Loyal Keith's Dream Come True
A dream has come true for Keith Abdey, one of the longest serving employees at Sittingbourne-based Chalkwell.
Keith, who has worked for the family run bus and coach operator for over 12 years, long held the dream to drive full sized buses and coaches – which to his thrill has now been realized.
For he has passed his full PCV Class D licence to become a fully fledged bus and coach driver.
Said Chalkwell Managing Director Clive Eglinton: “All credit to Keith on his achievement. He is a very loyal, cheerful and knowledgeable member of staff whom we all like very much because he is far from the archetypal bus driver.
“He’s even on the shy side. And colleagues have varyingly described him as a bit reserved initially, but a big hearted, genuine, honest person who likes to please people and would not want to offend anyone.
“We are all agreed he is committed, determined and hard working – a great credit to the company.”
He passed his PCV test to drive mini coaches up to 16 seats some 10 years ago and was driving on Chalkwell’s Kent Karrier (SUN Bus) services where, said Clive, he was very popular, particularly with the mainly elderly customers.
Unfortunately for Chalkwell, in April the Kent County Council contract was placed with a community transport operator as a cost saving measure which is when Keith’s ambition began to be realized by the Sittingbourne family firm.
Added Clive: “A lot of credit must go to our driving assessor Alasdair Thain who gently nurtured and improved Keith’s skills as well as his confidence helping him fulfil his dream to become a fully licenced bus and coach driver.
“For Keith, this has been quite an achievement and the joy on his face says it all.”
Said Alasdair: “This has been an absolute pleasure, one of the most satisfying results I have had. I hadn’t been that nervous since the birth of my son!”
Keith was delighted to have passed. “I got there eventually,” he said modestly. He is now a regular driver on Chalkwell service 638 between Faversham and Whitstable which also serves the rural areas and villages of Boughton, Hernhill, Yorkletts and Seasalter.
The 40 year old bachelor, who is from Chatham, is a huge fan of vehicles, including buses, and owns a 1960 Land Rover, 1956 Ferguson tractor and a 1977 TR7 sports car which is in the process of restoration.