Bernie the bus delivers VE Day floral cheer

Ashley Waite (left), Paul Irwin (3rd from right) and the team with Bernie the bus ready to to distribute VE Day plants

Bernie the nationally renowned community bus brought some floral cheer as a VE Day surprise to more than 100 people in villages around Aylesbury Vale last Friday (8 May).

Buckinghamshire councillors Ashley Waite and Paul Irwin, and their team of Bernie volunteers, toured Waddesdon, Ashendon, Westcott and Upper Winchendon presenting large pots of flowers to 110 delighted residents over the age of 70.

Bernie and the team had featured in Prime Minister’s Question Time two days previously and drew praise from Boris Johnson for collecting grocery donations, delivering for the local food bank and entertaining residents on the way around with music.

Paul Irwin said: “We couldn’t mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day as we’d have wanted because of the lockdown, and we wanted the generation closest to 1945 to feel a special part of the day. Delivering these huge pot plants was our way of drawing them into a community celebration.”

The VE Day cheer was funded through a £750 grant from Buckinghamshire Council’s Aylesbury Community Hub, and a £250 donation from Bernie’s coronavirus appeal. Plants were prepared by North End Nurseries, Quainton.

Gareth Williams, Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Health, said: “It’s so good to see Bernie and the team bringing much-needed smiles to the faces of our older residents. Yet another reason to be #ProudofBucks!”

And Bernie’s fame? “To get a mention from Boris lifted all our spirits,” said Paul. “Now we’re trying to keep Bernie’s tyres firmly on the ground!”