Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan



Wigan Album

Market Street, Wigan

37 Comments

SMITHS COACHES
Photo: RON HUNT
Views: 1,024
Item #: 33092
Front cover of a 1951 brochure

Comment by: Irene Roberts on 13th April 2021 at 22:16

What a brilliant picture of a local firm, Would look just right on my !Wigan Wall" in our house!

Comment by: Edna on 13th April 2021 at 23:07

Another photo that brings back good memories of childhood.A family in our street used to book a coach like this,to take people who wanted to go, to Blackpool IIIuminations, on Friday night, about 6pm, when I was a little girl.Returning about 11pm.When we got on the coach, there was pop and crisp.But the highlight of the night as well as Blackpool Lights,was when we stopped on the way home for chips and fish.

Comment by: Irene Roberts on 14th April 2021 at 09:13

What a brilliant memory, Edna! Someone always "got a coach up" for the illuminations, and how exciting it was for us children. We could hardly contain ourselves all day in school on the day we were "goin' fert see t'lights"! Very few families had a car and our "holiday" was half a day at Southport, so to get on a coach and see it going dark through the coach windows was SO exciting! We used to sing "for he's a jolly good driver, for he's a jolly good driver, for he's a jolly good dri-hi-verrrr....he's just run o'er mi Dad!". I almost feel sorry for children today who have never known what it is not to be taken everywhere in the family car.

Comment by: Albert.S. on 14th April 2021 at 10:38

I remember Smith’s coaches, and I remember Unsworth’s of Goose Green, and Jackson’s of Spring View. We’re there many others?.

Comment by: Veronica on 14th April 2021 at 10:41

Good memories - nearly every street in Scholes got a coach up. I'm sure the excitement contributed to being sick in a paper bag coming home! I always suffered from travel sickness in cars or coaches, it must be because we weren't used to travelling in motor cars. The song coming home was always the old 'evergreen ' on llkley Moor baht 'at.... Luckily I grew out of that and can travel the wheels of coaches these days.

Comment by: John on 14th April 2021 at 12:20

Albert, there was also Websters who I think joined up with Smiths in the 1950s. They always ran coaches for Wigan's away matches from the Market Square.

Comment by: Cyril on 14th April 2021 at 12:40

Got this from off Wiki,
The first tours to Continental Europe were offered in 1938, continuing up until the outbreak of World War II. Smiths claimed to be the first company to operate coach tours to Europe after the war, with a sell-out 14-day tour to Switzerland in May 1946. In 1947, the company carried 6,000 passengers, of which more than 10% travelled to mainland Europe.

Remember Jack Hollis, the well known singing milkman, who would go to Switzerland every year with Smiths, I recall he never tired of going to there and spoke highly of the hospitality extended by Smiths.

My wife and I when courting would sometimes go on the Mystery Drives they did, well I say mystery everybody knew it would be around Bowland, they were good though and very scenic.

Comment by: Cyril on 14th April 2021 at 14:18

Albert there was Webster's at Newtown which amalgamated with Smiths, also Grayway at Ince and Kenway at Standish.

Comment by: Irene Roberts on 14th April 2021 at 15:07

Grayways in Ince used to be Walls's Coaches when I was young.

Comment by: Veronica on 14th April 2021 at 15:13

I bet there were hardly any ex- soldiers on those first trips after the war. Jack Hollis the milkman did he have grocer's shop on Warrington Lane at the bottom of Hardybutts? I remember my mam shopping there.

Comment by: Albert.S on 14th April 2021 at 15:24

I suppose by now John/Cyril, they have all bit the dust. All coach companies must have had an extremely terrible time, financially, throughout the COVID-19 epidemic. I hope the light at the end of the tunnel becomes a sun burst exit.

Comment by: DerekB on 14th April 2021 at 16:03

Smiths were taken over by Shearings who also took over Wallace Arnold, a large coach tour operator who were Leeds based. Shearings collapsed due to the pandemic but the Shearings name is still being marketed by Leger, the South Yorkshire coach operator who are Rotherham or Barnsley based

Comment by: RON HUNT on 14th April 2021 at 16:07

I was fascinated by the small coach they had in the window It was like a bigger version of a peddle car, painted with the Smiths livery. I wonder what happened to it? and if it worked by peddles or was there an engine in it?

Comment by: Colin on 14th April 2021 at 17:11

We used to go on school trips in the 60s on Gray and Bins coaches , also there was a add Smiths Happy-way Spencer and not forgetting String-fellows coaches from Springfield, the Standish coaches was and still is Ken more (Harry Woods).

Comment by: Elizabeth on 14th April 2021 at 17:51

Yes Irene,Wall's coaches were based near where I lived growing up in Ince.There day trips used to be packed out in summer holidays.

Comment by: RON HUNT on 14th April 2021 at 19:06

Who remembers FRED DUDDY and CYRIL ASTON coaches I think they were based in Whelley?

Comment by: Dave johnson on 14th April 2021 at 19:10

Since Shearings were taken over the price's have more or less doubled. Don't know how bookings are going?

Comment by: Edna on 14th April 2021 at 19:27

Your right Irene, about children only travelling everywhere in the family car. I know children age 8/9 years old who have never been on a bus, or a train.We seemed to have a lot more fun!!

Comment by: Edna on 14th April 2021 at 19:50

Your right Irene, about children today only going place's in the family car.I know children age 8/9 who have never been on a bus or train. They don't seem to have the fun that we did

Comment by: Cyril on 14th April 2021 at 20:09

Albert, I suppose so, and if they were weathering the storm they would have had to keep on a mechanic to overhaul the coaches to stop them deteriorating.

John, I didn't know it was as early as the 1950s, I remember a Webster coach that would pick up and drop of colliers near to their depot, sometimes they would call into the Queen's Head for a drink after their shift with black hands and faces, the snowflakes would have a sit down protest blocking roads if there were colliers walking around like that now, though it was a common sight then.

I'd forgotten about Stringfellow's Colin, didn't they have a booking office on Park Road just before Springfield Road? It's been a few different businesses since.

I'm not sure about a shop Veronica, I know he had milk rounds in Scholes, Ince and also Swinley where we lived for a time, he was also a chorister at Wigan All Saints Church so he kept his voice tip top by singing on his rounds.

Comment by: Veronica on 14th April 2021 at 22:16

The shop was on a corner next to a row of houses which are still there. There was a school next to the houses. I'm talking mid fifties. It's long gone Cyril but the name was Hollis's.

Comment by: Broady on 15th April 2021 at 04:56

There was Liptrot’s at Bamfurlong and Hurst’s at Goose Green.

Comment by: Linma on 15th April 2021 at 06:10

Wakes week and the coaches were lined up on the market square taking families on their holidays.

Comment by: Albert.S. on 15th April 2021 at 09:43

Stringfellows were also removal people. They were the ones that I used to move to Kent in 1964.
I remember the the removal van driver remarking to me when he arrived at my address in Kent. “Down here, it’s an overcoat warmer than up yonder”.

Comment by: DerekB on 15th April 2021 at 12:49

Stringfellows had a booking office in Library St opposite what was Collin menswear shop. They were also the first firm in Wigan from the early 60s offering Car Hire from the Library St office. I think it was a Hertz franchise.

Comment by: Edna on 15th April 2021 at 13:22

I remember Jack Hollis Veronica.He used to deliver milk to Maggi Greens shop next door to school.Then when we got married in the 60s, he was our milkman.I last saw Jack in the Thomas Linacre clinic.

Comment by: Cyril on 15th April 2021 at 14:22

Veronica & Edna, would that have been the school that became the Teacher's Centre, and later Entwistle & Joynt was trading there for a while before it was demolished.

Comment by: Linma on 15th April 2021 at 16:11

Cyril, I’m sorry to split hairs as the saying goes, but it’s Kenmore Coaches Standish.

Comment by: Veronica on 15th April 2021 at 17:22

I wonder if the grocer's shop was his or a relative Edna. I don't know what the school became Cyril - there were railings at the front of the building, I can't recall the name of it.

Comment by: Edna on 15th April 2021 at 17:36

No Cyril, It was St Patrick's school.Entwistle &Joynt was in between where Lidl is now and the Water Wheel Pub.Would that be Warrington Lane.

Comment by: Cyril on 15th April 2021 at 17:47

You're correct Linma - thanks for pointing it out, I must have got confused with writing Grayway coaches first. It doesn't take much these days. §:¬)

Comment by: Cyril on 15th April 2021 at 19:51

Yes Edna, it was originally Warrington Lane School.

Veronica mentioned Warrington Lane, she must have meant Wellington Lane. {}:¬)

Comment by: Veronica on 15th April 2021 at 20:12

The school I'm on about Edna was on Warrington Rd. I can't remember the name of it. Not far from the traffic lights. ''Jerusalem '' comes to mind though I don't know why.

Comment by: Edna on 15th April 2021 at 21:16

Sorry Veronica, the shop I mention, that Jack Hollis delivered to was Maggi Greens shop, next door to St Patrick's school.We have got at cross purposes, its my fault for not mentioning the school.I thought you would remember Maggi Green.But you was also talking about a shop as well.Yes It was Jerusalem school..So sorry for the mix up.xx

Comment by: Veronica on 15th April 2021 at 21:49

We got there in the end Edna...the milkman may not have had the shop I meant. Although you never know ... it could have been his wife who served in the shop.

Comment by: Cyril on 16th April 2021 at 13:43

Here's a photo of it from the Album by Ron, never heard it called New Jerusalem School, though having said that, I'd only ever known it as being the Teacher's Centre.
https://www.wiganworld.co.uk/album/photo.php?opt=2&id=10226&gallery=New+Jerusalem+School&offset=0

Comment by: Joe Thomas on 26th April 2021 at 13:51

I remember Fred Duddy coaches Ron was there a Morris coaches think they where based in Queen Street

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