Passengers are bus-y raising cash for charity

Douglas 'Dougie' McInnes on the 300 service and his passengers in Main Road in Emsworth.     Picture: Malcolm Wells (111241-9661)
Douglas 'Dougie' McInnes on the 300 service and his passengers in Main Road in Emsworth. Picture: Malcolm Wells (111241-9661)
Dr John Steadman, archivist of Portsmouth History Centre based at Portsmouth Central Library     Picture:  Malcolm Wells

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Here’s one of the best examples of a true community bus.

The driver and passengers of the Emsworth and District number 300 bus service have grown to love each other as though they were a family.

And together over the years they have raised thousands of pounds for various charities, with bus driver Douglas McInnes, 61, at the helm.

Douglas, known as Dougie to friends, of Sultan Road, Emsworth, first began raising money for the MS Society as his wife Linda suffers from the condition.

Dougie, who has been driving the bus part-time for five years, said: ‘This bus is a real community. The passengers know each other, people are really friendly.

‘Without them I wouldn’t have raised as much money as I have done over the years.

‘We’ve done a multitude of fundraising activities and the support is fantastic.

‘My wife has multiple sclerosis and I had set myself a target of raising £25,000 for the MS Society.

‘I did various things like holding quiz nights, organising car boot sales and running the New York Marathon.

‘The response was great as I actually raised £28,000.

‘I’ve now decided to raise money for the Rainbow Trust and as it’s their 25th anniversary I’ve decided to raise £2,500.

‘I’ve got about half the amount and I’m confident I’ll get the other half too.

‘All the passengers on the bus deserve to be commended – they show true community spirit.

‘They all know each other and care for each other, it’s brilliant.’

Passenger Margaret Reed, 72, of Waterlooville, said: ‘We’ve been doing fundraising on the bus and we’ve been helping the driver fundraise for the MS Society and the Rainbow Trust.

‘All the regulars support Dougie. It’s phenomenal when you think how much we’ve raised from giving a little bit of money each week.

‘It’s a great community bus as Dougie does so many activities and we support him by raising money.’

Jane Martin, 59, of Horndean, said: ‘I’ve been using this bus route for about 10 years now. Everyone on the bus is really friendly and the driver is really nice too.’

She added: ‘We are like one big family on here. It’s only a weekly bus, so you really get to know people.

‘I have made a lot of friends on here.

‘And Dougie has raised a lot of money for charity – he’s the one that started it all off with raising money for the MS Society.’