Jean Shaw and the NATT Minibus

Jean Shaw was a Town Trustee in New Alresford from 1969-79. Jean died recently, in 2012, and a memorial service is scheduled to be held for her on 31st May in St John’s Church at 11.00am. Brian Rothwell had the opportunity to interview her in August 2009, and has submitted this account. He comments that she invited him for lunch – all of the vegetables were grown in her New Farm Road garden.  At that time she went everywhere outside the house on her mobility scooter. His account is as follows:

‘Jean Shaw was a council nominated town trustee for ten years from 1969-79.  She was the second female to be nominated to serve, the first being Mrs P. Pomeroy, 1962-3.  Jean can recall her time as a trustee in the early 1970s.  The community minibus service for the benefit of the elderly and disabled had been introduced by Geoffrey Searles in 1970 – he raised the funds that were used to purchase a white Ford van converted for the purpose.  Not only was Jean a regular volunteer driver, she was also responsible for hosing down the exterior and cleaning the interior of the vehicle – weekly tasks that were performed on the drive outside her house.  There was no bus garage; it was parked on her premises when not in use.  The first volunteer drivers were all town trustees.  They issued the dockets to the passengers and handled and accounted for the cash that came in. 

There was also a considerable amount of committee work involved as the trustees were determined to involve their community.  The original minibus group consisted not only of two town trustees (of which Jean was one) but also two from the Alresford & District Care Group, two from the over 60s club and another two from the Parochial Church Committee.  There was a new bus service to be advertised, pick-up journeys to be planned, venues to be assessed for suitability, driving rotas to be organised and vehicle maintenance to be scheduled.  Jean was responsible for most of these tasks for ten years.  Her legacy is that the service she created still exists today.

This was not her only contribution to the town trust; she was a fully involved trustee.  When the last Sheep Fair Dinner was held at the Swan Hotel on 6 September 1972, Jean Shaw spoke on behalf on the ladies.  Verification of this can be found in the programme of this event which still exists in the Hampshire Record Office.’

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