TO CHEERS and the hoots of car horns, a 30-strong team pulled a nine-ton vintage bus along the seafront in memory of their dear friend.
The sudden loss of bus driver Trevor Hutton three years ago to a heart attack inspired his colleagues to organise their first bus pull in 2009.
And yesterday they gathered together again for the hard work of dragging the bus from Clarence Pier to Eastney Swimming Baths and back again in aid of the British Heart Foundation.
Mr Hutton’s widow Chris was one of around a dozen supporters collecting donations from drivers waiting patiently behind the bus.
They are hoping to match last year’s total of £4,000 for the heart charity, which Mrs Hutton, from Paulsgrove, hopes will go towards life-changing research into heart disease.
‘It was an absolutely incredible day,’ she said.
‘I’m still amazed at how many people turn out each year in Trevor’s memory. It shows you how well thought of he was. He was a real people person, he got on well with everybody and always got involved with everything.
‘I think he would’ve been shocked to see people coming out and doing this sort of thing for him.’
It took the group, made up of colleagues from First Bus and family and friends from across the country, from midday to 2.40pm to complete the pull.
They had just three stops along the way and despite slowing down traffic, drivers good-naturedly waited for them to pass.
Mr Hutton’s son Lee, 34, also from Paulsgrove, said: ‘I’m aching from head to toe but it was worth it, in fact it was exhilarating. It was really hard going, and hot, but you get a real adrenaline rush from it.
‘We were all really proud of dad and we hope that he would be proud of us doing this.
‘It means everything to us for everyone to do this.
‘It’s not easy but hopefully we’ve raised a lot of money.’
The vintage bus was supplied by Portsmouth Historic Society.
Much-needed water and oranges were donated by Sainsbury’s, in Commercial Road.
Paul Skeates, the landlord of The Graham Arms, in Copnor, also donated more than 100 bottles of water.
All those involved enjoyed a barbecue at the Rose in June pub, in Milton Road, Portsmouth, afterwards where raffle was held.
To donate go to justgiving.com/Christine-Hutton0.