Thursday 2 April 2015

#TBT Caroline Seagull Coaches

Robert Kelly reminds me that seven years ago on Tuesday (March 31st) Caroline Seagull Coaches ceased operating in Great Yarmouth

Thirteen of the Caroline Seagull fleet at cessation of  business are pictured at South Denes on 23rd April 2008
Caroline Seagull traded as Cobholm Hire Services Limited and Throwback Thursday provides an appropriate opportunity to post some photos of their vehicles

Three of the fleet pictured on land adjoining Boundary Road - Bedford VAL14 CEX705C, Bedford VAM14 HNG666D
and Bedford SB3 EEX4. The latter was originally part of the Yaxley and Sayer fleet
The company's origins can be traced back as far as 1954 when a partnership between H R Maddison and J Mays was formed. The business of Lake of Halvergate was acquired the following year and for some time was where most of the maintenance was carried out

Acquired in mid 1977 were some Economic AEC Reliances
902FUP is outside the company's Queens Road premises
Further expansion occurred in 1974 when associated company Mascot-Seagull was formed to acquire the garage and premises at Queens Road - originally the property of Seagull Coaches Limited. The latter was merged with two other local operators W J Haylett trading as Felix and the Grangeway Coaches of Yaxley and Sayer. In May 1977 the coaches from these sources were licensed as one unit and thus producing the Caroline Seagull fleet

Caroline Seagull had a yard at Mill Road and High Mill Road in Cobholm with most of their repair work then being undertaken at their Queens Road premises. In late 2005 they moved from Queens Road to the former BP Fuel site at South Denes

Ex Economic AEC Reliances 902FUP and 901FUP in the High Mill Road yard in Cobholm during January 1979
Whilst the merger of Seagull Coaches and Caroline Coaches is explained above, blog readers may not be aware the latter operator was named after Mr Maddison's daughter Caroline.

Leyland National RSG814V was regularly used on the seafront service and is pictured here in May 2007
Some of the company vehicles were very memorable with its acquisition of buses from Economic (see above), East Kent and Reading in particular - especially the latter's double deckers which were loaned to Eastern Counties during one summer in the 60's. Still in red I seem to remember!

Shown above are the last vehicles acquired by the company which were a pair of Reading Van Hool bodied DAFs registered R37GNW and J788KHD

Upon closure, many of the vehicles found use with other local operators including Swift Taxis, Eurosun and Sanders Coaches amongst others

Shown on the right is Plaxton Paramount bodied Dennis Javelin G470JVG which was acquired by Swift Taxis. Appropriately named Swift Seagull, the coach has subsequently been privately preserved 


  1. Did the company also aquire The Railway Tavern at Potter Heigham, I remember the coaches coming there as part of their "mystery tour". I seem to remember the Calver name associated with seagull, and Calvers are listed as Tenants/ owners 1968-70, they must have paid for the extension so they could get all the people in. I also think some of the drivers used to put on a little bit of entertainment for them. Dave.

    1. Took a mystery tour with them from Gt Yarmouth, and ended up in Potter Heigham. I'm not sure what the venue was called ? But I do remember that they had live country music, and quite a large premises, I'm just wondering if we are talking about the same place ? The year was 1977.

  2. I have a postcard of MV Vanguard on which is the name Seagull Coaches,Gt Yarmouth