Harry Blundred, one of the most colourful and influential busmen of the 1980s and 1990s, died in Barbados on 23 August, aged 75. DAVID LEEDER, chief executive of Metropolitan European Transport and a former senior director with National Express and First, spent three memorable years working with him and recalls the experience of running high-frequency minibuses in Devon.

The first Devon General minibus, Carlyle-converted Ford Transit 7 (A927 MDV), has been preserved as a reminder of the years when Harry Blundred’s ideas were put into action.

Late 1988 I spotted a recruitment advertisement in Bus Business that caught my eye like a discarded £5 note. ‘Blundred Needs Some Brains’, it said, ‘apply Belgrave Road, Exeter’. Even in the buccaneering days immediately after deregulation, this was unconventional. I had to apply.

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