Bid to name bus after war hero ‘Sandy’

KILLED ON DUTY -- Hucknall soldier Paul Sandford
KILLED ON DUTY -- Hucknall soldier Paul Sandford

A HEARTFELT call has been made for Hucknall soldier Paul ‘Sandy’ Sandford, who was killed in Afghanistan, to be honoured as part of an innovative scheme to name a fleet of buses in the town.

The Dispatch is publicising the campaign through our long-running ‘We’re Shouting Up For You Initiative’.

The plea has been made through the social-networking website Facebook by Collette Parkin.

She wants locals to get in touch with bus company Trent Barton, which is asking residents to come up with names for three buses that run on the Connect route linking outlying estates with the town centre.

Collette, who is a ‘friend’ of the Dispatch, urges: “Get in touch with Trent Barton and vote to name one of our local buses after real Hucknall hero Paul Sandford please.”

Lance-Corporal Sandford (pictured) died on the front line in Afghanistan in 2007. He was clearing a Taliban compound in Helmand Province.

As reported in last week’s Dispatch, callous vandals desecrated a memorial bench put up in Titchfield Park in Hucknall in his honour. The attack happened on the eve of Remembrance Sunday.

The bus-naming initiative is linked in with the reinstatement of the full Connect service after a campaign by locals against the service being slashed.

Alex Hornby, commercial director at Trent Barton, explained: “The views of the people we serve are extremely important to us and, in addition to supporting a number of worthy causes, we thought naming buses after local heroes was another way we could demonstrate our commitment to the communities we serve.”

The buses will carry a special nameplate.

“They could be named after historical figures or volunteers who are still working to help the local community,” added Alex.

“Suggestions could also include local war heroes who served in either the First or Second World War, or even more recent conflicts.”

Anyone who would like to nominate a hero should e-mail their suggestion, along with a short explanation as to why they are suitable, to hucknallheroes@trentbarton.co.uk.