A few short years ago when I was working at the Diamond Bus Company we thought that it would be a bit of a lark if we did something rather special for Valentine’s Day. So, we did, basically we customised a bus and offered our passengers the chance to add a Valentine’s Day mmessage of their own to their dearest loved one. In return we requested a small voluntary donation to the British heart foundation,which seemed wholly appropriate, given the nature of the Valentine’s Day experience.

To be honest we really did it as a bit of a laugh, “we”, being Johnny Everill, big Trevor Higginbottom and of course Scott Dunn the charismatic young MD of Diamond. Our logic at the time was simple and bold and fearless. We had this attitude that meant that we could do anything, so we did. From taking on the big boys, ie National Express West Midlands in the Black Country where we launched the Black Diamond brand. To doing the same a few miles down the road where we took on my former employer First in the Midlands. The Red Diamond brand was sharp and innovative and both projects resonated with the passengers and soon became strong commercial successes.

I was talking to a very nice chap recently who has designs to write a book that would act as a guide for people both young and old who may wish to join the bus industry. I think that the idea is brilliant and long overdue. There is virtually nothing out there at all to entice people into what is a huge and important industry. One of the key messages that I would offer people wanting to join is be bold and be brave. As the saying goes you have nothing to fear but fear itself.

And so as it happened a jokey chat about Valentine’s Day soon became a huge hit, not only with the passengers and the staff, but low and behold the next thing that we knew e were being featured on the local ITV news. We even produced our own Love Doctor resplendent in white coat and stethoscope who waxed lyrical on TV about the messages. The TV feature when it went out was great, the Company came over as fun, passenger focused, innovative, and fresh, which in fairness it was. Millions of people watched it and for a few minutes we enjoyed our five minutes of fame.

So, my dear reader chum I hope that you enjoyed the malarkey that is Valentine’s Day, good, bad, or indifferent. But irrespective from a bus Company management point of view do feel free to encourage the funny and the frivolous, the benefits are excellent. Sorry, need to go, Love is in the air…

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