North-east based Hunter Bros of Tantobie is to close.
The firm, created in 1918, is the UK’s seventh-oldest operator still run by the same family. It is run by fourth generation Anthony Hunter and his uncle Stuart.
Its sole bus service – the commercial route 713, a 10-minute hop from Stanley to Flinthill – is being taken over by nearby Stanley Travel from Monday (9 August).
It is the country’s second-oldest commercial service still run by the original operator, over the original route.
Stanley Travel will retain the half-hourly Monday-Friday timetable.
It has also bought Hunter’s telephone number and its forward bookings. Latterly it did schools work and private hire. The business is to close “as soon as possible,” says Anthony Hunter
The eight vehicles are being sold separately by the Hunter family, which has decided to end the business due to ill health.
The firm was started when three brothers, returning from military service after the First World War, were given £100 by their mother. They bought a vehicle that ran with a demountable lorry and bus body.
The firm steadily grew and as well as running coaches, after de-regulation added local bus services. In the 1970s and ‘80s also ran around 30 lorries. It exited this aspect in the mid-1990s.
Says Stanley Travel Operations Manager Gavin Scott: “We’ve taken on the service because we want to continue to help and support the local community. We’ve had a positive reaction from users who really value it.”