Edward Henry Phillips started the business using a taxi conveying workers around the Holywell area in 1921. He soon obtained three ex military Sunbeam ambulances which were converted by family members to passenger carrying vehicles. Routes were established around the rural area of Holywell and to the town of Mold. The routes were initially in tough competition with Crosville but an agreement was reached allowing a shared main route to Mold. New vehicles, mainly Dennis, were purchased for this route.
During the second world war the fleet increased to cope with the necessary conveyance of essential workers to the nearby factories. After the war there were a number of new vehicles purchased including a Foden PVD6/ Massey double decker. In the mid 50's the health of Edward Henry deteriorated. After Edward Henry's death in 1957 the principal business was continued by his widow Lydia and their son Henry Owen Phillips.
On the death of Lydia in 1971 the business passed to Henry Owen (Harry) Phillips, John Phillips, Arthur Sibeon Phillips, Hazel Phillips and Hilda Phillips who renamed the business "Phillips Motor Services". Harry became General Manager, John was named as Chief Engineer, Arthur was Traffic Manager and Hilda was Company Secretary. Hazel didn't play any role in the business and lived away from Holywell.
In 1981 the business hosted an outstation of Crosville Motor Services whom by then had closed their main depot at Flint. As a consequence of this they later acquired 4 ex Crosville Bristol LH service buses which were all given the firm's standard livery of red (by Crosville at Sealand Road).
The business became a limited company in 1997 namely Phillips Coaches Holywell Limited. In 2007 this company met financial difficulties and a number of assets were sold. A new company was then formed E H Phillips Motor Services Limited and all bus service registrations were transferred to this new company.
However in March 2012 the two remaining services operated by the company, including the original 126 route of Mold to Holywell, were transferred to P and O Lloyd Limited. The surviving Director and only employee of the company, Les Williams, continued running a Local Authority supported Deeside Shuttle service using a council owned loaned vehicle. This was only until October 2013 when that vehicle, the employee and the contract were transferred to P and O Lloyd Limited.
The few remaining vehicles left when the business ceased trading were sold – mainly for scrap. However Optare Solo M850 - which had been purchased new in March 2005 - remains at the premises – although it has not been used since 2011 when it was withdrawn from service with an engine defect.
(I am grateful to Rob Richardson for his assistance in researching this background and for his wonderful collection of photographs)