Workers from the Bentley factory in Crewe toiled for 2,000 hours to turn a former London Routemaster bus into a luxury coach named Luke. The Winsford, Cheshire-based St Luke's hospice acquired the bus several months ago.
Bentley, which has been supporting the hospice for the past three years, readily agreed to do the restoration, getting 59 of its workers for the task. Bentley gave the bus a few of its signature touches including hand-stitched leather with St Luke's and Bentley logos.
In addition, Bentley provided for the bespoke work surfaces, rails, kitchen unit and shelves as well as the "used ticket" bin utilized by Routemaster buses which is now converted into a donation bin.
Doug Dickson, board member for manufacturing at Bentley Motors, said that the company offered its workers the opportunity to use some of their downtime to help the hospice. Rather than stay at home, many skilled Bentley team members volunteered to help St Luke's.
That is how this vehicle came about, a combination of the best of British luxury craftsmanship and manufacturing skill within an historic vehicle, which is a symbol of British transport.
St Luke's corporate fundraiser Karen Burns said that Bentley's support has been invaluable the past three years. She described the bus as a world-first, a community charity bus finished to Bentley standard, with plush leather interiors and Bentley wings on show to promote its relationship with the organization.