A NEW community bus for the benefit of elderly and disabled people in the Upper Esk Valley was given an official launch at a ceremony in Danby.
The bus, named the Heather Hopper, replaced an earlier one that had been in use for a number of years.
Chris Knapp who chairs Eskmoor Action for the Elderly which organised the provision of the bus, described it as a wonderful community effort.
She said: “We needed £42,000 for it – a big mountain to climb.”
She paid tribute to a number of individuals and organisations that contributed to the cost including North Yorkshire County Council, the North York Moors National Park and the Abbeyfield organisation which has a care home in Castleton.
Mrs Knapp also pointed out that on the back of the bus is inscribed the name of Bill Beattie, one of the major benefactors who lived in Danby but died three years ago, aged 95.
“His was a rags to riches story of huge determination to win through,” she said.
Bill was a steelworker but also a keen racing cyclist who eventually owned five sports shops and when he died he left his money to Abbeyfield .
When due to his age he had to give up driving he enjoyed going out on trips in the bus.
Mrs Knapp said: “He loved the trips and he would have loved to have seen his name on the new bus travelling along the roads he had so furiously pedalled.”
She also pointed out that unlike the former one, the new bus is equipped with a wheelchair lift enabling disabled people to make use of it.