In this week’s edition, Ian Jones of Backhouse Jones chats with Richard Bamber co-founder of multi award-winning Runcorn-based Anthony’s Travel, as he looks back over his career.
Richard started in the industry by cleaning coaches for ‘lazy coach drivers’ at 50p a time, and aged 10 became “the richest kid in the playground.”
His father was a bailiff and Richard recalls how a repossessed minibus started a business in the middle of the 1980s recession, when there were no jobs for youngsters.
At the time Richard was 13, so his father and mother applied for a Restricted Operator Licence – in the days when a first application required a personal appearance before the Traffic Commissioner.
He learnt much from his father, but he also describes the challenges of being an impatient young man.
Having been very open about mental health issues “way before it became fashionable it to do so,” he explains how depression isn’t a sign of weakness.
He also talks about family relationships and how a breach of trust led to a difficult situation that ended up in court.
We discover that he knows one of The Beatles and chats about their early years along with his philosophy about life, where he thinks the coach industry will go over the next couple of years and the “great opportunities” ahead.
As one of first coach operators to embrace technology, he tells us how it’s benefitted his businesses, helping it become multi-award winning.
And, the strange story of why his coaches are painted metallic pink…