E Wright and Son,  Penycae

Charles (Charlie) Wright

The Wright Company

Wrights of Wrexham Limited


Edmund Wright and his son Charles started their passenger conveyance business in 1924 when they purchased a Ford Model T lorry-bus. Their main route was between Penycae and Wrexham but only twice a week. Charles was the driver of the vehicle. In addition to the main route - once a week it travelled to Oswestry and most days it worked a colliery service. Two days a week it hauled coal. The business continued as both coal haulage and with one bus which mainly operated the Penycae and colliery services. After the second world war the business started to expand into the private hire area. In 1953 Edmund died and the the business name was changed from Edmund Wright and Son to Charles Wright – known locally as Charlie Wright. The coal haulage part of the business was sold to Elias Jones of Rhos and the irony is that Elias Jones gave up the coal business some 20 years later to start up a bus and coach business.

The route to Penycae was eventually licensed to operate on a daily basis but a restriction was placed which meant that on most runs they were not allowed to pick up or drop off passengers in the village of Rhosllanerchrugog. This was because this village was well served with three other competitors operating services to Wrexham. A number of interesting vehicles were used over the years. A Commer Avenger Plaxton 3190UN is currently preserved and is regularly seen at the Llandudno Transport Festival. However the most interesting vehicle operated was LEN101 – A Guy Wulfrunian with a 73 seat Roe body. This vehicle was unique to the area being at that time the first full fronted double decker capable of being used one man. Apparently it was a challenge to maintain the vehicle and may have explained why its first two owners did not keep the vehicle long. Leni (01) – or the 'Wolf' as it was sometimes known was with Wright for nearly six years. It is understood that the buyer of the bus from Wright only managed a few days of use before they withdrew the vehicle. It was stored unused for a number of years before it was subsequently purchased for preservation. Tragically, when parked, it was rammed by another bus and the body had to be written off. Apparently the chassis still exists awaiting someone to build a replica body.

In 1959 Charlie's eldest son Michael joined the business and in the late 1960's his youngest son John also joined the business after initially starting a career in the chemical industry. Charlie died in 1979 but by this time the coaching side of the business had been expanded and various tours and holiday packages were being operated. Michael also chose to leave the business after his father's death and started his own garage business.

This left John to run the business which then started to build in new directions. The business name changed to the Wright Company and a travel shop was opened near the bus station in Wrexham. International tours were operated. Following de-regulation John Wright took on Crosville and ran a number of services in direct competition. The fleet increased in size at a large rate and at its peak there were some 30 service buses in use. However in 1993 - giving notice - John Wright closed down the business and sold the assets. He then moved away from the area, later starting another successful business, Thames Travel in Wallingford, Oxfordshire. This was acquired by one of the industry’s larger groups, Go Ahead, in 2011

Photo courtesy Edmund Newton

Photo courtesy Keith Newton

Photo courtesy Stephen Meredith

Photo courtesy Stephen Meredith

Photo courtesy Stephen Meredith


The table below gives a list of all recorded vehicles known to have been with this operator.  I am indebted to David Donati for his dedicated work in compiling this data and enabling me to present it.

In the right hand column - where available - there is a link to a photograph of the vehicle.  The photo will open in a new window.  Links in CAPITAL LETTERS suggest the vehicle is seen when with the operator.

Chassis and body numbers are to be found on the right hand side of the table below. You may need to scroll to see them.

© Ron Hughes and David Donati - any reproduction should give credit to the originator and may require permission.