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Founded in 1933, William Allan & Sons is a rare example of a family business which has survived the ups and downs of the luxury coach market. The company has successfully passed down the line from father to son and is currently run by 4th generation David Allan, shown in the picture in the arms of his father William and with his grand-father George and great-grandfather, also William. Springfords helped the family manage the smooth succession of the business from William to David in 1998 - doesn't seem that long ago!
The company currently operates a fleet of state of the art executive 51 and 61 seater coaches (you may have seen these smart light blue luxury liveried coaches on the road!) and has diversified into mini coach hire, chauffeur limo hire and excess luggage handling.
In addition, Allan’s Coaches also offers car and commercial vehicle repairs from its own purpose built workshops in Gorebridge, Midlothian.
Nowadays the coaches come with fridges and hot water boilers – a long way from the basic coach of 1933 which did not even have any passenger heating!
The business is particularly busy in the summer when the high class coaches are in demand for weddings (a recent wedding party consisted of some of the stars from Eastenders and Emmerdale) and on extended UK tours ferrying tourists from cruise ships to the various historical landmark sites around Scotland.
VIP and corporate events are also catered for by Allan’s Coaches - many well known faces could be seen amongst the passengers at this year’s Dunhill Golf Tournament at St Andrews, including Michael Douglas, Nigel Mansell, Tim Henman, Ronan Keating and Hugh Grant. (A number of us will wish we had been on those coaches too!)
David tells me that “The reason behind our success has been a lot of hard work and also the fact that we all work well together as a family and have a good team of staff around us. We also make sure that the coaches are top of the range and renewed frequently”.
The future looks bright for Allan’s Coaches – they currently have a bid in to transport the top athletes at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and David’s son Warren has just started as an apprentice in the workshop in preparation for the 5th generation! Springfords wish them well for both ventures.
For more information about the services on offer from the business click through to http://www.allanscoaches.com