eddie brown tours has travelled a long way since the purchase of its first vehicle in 1949...

 

The company began in the little Blacksmiths Shop in the pretty Yorkshire village of Helperby where Eddie and the late Gwen Brown began their 'Quality Coach Operation'. The company is now run by the second generation of the Browns, their daughter Deirdre and co director Philip, along with Eddie's caring encouragement. The 'Quality' aspect of customer care and total satisfaction for coach hire, excursions and holidays is still their main goal. This also applies to the highest vehicle standards, professional drivers and knowledgeable office staff who are always helpful with their famous 'Northern Smiles'.

 

1949 - From the first 20 seater Commer vehicle purchased at a cost of £200, the company grew steadily, with a core business based on school contracts and private hire work for local societies, works and social groups.

 

 

1950s - Company business grew steadily as a range of excursions and holidays were introduced offering destinations from the coast to the countryside.

 

1980s - The expansion of pick up point areas to include the city of York and its surrounding villages helped to increase company business.

A network of over 26 local agents in shops and post offices was also established, a number of which are still agents for us today. At this time, the company fleet had expanded and was now operating 14 vehicles.

 

1985 - This year saw the purchase of the first brand new full executive coach at a cost of £62,000 marking the company's commitment to passenger safety and comfort.

 

1990 - A new venture was undertaken with the purchase of Yorktour, a local Handling Agent in York which increased the company's operation in the Corporate Hospitality sector along with offering guide services in over 8 different languages to both individuals and groups. This year also saw the opening of our Travel Shop in York city centre in the shadows of Cliffords Tower. Set in the heart of this historic city, the Travel Shop sold holidays and excursions as well as a full range of sightseeing tours for the many thousands of tourists who visit York each year.

 

1991 - A new generation took the wheel with Eddie's daughter Deirdre and Philip Brown becoming Co-Directors, managing the Tour and Operations aspects of the business respectively.

 

1995/6 - A major achievement with the Coach Industry Award for 'Coach Driver of the Year' followed by UK Coach Rally Award 'Driver of the Year' in 1997.

 

1999 - A year for celebration with the company's 50th Anniversary and the commissioning of a special livery for one of our executive coaches at a cost of £180,000 to mark the event.

 

1999/2000 - Further recognition for the company in the annual and highly prestigious Coach Ind ustry Awards as a 'Coach Operator of the Year' Finalist.

 

2000 - The Millennium year brought fresh ideas and business with the take-over of another of North Yorkshire's most prominent coach companies - Wrays of Harrogate. This prestigious family run Operator worked closely with eddie brown tours for many years in the running of European Tours. With the two businesses joined together, the company now operated a fleet of more than 50 quality coaches from its 3 regional bases and the eddie brown tours Group offered an enviable and comprehensive service to passengers throughout Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire. Both eddie brown tours and Wrays of Harrogate have been proud finalists in the Coach Operator of the Year Awards. This year also saw the company rewarded with the Investors In People Laurels.

 

2001 - We were delighted to receive a Silver Award for 'Coach Operator of the Year'.

 

2002 - A major investment in our future with the purchase of 2 brand new executive coaches, at a cost of almost £500,000, to maintain and improve on the quality of our coach holidays. Our 'Easy Legs' coaches were introduced with a reduced seating capacity of just 42 seats and a number of passengers enjoyed this extra legroom and comfort on a variety of UK & European holidays during the second half of the year. The 2003 holiday brochure saw the official launch of our new coaches with a range of 'Easy Legs' departures.

 

2003 - Another landmark year! The fulfilment of a long held ambition to move our Head Office to larger premises, bringing our vehicle fleet and operational/sales staff together. Boroughbridge became home to a new Head Office with Directors, Operations department, Sales team and Engineering staff finally working side by side. This move ensured the continued smooth operation of our Wrays of Harrogate and eddie brown tours coach fleet, as well as hundreds of holidays, excursions, private hires and group holidays arranged by us each year. The end of the year was marked by another 'Big Move' with the relocation of our York and Harrogate Travel Shops to a new Travel Centre at our Head Office site. The Travel Centre was officially 'christened' with the launch of our 2004 brochure which saw almost 1000 of our valued clients visiting Boroughbridge to collect their new brochure and book holidays. We were also delighted to be re-awarded our 'Investors in People' laurels, a mark of the company's continued commitment to staff welfare and training.

 

2004 - A great response to our holiday brochure and new style Excursions booklet was marked by an increase in passenger bookings for the year. During a busy summer with fully booked tours travelling throughout the UK and across Europe, a new style holiday brochure for 2005 was prepared with many new and updated holidays launched in November at our popular 'Big Event' at Head Office. This 3 day promotion saw over 1000 clients visit us and enjoy lunch, refreshments, slide shows and much more!

 

2005 - A busy start to a celebratory year saw another increase in bookings and summer saw the arrival of the latest additions to our luxury vehicle fleet with the purchase of 2 brand new 49 seaters from Plaxtons. Meanwhile, everyone at Eddie Brown Tours Group celebrated a very special occasion in May - Eddie's 80th! The birthday boy enjoyed 2 wonderful party's hosted by his daughter Deirdre and a number of loyal customers and many old friends of the family were there to enj oy the celebrations.

 

2006 - As well as expanding our range of excursion destinations and luxury coach holidays, 2 new services were introduced to our private hire department. Spring saw the purchase of a VIP class coach with tables, flip-down TV screens and on board kitchen area. With its stunning maroon and gold livery, this coach was an instant success with corporate clients and was quickly under contract to professional rugby teams from Bradford and Hull for match transport. Following a busy summer, this coach was upgraded to a newer Mercedes Touro vehicle with a luxurious leather interior and eye-catching charcoal and silver livery.

 

Wedding and special occasion transport became increasingly popular and in response, one of our newer vehicles underwent a transformation with a stunning new livery of balloons and popping champagne bottles to become our 'Celebration' coach. In addition to exhibiting at a number of Bridal Fayres throughout the year, this coach was booked by wedding parties both near and far, the perfect way to ensure guests arrived in style!

 

2007 - Due to the increase in work for our VIP class coach, a second vehicle was purchased with matching livery to provide additional capacity for our extra sports team contracts. The VIP coaches were also used on a number of private group tours and proved to be very popular with clients both on UK and European holidays.

 

2008 - Our fleet of luxury coaches reached over 40 vehicles with the addition of another 2 VIP class coaches. With a total of 4 VIP coaches available, our portfolio of sports team contracts grew to include Rugby highfliers such as Bradford Bulls, Hull FC and Huddersfield Giants as well as premiership football teams. The culmination of this work was the supply of over 50 coaches to Hull City for their showdown match at Wembley - a busy day for our Operations department - with a winning result. It was another award-winning  year for us with triumph at the prestigious Coach Tourism Awards where our UK Holiday Programme was acknowledged as the best in the business, a repeat of our success in 2007!

 

2009 - A landmark year for the company, looking back at '60 Diamond Years of Travel Excellence 1949-2009'. New style holiday and excursions brochures celebrated this milestone and 2009 saw one of our biggest tour programmes for many years.

 

2010 - The demands of the business and the need for bigger premises saw a relocation to a purpose built site in Thorp Arch, close to the A1. A busy summer for all with packing and unpacking to do, alongside the operation of our tour programme which now included 'Connoisseurs Choice' tours for the more discerning traveller. These extra special holidays featured a tour escort, hand-picked hotels and inclusions such as welcome drinks, on board refreshments and welcome packs.

 

 

2011 - After settling into our new offices, it was time to increase our fleet of vehicles and 4 were purchased, including 2 new 'Diamond Traveller' coaches, one in a luxurious VIP specification, and 2 'Silver Service' coaches in livery for Leger Holidays. Further initiatives included the expansion of our holiday programme into the Hull & East Riding area with new joining points on our Supersaver Direct Holidays. This year also saw the introduction of local bus routes serving the communities of Harrogate, Knaresborough, Boroughbridge, York and Wetherby. These new projects were rewarded with more success at national level and we were proud finalists once again at the Coach Tourism Awards and Route One Operator Excellence Awards.

 

 

2012 - In response to tough economic conditions for everyone, our Summer 2012 brochure included a new section of our great value 'Supersaver Direct Holidays' with a great choice of budget breaks starting at only £99 per person. However, our usual high quality tours continue to sell well with more people then ever enjoying our top-of-the-range 'Connoisseurs Choice' holidays! During the summer, our Tours Manager Karen was delighted to be announced the winner of 'Tourism Professional of the Year' at this year's Coach Tourism Awards, recognising her 21 years of working exclusively in the coach industry.

 

 

 

2013 - A busy start to the year saw an increase in booking numbers for our holidays and the addition of some important new contracts for our private hire including the operation of recently acquired tour coaches for another well established north of England holiday company. Our company's high standards and diverse range of work was recognised once again when we were FINALISTS in 5 different categories at the prestigious Coach Tourism Awards including Best Tour Programme, Brochure of the Year and Operator of the Year.