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Yellow Rose Coaches - Company History

Many servicemen were de-mobbed after the First World War and immediately purchased redundant army lorries from the War Department.  The new owners then operated them as goods carriers, or with the fitting of a charabanc body, as passenger carrying vehicles.

Although Our Company dates from 1947, our founder James Hacking was operating his own charabanc from Morecambe, on day trips to the Lake District in the 1920’s.
In those days, all the different owner drivers gave names to their vehicles and James Hacking called his ‘Yellow Rose’. Morecambe was a popular resort for visitors from Leeds and Bradford.  Yorkshire was the White Rose County, Lancashire the Red Rose County and it is thought that Mr Hacking carefully picked the name so as not to upset passengers from either County. Other owner driven vehicles working from Morecambe at the time included ‘White Heather’ ,‘Enterprise’ and ‘Prince of Wales’.

By 1947 James Hacking was ready to retire and a gentleman called Jack Holmes was ready to take over.  On the 17th January of that year they together registered James Hacking (Yellow Rose Coaches) Ltd.  James stayed with the business throughout the next season then, in September, sold his half of the Company to Jack’s wife.

The Company carried on as a one vehicle business under the ownership of three or four other owners until 1993 when it was bought by Graeme & Carol Brocken.  Graeme had been made redundant after 27 years with British Railways and was a dedicated transport enthusiast and personal friend, over many years, of the previous owner,  Roland (Ronnie) Barker.

Under the Brocken management, there was an increase in the fleet.  At one stage six vehicles were owned but at no time were more than 4 vehicles operated at any one time.

The vehicles were operated on :-

  • School work (both ‘to school’ transport, educational and sporting trips) mostly with Morecambe & Heysham High Schools.
  • Private Hire and Private Tours for Senior Citizens Groups.
  • Excursions.  Notably the Sunday afternoon excursion which was inherited from Ronnie and continued until Graeme and Carol sold out in 2010.

Over the years the Company has shared a yard and co-operated very closely with Kirkby Lonsdale Coach Hire, run by the Sutton Family.

Matthew and Timothy Sutton purchased the shares of Yellow Rose in January, 2010 and became Directors of the Company with Graeme and their father Stephen.  The fleet is now operated within the KLCH umbrella with Matthew and Graeme as Joint Traffic Managers and Timothy as Fleet Engineer.

Four vehicles carry the Yellow Rose livery and operate under the ‘James Hacking (Yellow Rose Coaches) Ltd licence.

The Company has always traded as just Yellow Rose Coaches.

Mr. Graeme Brocken sadly passed away in December 2011 after a short illness. He will be sadly missed.

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