Tourist Group

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TouristBusLogo.svg
Kingston Coaches 6020 MJI 7514.JPG
Van Hool Alizee T9 bodied DAF SB3000 in Salisbury in July 2009 in the current blue livery
ParentGo South Coast (part of the Go-Ahead Group)
HeadquartersPoole
Service typeBus & coach services
AllianceWilts & Dorset
Fleet10
OperatorBell's Coaches
Kingston Coaches
Lever's Coaches
Tourist Coaches
Chief executiveAndrew Wickham
Websitewww.touristcoaches.co.uk
Lever's Van Hool Alizee bodied DAF MB230 in Salisbury in July 2009

Tourist Group is a coach charter company in Dorset and Wiltshire, England. It operates coaches under the Bell's Coaches, Kingston Coaches, Lever's Coaches and Tourist Coaches brands. It is a subsidiary of Go South Coast within the Go-Ahead Group.

History[edit]

In the 1990s, Tourist Coaches[1] was purchased by Wilts & Dorset. Bell's Coaches, Kingston Coaches[2] and Lever's Coaches[3] were purchased shortly after. All at first retained their separate liveries but have since received a common blue livery with individual trading names. In August 2003, Tourist Group was included in the sale of Wilts & Dorset to the Go-Ahead Group.[4]

Bell's Coaches[edit]

Bell's Coaches logo
Bell's Coaches Jonckheere bodied Volvo B7R in Salisbury in July 2009

Bell's Coaches was established in 1921, when Reg Bell formed Winterslow & Pitton Motor Services. Always trading as Bell's Coaches, the company built up strong reputation quality coach hire, and it remained in the ownership of the Bell family until 1999.[5]

Kingston Coaches[edit]

The beginnings of the firm of Kingston Coaches are not documented but it is known that as early as 1924 a gentleman by the name of Edward Charles H Grant of Middle Winterslow provided a service to Salisbury for his fellow villagers four days a week. A photograph exists of a little 1928 Chevrolet, reg no MW2583, which was with Grant's Kingston Coaches some years before he sold his stage bus operations to Wilts & Dorset in February 1939. It is not known if separate "coaching" contracts were retained but what is known is that a firm called Kingston Coaches was set up shortly after WW2 by Mr and Mrs Alf Tedd in Middle Winterslow. Rumour has it that they purchased their first coach from a firm in the London area, and just started using it in its original livery and markings, including fleetname! However, it is more likely that the new company was resurrected from Grant's business. Both Tedd sons, Gordon and Phil, were involved in the running of the firm, and Phil went on eventually to buy and operate the nearby Amport & District coach firm. Although over the years Kingston operated vehicles of different makes, they favoured Fords with Duple bodywork. The fleet livery was red and sand. Main contracts were with the military (for movement of troops stationed on nearby Salisbury Plain), schools, and local private hire work, together with a heavy commitment to third-party wholesale tour business. They also provided duplicate coaches for Associated Motorways and later National Express. On retirement, the Tedds sold the company to Thamesdown Transport of Swindon, but in 1997, Kingston was sold on to Wilts & Dorset and the fleet of eight coaches was moved to Wilts & Dorset's Salisbury bus depot.

Tourist Coaches[edit]

Tourist Coaches logo

Tourist Coaches was founded in 1920 by E & DF Stanfield in Figheldean, Wiltshire. At the time, it provided both private coach hire and contract coach services for the military establishments around Salisbury Plain.[6]

Depots[edit]

The company has depots at Salisbury, Figheldean and Fovant.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Companies House extract company no 707318 Tourist Coaches Limited
  2. ^ Companies House extract company no 1945370 PIA (Swindon) Limited formerly Kingston Coaches (Salisbury) Limited
  3. ^ Companies House extract company no 2524573 Levers Coaches Limited
  4. ^ Bus buy for Go-Ahead The Guardian 12 August 2003
  5. ^ RA Bell & Sons Countrybus
  6. ^ "About us". www.touristcoaches.co.uk. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
  7. ^ "Work for us". Tourist Coaches. Retrieved 15 September 2016.

External links[edit]