Coach company saves theatre trip for Beccles day centre group

Lillian Allen with her programme from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat

Lillian Allen with her programme from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat - Credit: Archant

A Beccles day centre has paid tribute to a coach company who came to the rescue at the 11th hour after their bus broke down and 25 people faced missing a special trip.

Users of The May Centre in Common Lane were looking forward to a performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat at Norwich’s Theatre Royal, but on the eve of their outing the centre’s bus broke down and was deemed irreparable.

Thankfully Grebe Coaches, based at Wheatacre, stepped in with a replacement coach at the last moment to make sure everybody got to go on the much anticipated excursion.

Dermot Wesley-Smith, chairman of the May Centre, called owner Roger Beaumont for help and was delighted to find they could provide a 29-seater vehicle with wheelchair access complete with a driver Sharon Kelly who gave up her day off to drive the bus.

He said: “Sharon was the star of the show. Everybody found her to be very helpful and patient, especially considerate when dealing with people in wheelchairs. She was also helpful in agreeing, where it was suitable, to drop people at their doors on the way home.”

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One of the members was unable to make it so Mrs Kelly was able to go in and watch the show too.

Peter Warren, who organises the trip for the centre said they have around 12 trips a year.

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“Our outings are the lifeblood of the May Centre and if we hadn’t of been able to go it would have been a huge disappointment. It was amazing that by 4.30pm the night before we had sorted everything out, the company were excellent.”

Mr Beaumont paid tribute to Mrs Kelly, his son Mark and daughter-in-law Sandie who organised the bus at such short notice.

“I started building buses in 1961 to help people who couldn’t get out on their own. We help lots of elderly people and special needs children. We have 22 vehicles of all sizes and 30 staff and were only too happy to help. People love Sharon to bits and she is the sort to go the extra mile.”

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