Thursday, 5 January 2017

Throw Back Thursday ~ Cobholm Hire

Cover of the September 1979 issue
of Terminus
Around this time every year I undertake a cull of magazines acquired over the past twelve months with the aim of moving them on to a neighbour or local groups associated with buses and railways. This year the task is a little more onerous as in October we had some fitted wardrobes installed leading to the discovery of 'mountains' of others I hadn't tackled previously!

Surprisingly I came across some old copies of the Eastern Counties Omnibus Society's Terminus magazine with the September 1979 issue containing an article on the then current fleet of Cobholm Hire trading as Caroline Seagull. I reproduce it here for interest

'Now the largest coaching firm in Great Yarmouth, it was started 25 years ago by Maddison and Mays at Cobholm with two small coaches (incidentally Caroline Coaches was named after Mr Maddison's daughter) By the acquisition of Lake of Halvergate in 1955 the fleet rose to six.
Two former Tyne & Wear (Economic) Reliances 902FUP and 901FUP at a wintry High Mill Road yard in Cobholm
Cobholm Hire's ex London RTL MXX87

Growth was gradual over the next twenty years until 
associate Mascot-Seagull Limited was formed which incorporated all the well known fleets in the resort i.e Hayletts 'Felix' and Sayers 'Grangeway' Coaches. Since 1977 the fleet had been incorporated into one unit.

Between 1964 and 1976 double deckers were to be found in the fleet including. a London RTL, a Crossville LD and two Oxford Lolines
(I often remember the last two being on hire to 'Counties' for a summer season often seen on standby on the St Peter's Road parking area)

A daily service operated from Moulton St Mary via Freethorpe into Great Yarmouth (often worked by the RTL on Saturdays). Race day services were provided from Marine Parade which was the focal point of the extensive excursion commitments controlled from the ex J Calver 'Seagull' office at Queen's Road. A miniature Harrington coach from the same source was also used for advertising its services.'
Some Cobholm Hire coaches including Duple bodied Bedford SB3 EEX4 new to Yaxley & Sayers in August 1960
A fleet list of 31 coaches was then provided which included three former Tyne & Wear Reliances and six ex East Kent examples; although two had by then received new bodywork. The December 1979 issue later reported that a total ten had been acquired from East Kent - some were robbed for spares

Ex East Kent Marshall bodied Reliance OFN732F outside the Queen's Road premises. It was new in June 1968
As for Terminus, it was in A4 format then and must have taken editor Mick Capon ages to type and set out which he undertook for a number of years. Mick continues his interest in buses on our local patch and keeps up to date by reading our blog in North Carolina. My thanks to Mick for all the efforts in putting together those issues of Terminus and hope we are now paying back all your hard work!


1 comment:

  1. My goodness, this brings back memories Roy! I note the cover features the late Bernard Watkin and three of the society's deckers. I spent many a cold Sunday morning out on the farm at Little Melton in the company of a very young Nicholas Pike, Jimmy Lockhart, Brian Moore and Dick Hunt.
    As for Terminus (monthly in those days),that did take many hours - no email, no MS Publisher, but snail mail reports and good old cut and paste. It fitted in very well with my other "job" on being PSV Circle sub-editor for Eastern Area Major Ops.
    As for the Caroline-Seagull concern I, as you know, spent many a happy (and sometimes not so happy) hour traveling with them on the Great Yarmouth Town FC team coach all over East Anglia, usually in the hands of the wonderful Norman, who knew the location of every good chippie on our post-match journey back to Yarmouth.
    A Happy New Year to you and Grahame, and please, keep up the good work.