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Tuesday, 25 May 2010

England T shirts

I am writing this carefully once again as the issue is live but I wanted you to know about it and, if you want, participate in spreading the word.

Some newspapers have carried a story about a little boy who was, with his mother Sam Farndon, asked to leave a bus operated by our Potteries subsidiary, because he was wearing an England T shirt. The driver, it is alleged, is from Eastern Europe.

It's been in the papers, and there is even a Facebook site with 1100 'friends'. There has been an outbreak of extreme comments about what they would like to do with the driver, and from the other perspective what should be done to people from overseas. All very nasty and horrible comments.

I have been in the midst of this today and let me tell you what I know.

Firstly, no Eastern European driver was working any of the journeys anywhere near when this incident is supposed to have taken place.

Secondly despite the alleged issue being resolved following the intervention of several passengers, no real witness has come forward at all.

Thirdly, a few people have called to say they witnessed the event but their story fails to pass even the most elementary of tests - they even get the date of the incident wrong.

Fourthly, a lady called Sam Farndon was once prosecuted for theft and deception in Wiltshire.

Here is the link

It may be someone different but she is the same age and the person in the news story now also lives in Stoke on Trent.

I can assure everyone that any such incident, were it to take place, would be most seriously dealt with. Behaviour like this is never acceptable and anyone making racist comments in the workforce - either to colleagues or passengers - has no place with us.

The company is, indeed, supporting England. As you all know, all our English buses are currently getting pro-England window labels during World Cup time.

However we do not much like it when people make up stories designed to attack our staff and get compensation from us. Fortunately these days we have equipment like CCTV to protect our staff from such allegations and you will remember it did so most recently when someone accused a totally innocent driver of throwing her off a bus whilst she was breastfeeding.

We are keen to ensure our customers are treated properly and put things right if things go wrong. However we are also determined to ensure our staff are protected from those who would try and use them as some sort of device to extort money and cause trouble.

This particular case is still being investigated but, as I have said, no further evidence has so far been forthcoming. If it does I assure you we will act.

If you're on Facebook , I am sure some of you reading this might like to drop in and, if they wish, add a comment or a link themselves!

I did have to find a picture of Potteries buses in action and what better than this foggy, freezing day just before Christmas 2006 when I was negotiating the purchase of Chester City Transport so have one of them and one of ours side by side in the bus station.



  1. I hope it is proved to be a total pack of lies by this woman, and action is taken by First's legal department against her, the newspapers involved and the Facebook group creator.
    It also sounds a bit like the sort of stunt the BNP would try and pull..

  2. I've been getting my friends to report the said hate group for racism and hatred on Face book.

  3. I can't see any t-shirts in the post, but what are the impressive for me in your post are the buses you have shared with us.
    Custom t-shirts

  4. We're seeing a lot of these things being posted on Facebook - just examples of people trying to stir up racial hatred. The worst thing is that so many people are willing to jump on the bandwagon, without checking the facts behind the story. And it will get worse until the World Cup is finished.

  5. With First surpporting England this year with flags on the buses will the staff be allowed to wear England shirts while on duty