The company was founded in 1911 when Robert Hargreaves bought a horse drawn carriers business in the tiny village of Hebden in the Yorkshire Dales. By 1919, the year of Robert’s death, he was also operating an open 12 seater “wagonet”. This vehicle provided public transport for the local villages. If it rained the driver brought out a tarpaulin to cover his passengers! Robert’s two sons then ran the business until 1946 when one of the sons sold out his share to his son-in-law Albert Howick. Five years later Albert bought out his uncle. Albert ran the business, with the help of his wife Peggy, until 1983 when he unfortunately died handing over control to his son Andrew. Today Andrew is still running the business; his mother Peggy provided an active helping hand until she sadly passed away in 2017.
The business has always concentrated on providing a coach service for the Dales community whether it be weekly shopping trips, theatre events or visits to the seaside. However, Albert also diversified into haulage to cope with the demand for ferrying limestone out of the local quarries. As demand for coaches picked up they decided to sell the haulage side. Coach demand was coming from unusual sources. For example schools in the Home Counties regularly had week long visits to the Dales and Hargreaves would provide their vehicles for the full duration of their trips. The Hargreaves name was spreading bringing in more and more work.
By the 1970’s Hargreaves was operating its own tours. They mainly concentrated on the UK but customer demand brought European travel. This has continued to today with the UK remaining the main focus of activity. Also in the seventies a fortuitous strike at the local passenger transport authority led to Hargreaves being called in to provide to and from school transport. Schools were quick to latch on to the Hargreaves name as they saw the quality, something the company has always taken great pride in, of the vehicles and soon the order book was filling up with day trips for pupils.
There is a very loyal band of drivers who take great pride in maintaining the vehicles
Hargreaves currently operates a fleet of 8 vehicles varying in size from 16 up to 77 seats. There is a very loyal band of drivers who take great pride in maintaining the vehicles. This has been one of the key factors to maintaining a successful business. The company also has a very loyal customer base from the individuals booking on tours and excursions to societies, schools and businesses regularly using Hargreaves services. 2008 saw the building of a new garage over the existing building which had stood since 1952. New offices have been added within the development and the company is now well set to meet the demands of the 21st century.