Bus unveiled featuring Yorkshire Post cartoon of fundraising hero Captain Tom Moore
The 99-year-old has hit international headlines after his valiant efforts to walk a hundred lengths of his garden before his 100th birthday to raise money for NHS charities.
A fundraising page set up for Captain Tom has, to date, raised a stunning £29m and calls have been made for the Captain to become a Sir.
He completed his final lap on Thursday, which was attended by a special guard of honour from the 1st battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment.
A charity single he has since recorded with Michael Ball - a rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone" - is projected to reach number one in the UK charts later this week.
Ahead of his appearance to open the NHS Nightingale in Harrogate on Tuesday, a West Yorkshire bus company has revealed it has named a bus in honour of Captain Tom, which will be presented to the public at the temporary hospital's opening.
The Keighley Bus Company unveiled the bus on Monday as a tribute to Captain Tom, who was born in the town.
The company has also emblazoned the vehicle with the words, "A Big Thank You To Captain Tom – A Keighley Legend”.
Its operator, Coastliner, has also joined forces with The Yorkshire Post to create a specially liveried 'Yorkshire Heroes' bus as a tribute to all the important roles key workers are currently playing throughout the coronavirus pandemic, including postal workers, carers, police, and of course, bus drivers.
Chief Executive Alex Hornby said: “Like everyone in the country we are truly amazed by Captain Tom’s remarkable fundraising efforts for NHS charities, and as a proud Yorkshireman raised in Keighley, we feel it’s entirely appropriate for us to express our thanks to him by naming our bus in his hometown.
“All of our team in Keighley share our pride in serving the town where this inspirational man was raised, and he absolutely deserves all our thanks for everything he’s done – and continues to do – for our National Health Service.
“The rear of our special bus also features a very special illustration of Captain Tom completing his fundraising walk, created as an affectionate salute to this exceptional Yorkshireman by Yorkshire Post cartoonist Graeme Bandeira.
“Captain Tom’s bus will be seen in his home county of Yorkshire on our local bus routes throughout the Keighley area, as we continue to provide vital transport links for key workers and those needing to access essential services throughout the Coronavirus pandemic. It’s our way of saying thank you to this remarkable man for raising so much money for our NHS, and just as importantly, lifting the spirits of our nation.”
Of the news, cartoonist Mr Bandeira said: "I'm honoured and delighted to play a small part in such a prestigious and historic event. I wouldn't put it past the Captain to be driving this bus one day!
"The feedback [to the cartoon] was incredible. He's a person close to everybody's heart and am proud to highlight his phenomenal achievement."
Mr Hornby added: “We’re inviting anyone who’d like to nominate a key worker to contact us via our social media – that’s @yorkbus #BusesForHeroes on Twitter or search for Coastliner on Facebook – with their photo and why they deserve to appear on our special ‘Yorkshire Heroes’ bus.”
More information on the Yorkshire Heroes bus, and up to date travel information and advice during the Coronavirus pandemic, is available online here.