Top Pre-war Salmon Fivepence ha’penny
Middle Wartime/early post-war Salmon Fivepence ha’penny
Bottom Olive green 1/-
The Samuel Ledgard bus and coach businesses are well known and remembered, despite ceasing to exist more than forty years ago. The Company started passenger business in 1912 and grew progressively through reliability and acquisitions until feeling obliged by many circumstances to sell to the Transport Holding Company (under West Yorkshire Road Car Co. Ltd) in October 1967. There were full operating depots at Leeds (Armley), Bradford, Yeadon and Otley, plus a very active outstation at Ilkley, six miles distant from the latter. At the end the fleet consisted of around 110 buses and coaches, plus sundry support vehicles. Intensive and ultra reliable bus services were provided within the greater area of the depots, and more to the east of Otley one could "Travel by Ledgard" to Arthington (Wetherby at one time) and Harrogate. Additionally the contract side of the passenger business was extensive, as was private hire, express service and excursion work.
What is not as well known is the fact that, although the most high profile feature of Mr. Ledgard’s empire was as described above, the Company had – particularly in the earlier years – an enormous amount of activity in event catering and marquee manufacture, brewing and pub management, heavy haulage, quarrying, farming and local parcels delivery, to name just the main trades.
Photographs and Copy contributed by Chris Youhill
Top ticket mentions "Sun Saloon Parlour Coaches" – how quaint this sounds nowadays!
Yes indeed Chris – we dedicated Ledgard enthusiasts, and there are a lot of us, have always thought that the phrase was a real gem. Whether or not it would have withstood independent statistical analysis is something that we shall never know, but who cares ?? – there was no Trades Descriptions Act in those happy days of yore.
07/02/11 – 08:38
I’ve just been rummaging through some old box’s of my late father’s. This is not a ticket but an old Programme from a Coach Company in Great Yarmouth. The whole frontage of the programme is headed (PROGRAMME of MOTOR COACH TOURS through NORFOLK and SUFFOLK by the FELIX SUN SALOON COACHES) Proprietor seems to be a W.J. HAYLETT LTD of GREAT YARMOUTH…. I Googled the Sun Saloon Coaches and was directed to your site. And nostalgia to this programme is the SANDRINGHAM TOUR of 165 miles for a return fare of 11/3. I know it’s got nothing to do with your tickets but, it was the (shall never know, but who cares ??) in the comment by Chris Youhill above.
It seems as though I’m not alone in thinking of old transport and travel. I used to drive a (Double Deck Front Loader Bus with cantilever doors a PD2 (FEK 3F) Built 1967 and put into service that same year) it came from a Lancashire Route. I think the livery was a green under the gourdy red that my company had painted it.. I can’t think of the name and route number that was hand painted inside the cab above the windscreen. It was something like (The Vicarage and Terminus) or something to that effect. And! It was very very low geared so I assume it was from the more hilly parts of Lancashire..
Sorry if I’ve bored anyone with that info, but, I thought that some of you might have heard of the FELIX SUN SALOON COACHES’ company, and, of course, The Double Decker Bus.
10/02/11 – 06:15
Thank you for a fascinating saga Bob and I can identify your Leyland for you. It was new, in a batch of nine (FEK 1 – 9 F), to Wigan Corporation and passed to SELNEC (South East Lancashire and North East Cheshire) PTE in 1968, becoming 3292 in that enormous fleet. Body was by Massey and was built in its home town of Wigan. The original livery was maroon, and so it had never actually been green.
21/09/11 – 06:50
I am writing in response to Bob Greens comments above, re Felix Sun Saloon Coaches, my wifes late grandfather was W J Haylett and did have a fleet of coaches called Felix in Great Yarmouth. My father in law worked in the family business and at ninety years old has many memories starting off with the charabancs before moving onto coaches. The fleet was sold in the 1960′s to another local coach company Seagull. Over the last few years we have collected photo’s etc pertaining to Felix coaches and have one or two items including a bakerlite seat label with W J Haylett and the firms details. Would be very interested for any further information regarding Felix Coaches in the Great Yarmouth area.
22/09/11 – 06:31
Even though the expression is really ancient I still refer to single deckers as saloons.
23/09/11 – 17:47
Another delightful anomaly Philip occurred on certain on the magnificent Leyland PD1/Roe double deckers of East Yorkshire Motor Services. Presumably caused by a temporary shortage of transfers, the staircase warning in a large square gold leaf style, advised passengers to :-
The majority of those fabulous classic vehicles carried the correct version "BUS", but could there have been any more deserving candidates for an administrative promotion than they were ??
16/10/11 – 07:12
I am writing in response to David McDermott’s note of the 21st September above. I am restoring A Crossley coach new in 1950 to W J Haylett and Sons of Great Yarmouth trading as Felix (after Felix the cartoon cat as I understand). I am so pleased to see the note from Dave McDermott as I have been trying to make contact through a fellow bus enthusiast who knows Jack Haylett. I presume David Mc Dermotts wife’s father is Jack Haylett. I was also told there was another relative I think Jack Haylett’s nephew who was once a signwriter and lettered the coaches of the company.
I have been trying through the fellow enthusiast to find out more about the style and description of the lettering on the rear of any of the coaches at around 1950 because I have no details of this aspect of the coach because over the passage of time it has all been overpainted and lost and did not resurface on restoration either on the actual boot doors.
It would be great if David McDermott read this note and could contact me by email as the restoration is nearing completion and I am sure he and his wife would be interested to learn more about my coach and its history and I am looking for any photographs of the fleet and more information on the operator. The coach has a fabulous Art Deco interior and is very original. If any information could be added by way of photographs to help recreate the original signwriting that would be the icing on the cake. Presently it is all painted but not signwritten because of the present lack of accurate information on the exact treatment on the boot doors and the side panels of the coach.
16/10/11 – 18:28
Hi David Very interested in your email, my father in law is William Haylett and along with his three other brothers worked in the family firm owned by his father Walter James Haylett. One of his younger brothers was the person responsible for the sign writing but not sure if he painted the lettering on the buses but can certainly ask my father in law and if he does not know could contact his brother the signwriter who still lives locally. We do have some photo’s and there is a small amount of footage on a local DVD of one of the coaches. My father in law remembers they bought two Crossley coaches at the same time and remembers the reasons why they sold them. I and my wife would be very interested in seeing the coach as no doubt would other members of the family.
Peter will send you my email address It would be great if you could contact me directly we are still local to Great Yarmouth and am sure we have many questions.
17/10/11 – 06:05
Don’t forget to let us see photos of the finished product, Davids, together with some interesting information surrounding the vehicle!
21/10/11 – 17:11
To Bob Green
As you have probably read all the comments re:- Felix Coaches I wonder if it is possible to have a copy of the brochure?