so much is because he was the first bus I got on after getting my first bus ID cards, which made me feel like a big boy when I was 5. I have lots of people watching out for my bus who send my mum regular updates about his whereabouts. I get so happy I flap my hands with joy, and I’ve loved sitting in his seat as if I’m the driver.”

Accessibility and Communities Manager for Brighton & Hove Buses Victoria Garcia commented: “What a pleasure it was to meet with such an amazing young man and his family. When we first heard how much Peter enjoyed travelling on the Samual Lewis bus, we wanted to ensure he got to have one final trip on board before it was retired.

“We also made the day especially memorable by presenting Peter with the named panel off the bus. And David Grimstone, Infrastructure Officer at Brighton & Hove Buses who drove us all on the day, even arranged for the registration and fleet number to be added to it.”

Who was Samuel Lewis, after whom the bus was named? Born in 1838 at Birmingham to a poor family, Samuel became one of the wealthiest men in Britain. By the time he died in 1901, he was worth £2.6 million, an enormous sum in those days. He began work aged 13 selling steel pens and later opened a jewellery shop before going into money lending. He is chiefly known for the affordable housing he provided in many parts of the country for people in need, but he also supported many hospitals including a convalescent hospital at Black Rock, Brighton, and the Royal Sussex County Hospital.

He lent cash to the most eminent people including many in royal circles. He had homes in London and Maidenhead but also kept a house in Hove.