Thornes History

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70 Years of Coach Travel


Connecting local communities since 1949

Thornes Independent celebrated a double anniversary in 2019, for not only was it 70 years since the company’s foundation but also 40 years since Director Christine Thornes took her PCV (Passenger Carrying Vehicle) test. What is particularly noteworthy is that she was the holder of only a provisional car licence at the time and so she passed ‘the double’ all in one go, something which it is not possible to do any more due to changes in legislation.

As a long standing transport provider, Thornes Independent has conveyed thousands of local children to and from school and on school outings over the years.


Thornes school busses history


Christine and husband Philip have carried countless local people on holidays abroad and in the UK. These holidays have been designed, arranged and carried out by family members using their knowledge and skills honed over the progressive years. Destinations have included such captivating locations as Berlin, Paris, Switzerland and Scandinavia.


Thornes holidays


Local bus services – many centred on the market town of Selby from outlying villages, have been operated since 1952 and the original route from Holme Upon Spalding Moor to Selby still features in the timetable.


A service bus from Thornes around Selby


A mini coach from Thornes

Third generation Jane and Zoe Thornes are now the principal directors in the firm which was started by their grandfather John in 1949.


Thornes history


To mark the 70th Anniversary of the company taking to the roads Philip Thornes has written a book entitled The Coachmans Way. This traces the company’s roots, progress and achievements over the years.

70th anniversary thornes book

A new model release to commemorate our 70th Birthday (1949 - 2019)

A bus from Thornes


Thornes' Beadle Leyland Integral No:32 is a former Maidstone & District commuter coach built in 1952. Known as a Beadle rebuild, OKP 980 utilised mechanical components from a 1937 Leyland TD7 double decker.

It was purchased by J H Thornes in March 1960 and has remained in family ownership ever since. In 1967 it received it's first refurbishment. This entailed removing 35 luxury coaching seats and replacing them with 39 service bus seats and a full repaint into a blue & grey livery to match it's stablemate the Seddon/Harrington VHO 200. OKP 980 was withdrawn from the operational fleet in 1971 and then began an exile of 29 years in open storage at the firm's depot. From 2000 to 2006 it underwent a thorough restoration to bring it back from derelict to ' as new ' condition. Consequently the vehicle has appeared initially in Maidstone & District green & cream livery.

Thornes Independent is proud to announce that during it's anniversary year, Oxford Diecasts is to release a 1:76 model of OKP 980 carrying the firms blue & grey colour scheme and fleetname.

A bus model from Thornes

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