Obituary: Tony Johnson

Christopher Anthony Johnson (better known as Tony), of Johnson Bros. Tours, has passed away at the age of 77 following a battle with cancer.

Alongside brothers Harry and Barry, Tony helped establish Johnson Bros. – originally known as Dukeries Coaches – as one of the finest names in the coaching industry. Founded in 1954, the company began running coaches by the end of the decade with a 41-seater Bedford.

Over its 66-year history Johnson Bros. grew substantially with the acquisition of McEwen Coaches in 1986 and Redfern Travel in 1999.

The business now owns around 160 vehicles across four depots, a well-maintained heritage fleet including tractors, trucks and motor bikes and its own paint and body shops.

Later in life, Tony and wife Sheila stepped back from the business though remained involved, living on-site at the company’s Hodthorpe depot. In his free time, Tony enjoyed horse and greyhound racing, holidaying at his caravan in Skegness and attending vehicle auctions. But his passion was collecting vintage tractors and attending events.

He is survived by Sheila, his children Antony, Lee, Coleen and Scott, as well as thirteen grandchildren, and will be sorely missed.

The funeral service is to be held on Tuesday 10 November at 1300hrs at Babworth Crematorium, Retford, to immediate family members only. All are welcome to stand on the roadside of Green Lane, Hodthorpe (facing up to Hodthorpe Community Social Club) but social distancing is required. Parking will be available at Green Acres (no parking on Green Lane) from 10:15hrs where the family have requested a display of vintage buses, tractors and lorries to celebrate the life of Tony.

The cortege will be leaving between 11:00hrs and 11:15hrs.

Family flowers only. A Collection box will be at Green Acres and also at Babworth Crematorium for donations in lieu of flowers to Ashgate Hospice.

For further enquiries contact Turner & Wilson Funeral Directors of Whitwell on 01909 720 543 or 01909 721 494.