Tributes paid to a true driving force

Duncan Thomas
Duncan Thomas

Tributes have been paid to a tireless servant of the community who has died at the age of 62.

Duncan Thomas, of Meppershall was an active member of the community in his native Meppershall as well as Chronicle Country as a whole.

He will be remembered particularly for his work with the community Whitbread Wanderbus service – as both driver and treasurer.

The service is provided by volunteers for passengers wanting to travel around Central Beds, and Duncan also did a great deal of work behind the scenes.

First joining as a volunteer driver, he later became a committee member and treasurer, before taking on the role of unofficial chairman.

In 2010 Duncan managed to secure the funding necessary to buy a new bus, which was launched by Pam Rhodes at an event which also marked the service’s 21st anniversary.

He led the Wanderbus into the digital age by helping to launch its website, and also obtained a new capacity building from Central Beds Council which is used to help develop the service.

A Wanderbus spokesman said: “Duncan was a good man – very efficient and approachable, unfailing polite, generous and very good company.

“He worked tirelessly to ensure the financial security of Whitbread Wanderbus.

“He was invaluable and his loss is a devastating blow to the Wanderbus. We will be forever in his debt.”

The former merchant banker was also a trustee of the Friends of St Mary’s group, which helps to raise funds for St Mary’s Church in Meppershall.

He also helped out with the Meppershall Messenger community magazine and with the accounts at Meppershall Lower School and Robert Bloomfield Academy.

Duncan also enjoyed considerable success in his working life.

At the time he moved to Meppershall in 1990 with his wife Gillian he started working for Morgan Grenfell merchant bank, which was later taken over by Deutsche Bank.

He ended his career having risen to be director and CEO of structured finance. There is still a file at the Bank of England verifying Duncan’s credentials.

A statement released by his family said: “Duncan undertook everything he did with enthusiasm and dedication, never letting anyone down and always to the best of his ability.”