A touching tribute to Stagecoach’s longest serving driver in Barrow will ensure he is always remembered along the routes he spent years driving.
Ray Jones, who sadly passed away in January is being remembered by colleagues and bus passengers in Barrow with a commemorative license plate that has been attached to one of Stagecoach’s buses.
Staff thought long and hard for the best way to remember Ray, in the end, his colleagues clubbed together to buy a personalised license plate dedicated to their colleague and friend which reads BA60 RAY.
The BA stands for Barrow, the 60 was the year that Ray was born as well as his age when he passed away, and then his name accompanies it.
Willie McPhail, Operations Manager at Stagecoach Barrow, said: “We felt that after Ray had died that we wanted to do something to remember him. We think he deserved to be remembered in the workplace as he had been here since Stagecoach came to Barrow.
“Our managing director, Rob Jones, suggested that we get one of our double decker buses painted in our new livery. He had seen on the DVLA website that there was a number plate we could buy with the registration number BA60 RAY.
Drivers across the entire company donated money to go towards buying the registration plate.
The money left over from these donations will be given to the North West Air Ambulance Service, a charity which Ray regularly donated money to.
“It’s an everlasting tribute to Ray. Even if the vehicle changed or went to another location, we would be able to change that registration to a bus in Barrow.”
Ray, who mainly drove the 6 and X6 route, started working for Stagecoach when it first came to Barrow in the 1980s.
He was a beloved member of staff with a dry sense of humour who left his mark on his colleagues and all those who interacted with him.
“Ray was a very prominent and well liked member of staff. Everybody knew him because he had been here longer than anybody and he was also our local union representative,” said Willie.
“He wasn’t just a work colleague, he was a friend to many people including myself.”