Bob Hallam is proud of his long career as a ‘bendy bus’ driver in the city.
He worked for 35 years driving buses in and around Sheffield, and as a conductor for a number of years before that.
And now the Grenoside man has turned his love for public transport into a lucrative fundraising concept, helping to raise thousands of pounds for causes close to his heart in the past few years.
Dressed as a conductor, Bob can often be found out and about in locations across the city handing out specially-made bus tickets – printed from his own personal machine – in exchange for donations.
“This Comic Relief, I thought it would be nice to do something funny for money,” said the 74-year-old, who has previously raised funds for Weston Park and Northern General, dressed as his alter-ego: Conductor Small Change.
“I know these days people don't always have lots of money to donate,” he explained,
“So I charge 75p for a ticket, or I do penny tickets for kids.
“I’ve got my overcoat on, which is covered in badges, my cash bag, my funny nose, and my marvellous ticket machine. People always respond really well to the idea."
Bob first became Conductor Small Change in 2015, raising over £1,000 for Comic Relief – an amount which he says it would obviously be great to beat this year.
Earlier this week he teamed up with the Mayor of Sheffield and visited Sheffield Town Hall with his special bus – an ex Sheffield Transport bus – offering passengers a bus ride around the city centre, in exchange for a donation to Comic Relief.
Tomorrow he will be at Atkinson’s Shopping Centre, from 10am to 2pm, posing for photos and ‘selling’ more tickets for the cause. He hopes people will come through and see him. A film crew from Comic Relief will even be attending to catch Bob in action.
So why does he do it? It turns out Bob isn’t motivated by being personally affected or helped by any of the charities he raises funds for. He simply sees it as his responsibility to do his bit.
“I’m helping others,” he said with a shrug.
“I think that’s how it should be, without any other reason.
“Hopefully the money I help to raise can help someone who needs it, that’s reallyall I hope for.”