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John Whitworth former Yelloway driver 1977-87, recalls the great service to Clacton-on-Sea which was jointly operated with Premier Travel Ltd. of Cambridge. 

This service commenced in the Summer of 1957 and ran between the two seaside resorts of Blackpool, Lancashire and Clacton-on-Sea. John says that he spent a lot of time on this service especially at weekends working alongside the Premier lads. They were all senior men so most of them will have probably passed away by now. (If there are any of you still out there give us a call with your memories).  John was only a youngster when the photograph below was taken in May 1962 at Cambridge of the drivers 'learning the route'.

Left to right Jeff Bray, Commercial Manager of Premier Travel Ltd. - Ted Law, Premier Driver - Gerry Henstock, Yelloway Traffic Manager - Bill Jackson, Yelloway Driver - ? Premier Driver - Vic Cornell, Yelloway Driver - Cliff Richardson, Yelloway Driver - Tommy Cooper, Yelloway Driver - Fred Mills, Yelloway Driver - Tommy Hampson, Yelloway Driver - Bill Sherwood, Yelloway Driver - ? - ? - ? - ?   

 Does anyone know any more names?. 
Answers please to:-

During the post war period the Yelloway Lancashire-London service had developed connections with a number of operators, and among these were various facilities by onward travel by coaches of Grey-Green and its subsidiary Orange Luxury Coaches, enabling passengers from the North to reach many south-coast and Essex destinations. In addition, a growing number of passengers utilised a connectional facility at Leicester with the No. 5 service of Premier Travel Ltd. enabling through bookings to be made for Cambridge, Colchester and Clacton-on-Sea. The popularity of these was such that arrangements were made for a joint through service to be opened as a weekend facility for the Summer of 1961.

Mr Nick Blurton former Premier Travel driver recalls:

"The item by John Whitworth brought back some memories. I used to drive part-time for Premier Travel from 1976-1986. I used to pick up a northbound Clacton-Blackpool in Derby at 03.30 Saturday and work it through to Blackpool. The PT driver was dropped at a hotel in Derby en-route. I would then work the 08.30 (later 09.00) from Blackpool back to Derby, where the aforesaid Premier driver, having had his rest break, would continue the journey back to Clacton. When we arrived in Blackpool we used to go across to 'Ma's' for breakfast (35p) and a wash up. 

Ma was a lovely old dear who appeared to be about 90 and lived directly across the road from Bloomfield Rd coach station. All her clientele appeared to be coach drivers.  My first season I spent most of the time 'paired up' with Alan King as the regular PT driver, though in later years I was mostly with Fred 'Smudger' Smith. Other regulars on the run were Geoff Sparrow (who took me route learning) Norman 'Dinger' Bell and John Trimble.  Most have now retired but the last I heard of Alan King he was driving for Burton's of Haverhill - indeed, I accidentally met up with him at a hotel in Cumbria when we were both staying there on tours.  My recollections of Yelloway lads were always good. On the southbound journeys Premier used to operate the leg from Blackpool to Manchester and Yelloway did the Blackburn- Manchester. There was an informal arrangement that whoever got into Chorlton Street coach station first bought the teas!!. 

We would then run together as far as Leicester and one coach would then proceed to Cambridge more or less direct (via Huntington) and the service coach would go via Bedford & Northampton.  I recall an inspector at Manchester (think his name was Bill) who was always helpful and when he retired, because he knew I was an enthusiast, he produced a wad of Yelloway carrier bags, of which I still have one left.  It was a busy service and I can recall many Saturdays when we would leave Manchester with the Yelloway and Premier motors accompanied by 5 duplicates.  

It was a hard drive, especially between Manchester and Stockport where the average timetable speed appeared to be 30mph.  I learned an awful lot about driving coaches on that service and we had some good fun. In all my time on it I never broke down once, which says a lot about the maintenance standards of Premier Travel.  

Ah Happy days!

Inspector 'Bill' that Nick Blurton mentions at Chorlton Street Coach Station would have been either Bill Grundy or Bill Mason who were both well respected at Yelloway.

Bill Grundy is seen below in the office at the Yelloway Manchester terminal which, in 1976 was situated at Central Station which is now the mighty G-Mex Exhibition Hall. 

(More info concerning the above photo can be seen on 'Your Memories' page 4)

Mrs. Zena Burslam of Blackpool:

fondly remembers working in the office at the Yelloway coach station Bloomfield Road, Blackpool during the 1950s and she recalls the hundreds of coaches and thousands of happy holidaymakers who passed through there during the busy Summer months. Many of the coaches were 'on hire' to Yelloway and on many occasions there were coaches stretching along Bloomfield Road as far as the eye could see dropping their passengers off. The pavements were crowded with families trekking along to their 'digs' loaded up with all their luggage. 

When the passengers were ready to return home (photos below) after their holiday it was known to the staff at Bloomfield Road Coach Station as 'the mass exodus' when a queue of passengers would often stretch twice around the coach station!!. 

Below is 'the mass exodus' but, in true Yelloway fashion, it wasn't
 long before the coach station was cleared and ready for the new arrivals


No sooner had one lot of holidaymakers returned home another lot were ready to leave for their break to the 'Fun Paradise of the North'. Hundreds of coaches were kept busy on the Blackpool service during the 1950s and early 60s and the Yelloway Departure points at Weir Street Rochdale, East Street, Manchester, Mumps, Oldham and London were a hive of activity during these times.

Below is the departure scene at Yelloways Mumps Depot Oldham, 
Lancashire during June 1954.

 Coach 'On Hire to Yelloway' leaving Oldham for Blackpool

The pictures below, taken at Yelloway Weir Street Depot, Rochdale, show 4 Hanson's Coaches Ltd of Huddersfield 'On Hire' to Yelloway.   Then they leave under the direction of the traffic officer. Note the other police officer 'waiting in the shadows' to the right making sure everything runs smoothly.


The Blackpool-London-Blackpool Service, which was inaugurated in 1928, from the Yelloway Coach Station, Central Drive Blackpool and Central London (Road Transport) Station Ltd. Cartwright Gardens, London W.C.1, proved to be particularly well patronised. Many famous entertainers used this service when they were appearing in the summer shows at Blackpool and during the journey it was usual for the whole coach load of passengers to be entertained by some of these talented artists making the long journey more tolerable. Some of the stars noted for their 'free entertainment' were:  Gracie Fields, Max Miller, Flanagan and Allen, Max Wall, George Formby Snr. and George Formby Jnr., Hilda Baker and Jimmy Jewel to name but a few.

The Yelloway brochure above dated 1953 helped to
    create this regular scene at Blackpool for many years  

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