Monday 14 November 2016

Coach Firm Owner Dies

The Fullers Hill premises was badly affected by fire in August 1984 and
the above shows NMS continuing from the site in November of that year
A second world war veteran, who later operated a local coach business, passed away at his Gorleston home last week at the age of 96

Alfred Blackbourn, was born in Cleethorpes but spent the major part of his life living in the Great Yarmouth area. He was best known locally for his role in the family business Norfolk Motor Services which operated across the county.

Whilst he began his early working life as an apprentice in a pharmacy, he joined the RAF at the age of 18. His time in the forces took him to Canada, the Mediterranean and the Far East until he was subsequently demobbed in 1948

A Norfolk Motor Services Plaxton bodied Ford R1014 at Britannia Pier awaiting holidaymakers for a summer tour sometime during the early 1980s. The coach,VEX 190L, was new to Norfolk Motor Services in May 1973
At that time his father convinced him to work for Granville Coaches, a company operating in the Grimsby area. Together they moved to Great Yarmouth bringing four coaches with them and began trading under the name of Norfolk Motor Services from premises at Fullers Hill (The site is now occupied by Staples). The company continued to grow and at one time there were more than thirty coaches in the fleet

A pair of Norfolk Motor Services Ford R1014s at the temporary South Denes site in late 1984

The company's Fullers Hill building sustained fire damage in August 1984 when four coaches were affected. However,the business continued to trade with some of the garage operations temporarily transferring to Southgates Road in South Denes. The company then ceased all operations from March of the following year

A private funeral for Alfred Blackbourn is being held at St Andrews Church in Gorleston later this month



  1. Roy, Sad news indeed. NMS were operating in Great Yarmouth long before they had the purpose built depot you mention. I can remember them operating in the 1960s and very probably before that with Duple Britannia bodied AECs and the ubiquitous Bedford OBs. The site you mentioned included my former school and church of St. Andrew's.

    They also operated an express route, jointly with Granville, betweel Great Yarmouth and Grimsby for many years.

    Their UK coach tours were extremely popular, my parents usually went on two of these every year.

  2. Thanks for the information Mick - thought you might be able to add a little more!!

  3. Sad news RIP Alfred Blackbourn ,I Served my apprentiship at NMS had ten very good years there , Very good place to work shame when it finished .

    1. David, I have had an email from Noel Whiteley to say that his father, Raymond, was a driver for Norfolk Motor Services and that he wants to get in contact with you about NMS

      Unfortunately I don't have your email address so could you forward it to me so that I can put you two in contact with each other

  4. Thanks for getting in touch David - hope you and Noel enjoy your time reminiscing about Norfolk Motor Services