Now It's Your Turn
routeONE magazine|8 March 2017 - Issue 680

After almost four decades husband and wife team Alan and Celia Phillips are stepping aside to make room for the second generation.

Mike Morgan 

It was an emotional yet happy occasion last Friday (3 March) when Bewdley-based Phillips International Travel held the launch and naming of its latest coach. However, it was an event that took on greater significance, signalling a new era with confirmation that management of the 37-year-old Worcestershire operator has transferred to the second generation.

Staged at the impressive local authority owned Wyre Forest Hose in Kidderminster, the launch was for invited guests. Civic dignitaries were joined by long-standing customers, suppliers, and members of the trade press who gathered in the Council Chamber prior to being introduced to the latest member of the fleet.

No stranger to new

Phillips International is no stranger to new coaches, having switched 20 years ago from a strategy of steady fleet expansion with secondhand purchases, to a policy of acquiring one new coach every five years. It simultaneously slimmed down its operation to concentrate on its own tours and excursions, using a single full-size coach plus one minibus used for feeders.

It was a move that co-founder Alan Phillips readily accepts was a turning point in the firm’s fortunes, though it required Alan and Celia to commit to the bulk of the driving duties.

Although the latest vehicle, a Plaxton Elite-bodied Volvo B11R powered by a 430bhp engine coupled to an I-shift gearbox, continues that policy, its arrival follows a significant change in circumstances.

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