"Haway the lads", I shouted, getting into the local lingo as I started my journey from the depot of an operator working on city council contracts and sporting the 11th letter of the alphabet on its white coaches. I snapped its new 37-seater before heading off.
Every three-figure sum counts, so I head to Leeds to visit the office of a specialist bus and coach insurance broker wrestling down the cost of cover. Good of them to take up the … Whoops, almost gave it away!
Heading to the 2018 City of Culture, I’m keen to visit an operator with a new open-top bus in its fleet this year. It looks very swish, with brushstrokes in grey and red on white paintwork. Great for prom or wedding hire, apparently.
I don’t journey too far south, as I want to help celebrate the 40th birthday of an operator based close to where there was once a famous tea party, or was that across 'The Pond'? This operator certainly providse holidays of distinction & maybe like to wrangle too!
I head south again, to get 'out and about' in a city where Katherine of Aragon is buried. I go door-to-door to track down the British Coach Tourism Awards' winner of the Day Excursion Programme of the Year 2018.
Travelling very slightly north-west for about 41 miles, I find an operator known for transporting tigers! It’s the largest independently-owned operator in its county, standing out with a fuchsia flash on silver and black coaches. Where’s Vardy?


Zooting down to Morse’s county, I pop into group travel specialists who started in 1947 and who have roots in horse-drawn carriage services in the village from which they took their name. Their livery’s sunny, orange flash gleams as I wave goodbye.
Arriving north of Dartmoor, I hear talk of a 1984 founder whose surname is a type of wood and whose first name is shared by Adams, Blair and Curtis. You might have seen their coaches around the Olympic sailing events in Weymouth, or now in five bases in the SW.
Moving north into 'Cymru', I find an operator with a good Welsh name and a big orange 'W' on its creamy-yellow coloured coaches. I stop to admire the Operator Excellence Award, won in the Route One Awards 2017.
Travelling 150 miles north, I question whether there is a pier here, or not? White coaches carry the birth date and date of passing of a 'legend' who left us in 2014. The director shares her name with Frank Lampard's new baby girl.
We all love a bit of Eric and Ernie, so I head to one of their birthplaces and visit an operator preparing their bronze coaches for trips to Austria and Amsterdam. Their name sounds like, but isn't spelt like, some of the swans that winter in the Bay
I travel to northwest of a Scottish airport, where the operator almost shares their surname, bar one letter, with that of a famous, but now departed, Liverpudlian comedian. How tickled I am by the thought of travelling with them to the Knitting and Stitching Show.
I've clocked up some miles, so decide to go 'clubbing' and enjoy the 19th. But in which famous venue am I relaxing? It’s something the guys I met at stop 2 can also protect.


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