A WELL-known bus company which started life with just one coach transporting workers to and from Ince B Power Station in Ellesmere Port is now celebrating 50 years of business growth.

Tyrers Coaches has depots in Bloomfield Road, Farnworth, and Crosse Hall Street, Chorley.

It began life in 1972 when coach driver Bob Tyrer bought a Bedford 400 coach.

A year later, he bought a second vehicle, a brand new Plaxton Panorama Elite III, and expanded the contract work while interlinking tours.

The first tour was to Weston-super-Mare, where the hotel fees were £10 a head for dinner, bed and breakfast for seven days. Fuel at the time was just 36p a gallon (or 8p a litre).

Bob worked hard, even weekends, on private hires and day trips “but he also proved to be a successful businessman,” said grandson Richard Buckle.

“In his first year with only one coach, the turnover was £7,000, which is equivalent to around £100,000 in today’s money.”

Bob’s daughter Sylvia worked as secretary for the business and her husband Gordon Buckle also became involved.

Bob retired in 1990. In 2000 Richard, their eldest son, went into the family business, joined by his brother Matthew in 2009.

Today the brothers run the company and Tyrers has a fleet of 120 vehicles, ranging from 19-seat executive buses to 102-seat double-deckers.

The largest percentage of work is home-to-school transport and private hires but the firm also works on local bus services.

Up to 2020, it also ran its own tour programme and day trip outings.

The company has a total of 131 employees including 100 drivers, 15 engineers and 12 office staff working as a close-knit team to keep daily operations running smoothly.

Covid-19 has brought its own problems including a greater emphasis on cleanliness. Stated Matthew: “We’re also aware that we need to be very flexible with customer and client bookings, enabling them to change dates and alter bookings etc.”

Driver recruitment – always a challenge within the industry – has worsened post-pandemic alongside delays in getting trainee drivers qualified.

But Tyrers has continued to be a local success story, with the brothers putting this down to “keeping the values of the family business and providing excellent customer service as a No.1 priority.”

To help celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary, Tyrers - which works alongside Bolton Wanderers FC - will be sponsoring the home game against Portsmouth, celebrating with family and friends at the stadium as well as hosting a staff summer party.