After a short period of financial uncertainty, one of the longest-trading UK bus operators to have had a strong association with British Leyland has closed after an incredible 107 years in business.
Leyland-based John Fishwick & Son has closed this weekend marking the end of an era for a well-respected bus operator which also had one of the strongest ties with Leyland Bus back in the halcyon days of British bus manufacturing. On a personal level, I was quite shocked to hear the news as I have had a professional working relationship with them in a former business role for a number of years.
Their Golden Hill Lane depot backed on to the premises of Leyland Motors bus chassis factory and the company provided much of the all-important “in service” development and testing for current and future Leyland bus products. A visit to their premises in the 1970s or ’80s would provide a fascinating look at some weird and wonderful prototype vehicles in actual public service around Lancashire in Fishwick’s distinctive livery.
The company had a superb working relationship with Leyland Bus and, latterly, Volvo for many years and quite often bought or were simply donated former Leyland development vehicles for use in their fleet. More recently, the company operated in the package coaching holiday industry and soon became known for their immaculate fleet presentation.
However, sadly, time has been called and the company’s managers and Stagecoach Ribble have worked with Lancashire County Council and the North West Traffic Commissioner to allow routes to be taken over at short notice by Stagecoach Bus.