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Saturday, 20 October 2012

Kenny Martin MBE

My diary for Friday certainly had Night Network Traffic Controller Kenny Martin's investiture at Buckingham Palace in it but the day turned out rather differently than I expected.

Along with Arriva's Peter Middleton, Kenny was awarded the MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours following his heroic actions at the height of the disturbances last August.

He was deployed to the Brixton area shortly before events there escalated. Despite his own vehicle coming under attack, he continued to assist passengers and bus drivers helping to get them to safety. Kenny also then went out to recover a number of abandoned buses in the area returning them to garages. This prevented them from being damaged in the street and as a result the number of bus 'casualties' was amazingly small.

As a complete surprise Kenny's friends, colleagues and family (some from overseas!) arrived unannounced at Buckingham Palace aboard L1 - the first Leyland Olympian in the London Transport fleet nearly 30 years ago and now preserved by Neil Bird.

Neil instantly offered me the chance to drive L1 and so we arrived at the Palace as Kenny was finishing his interview for BBC TV News. Once he had recovered from the surprises (several at once - the bus, the destination blinds, the passengers and me!) the film crew recorded him celebrating aboard the bus and this was later broadcast on the evening local news.

The rain did not dampen anyone's spirits and we were even tolerated by a lone policeman when we ventured a little closer to Buckingham Palace than he would have liked.

A memorable day for Kenny Martin MBE which he won't forget and a good reminder of the dedication of our team who face unexpected challenges every day.



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