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 '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
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
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
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'
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'
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
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.