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Wilton Coaches

motorman-mike

Brum visitor who stayed.
Does anyone remember when Flights Coaches were in Berners Steet, their near neighbour Wilton Coaches in Wilton Street run by Nobby Clark. I think they only had two coaches but around the 1970's won a works contact for something like 10 coaches to serve a firm called Glenburn's on the Cranmore Trading Estate at Monkspath. To make up the number he hired on other firms including the Friendly Midland Red (for whom I was driving) and a one coach owner/driver, Brents Coaches. (Paul Brent was an ex Midland Red bus driver who set up on his own). I was told Nobby only had one eye but he still drove coaches so can anyone confirm this. His coaches were a bit elderly at the time and not exactly in the same class as Flights. Are Wilton Coaches still on the road?
 
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Guest
Yes indeed a one eyed guy (Nobby Clark name does ring a bell) used to do the fishing trips for The Union Pub, in my time, born 1945 and in fishing club there until circa 1965. It always brought a smile for there was always the need for someone to be at his side when driving down lanes as otherwise he would miss the signpost to a local village.

Do you have any photos of what we called the Charabang

Ray
 

motorman-mike

Brum visitor who stayed.
Hi Ray,
Glad you could confirm about Nobby's one eye. Original charas were open with a canvas top that was pulled over when it rained. Did you mean that type or later coaches. I would like to see any photos of Wilton Coaches too as I don't have any of theirs sorry to say.
Mike
 
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Hi Mike,

It was a hard top, similar to your picture in the Birmingham on Sea thread, but without the raised top back end and also far scruffier. However saying that credit where it’s due as at times the garage worked late in the night to avoid letting the club down and to my memory the charabanc never broke down once whilst we were on a fishing trip.

Ray
 

jdn5764

master brummie
Yes Albert Clkarke did have one eye. He lost his right eye when a wood splinter went into it and he ended uop having a glaas eye. And he was allowed to drive coaches as he had regular eye tests.

He retired in early 70's and he went tio work for his old school friend who owned Bowen's coaches, Unfortunately, he was knocked down by a coach recersing in without the aid of a banksman and died on the operating table at Dudley Road hospital June 1975.

His last coach was taken over by his step son, who stopped trading soon after Albert's death.

I know for a fact he was never liked being called Nobby.....

How do I know this? I am Albert Clarke's Grand-dauighter. Julie
 

motorman-mike

Brum visitor who stayed.
Julie, many thanks for your post. I am sorry to hear of the circumstances to Albert's death. I chatted to him several times at Glenburn's when I was on the Midland Red while we were waiting for the workers to come out. a load of us drivers would meet up on his coach for a natter. Another coach firm he had on hire on that contract was Connaught Coaches of Chadwick End who are no longer trading now. On a brighter note I remember the one of his coaches (built I think by a firm called Burlingham's of Blackpool) that had a continuous plastic sunlight above the length of the gangway. Try as he might he could never stop it leaking on rainy days which didn't always go down too well with the passengers! Have you by any chance got any photos of the coaches that you might be able to post on here? I was interested to see he didn't like being called Nobby as I never heard anyone refer to him by any other name than that.
Mike
 
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jdn5764

master brummie
Hi Mike.

I was only young when my Grand Dad had his coaches, I remember visiting him from Gt Yarmouth, where I was taken around by my Grand Dad in the coach, I remember having to try every seat out on the coach while he took me round Spaghetti junction!

I may have one photo of my Grand-Dad with one of his coaches, I will have to find it and scan it in. I only have two other photo's of my Grand Dad. One with my Mom when she was about 7 and myself at the same age taken outside 66 Wilton Street.

If you know of anyone who may have any photo's of him I'd love to hear.
 

motorman-mike

Brum visitor who stayed.
Thank you for posting those great photos Julie. The coach is definitely a Bedford (and the small round badge down on the grille is a Bedford Drivers Club badge). Our bus and coach expert Lloyd will no doubt see this and identify which firm built the bodywork as most Bedfords around at that time had a different style of body by a firm called Duple but this one looks to have another make of bodywork. If you post your Grandad's photo again with the heading 'Can someone help repair this photo please' there are good folks on the Forum here who will surprise you with how they restore old photos like new if you fancy doing that.
Mike
 
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