History of yelabus

In 1986 a group of local groups decided there was a need for a community run bus to be used by them to get their members to their meetings and take them to places of interest and trips away.

Nadine Robinson then Warden at Hedge Croft started raising money for a new bus..

1986 money raised by Hedge Croft residents friends and family (sponsored walk, fetes etc.) and National Lottery made up the shortfall for their first bus.  All drivers were then volunteers.

The first committee appointed the following officers:

Chairman – Stephen Robinson
Secrertary – Margaret Taylor
Treasurer – Brenda Kegal.

Margaret Claydon has contributed as Trustee for over twenty years and still plays an active role on the Board.

The new venture was fortunate to receive funding from a number of organisations.  We received a large grant from Hampshire County Council, Blackbushe Metals and many others.

In 2000 we are able to buy the first bus.  About 2 years later we obtained a Lottery Grant which allowed us to appoint two paid drivers for the first time, one of whom, Tracey then served for over 20 years as Operations Manager.

In 2020 we acquired our sixth vehicle with grant assistance from the National Lottery and Hampshire County Council.  This was a brand new Mercedes chassis vehicle built by Treka and provides half our operational fleet, the other half being a VW based conversion.  Both have tail lifts and can carry wheelchairs.

Andy Whittaker

Andy was Mr yelabus being involved from the start and was the major player in the Charity until illness prevented his involvement.

Andy saw service in the RAF and when leaving he started a career in IT working for very large pharmaceutical companies.  In addition to his work he was very much involved in the community, with an active role in a local Jazz Band , Yateley Car, Yateley Town Council and of course yelabus.  He went on to be the Town Mayor a role which he undertook with his 100% committent.

There is an expression “that you’ll miss me when I am gone” – this was certainly the case with Andy.  Our newest vehicle is named “Andy’s Bus” in recognition of his service and contribution to yelabus.