A TRUST which has been helping those in need of support in Alresford is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its minibus service with a booklet retelling its history.

The New Alresford Town Trust was given permission by the Charity Commission to take over a minibus, a converted Ford Van and was agreed by trustees on August 14 1970.

And since then it has been running the service for the benefit of the elderly and disabled residents of the town.

Pam Stevens and Robin Atkins have written a 15-page booklet setting out the history of the service.

Pam said: “The booklet was my idea and the 50-year history sets out the importance of the minibus to the local community and shows the vast number of volunteers that has made it happen. It is a good read for anyone interested in how the minibus was started and developed over this period.

“Other organisations have rung me to find out how the trust has achieved this.”

As part of the booklet the pair have delved into the history of those who made the minibus possible from the very beginning.

One of those was Geoffrey Searle, a trustee from 1944 to his death in 1979, was the brainchild behind this venture. Geoffrey not only raised donations but also put in some of his own money to purchase the initial vehicle.

And it was kept in the family with daughter Anne Hanson following in her father’s footsteps.

Since its launch the Town Trust has had various organisers and run a total of eight minibuses, including a Ford and a Mercedes.

The booklet has been partly sponsored by five organisations namely Richard Steel Funerals, Alresford Rotary, Old Alresford Parish Council, Andrew Smith Auctions and McCarthy Stone.

The booklet costs £1.50 and proceeds will be donated to the minibus fund.

To buy, call Pam Stevens on 01962 734861.

Celebrations will be in full swing on Sunday July 19 the trust will celebrate its 50th anniversary of the minibus with a celebration on The Avenue where trustee Pam will have two minibuses, plus various stalls and a WI café bar.