GHA Timeline

The origins of GHA are centred on the village of Betws Gwerfil Goch near Corwen. In that village lived Eifion Lloyd Davies and his family and the story of the firm surrounds this family. John Lloyd Davies was Eifion's father and he was the the first to own a bus which was used mainly to transport local people to and from work but this was short lived.

1983 - October: Eifion Lloyd Davies first involved himself with buses when he purchased SND474K a Mercedes L406 / Deansgate 16 seater minibus to work a school contract. This contract only lasted a couple of years and so he returned to concentrate on his scrap business and the minibus was sold.

1988 - January: DBX548W - a Bedford YMQ with Duple bodywork was purchased. This bus was still owned until the company collapsed and was kept in store - with a view to be preserved. This coach was used initially on a contract travelling to Wrexham. At a later stage the bus was used as a training vehicle before being withdrawn from service.

1989 - by March: A further coach PHE561R, a Bedford VAS5 / Plaxton Supreme 29 seater was purchased. The two vehicles were used on a contract travelling to Wrexham. Eifion and his wife Rhiannon undertook the work and used a car to travel back home to Betws GG until the afternoon when they returned to Wrexham to complete the contract.

1991: The fleet had grown to 6 and land in Rhostyllen was being used to store the expanding fleet.

Eifion and Rhianon had three sons Gareth, Hefin and Arwyn and their initial letters is the origin of the name GHA Coaches. Hefin is a civil engineer and did not join the family business. Another aspect of the name GHA is that in welsh 'Gwasanaeth Heb ei Al' means 'service second to none' which is a motto the company adopted.

1995: Gareth and Arwyn joined the business having been previously involved in the car trade. They became the principal directors of the company GHA Coaches Limited and they became very much the driving force of the 'Group'.

1996: A depot was established in Wrexham near the former Gatewen colliery and the fleet had grown to over 20 vehicles and included various double deckers, coaches and minibuses.

1996 January: The first new vehicles were purchased. The two new minibuses were given the personalised registrations of N2GHA and N3GHA. These two Mercedes-Benz 709D with Marshall 29 seat bodies remained in the fleet until 2016.

1996 December: came the first takeover when the firm T R Coaches of Wrexham was acquired . This firm was run by Terry Ross who had previously been a professional soldier reaching the rank of sergeant major. Before commencing the business in 1979 he had been a transport manager in a local haulage company and as is common started his business with a minibus. The main work of the operation were contracts and private hire. Five vehicles transferred - 4 coaches and a minibus.

1997 December: the fleet amounted to just over 30 vehicles.

1998: Saw the purchase of another two new Mercedes-Benz Vario vehicles which joined an array of other second hand vehicles. The first to join in the earlier part of the year was R5GHA which had a 33 coach body. The second was S6GHA which came in the latter part of the year and it had a 27 bus body.

1999 September: Saw the arrival of two new Dennis Dart Pointer 26 seat service buses. V7GHA and V8GHA were given the livery for the '111 Traxx' livery for the route going from Mold to Hooton Interchange being a local authority contract that the firm won.

2000 August: Saw the takeover of the well established business of W J Hanmer and Son of Southsea. Some seven vehicles were transferred together with the depot at Southsea. A large part of the Hanmer business was private hire work which enabled GHA to expand in this area. The distinguished livery of Hanmers was retained for some time and some later acquired vehicles were subsequently given this red, white and gold livery. However the two coaches acquired from Hanmers which remained in the fleet until the demise no longer retained the Hanmers livery having been given the silver GHA coach livery.

2000 September: The first Solo entered the fleet. X9GHA was the first vehicle to be given the now familiar low floor silver, maroon and burgundy livery. However in 2012 it was given a green based livery and branded - 'Into the Port'. The second Solo to join the fleet W677DDN initially arrived as a demonstrator in December of that year but did not join the fleet permanently until the next year in 2001 when it again arrived as a demonstrator before it was eventually purchased. This Solo was the longer wheelbase version with 34 seats. It was given the GHA (low floor) livery but it later wore the Llangollen Express livery. It was given a cherished number A15GHA in November 2014.

2003 February: Saw the arrival of the virtually new double decker PO51WNN which soon got the cherished number DA51GHA. The Dennis Trident with Plaxton President 76 seater body was given a 'Bws y Dyffryn – Vale Rider' livery and was used on a Denbighshire County Council contracted route involving Llangollen to Denbigh via Corwen and Ruthin. This contract ended in 2006 and the President was sold reverting to its original number before it joined the fleet of Kimes of Folkingham.

2003 April: A further Wrexham area acquisition occurred and comprised of the vehicle and the one service of Chaloner of Moss. This business dated back to 1920 when Tim Chaloner started running taxis from Moss to Wrexham. In 1929 a bus was employed. The firm was mainly a one bus operation except during the war and for a brief period post-war it rose to 3 vehicles. Tim died in 1946 (at the age of 46) and the business continued with Doris, Tim's wife, employing a driver and she acted as conductress. Tim's son Edward joined the business and the name of the firm became D Chaloner and Son. Edward was the principal driver with his sister Iris being the conductress. Doris died in 1978. The business continued to operate the same service to Moss and Summerhill from Wrexham until April 2003 when the bus and service was taken over by GHA Coaches.

The vehicle transferred was:- H738TWB Mercedes Benz / Reeve Burgess Beaver which had been purchased new by Chaloner in 1990. This vehicle was kept by GHA and operated the same service but was given a slightly revised livery still carrying the Chaloner name. Another vehicle R3GHA [R110TKO] a Mercedes Vario / Plaxton Beaver was also given this livery. However the livery did not continue after both of these vehicles were scrapped in 2011.

2003 April: ED03GHA a Volvo B12M with a Berkhof Axial 50 body was purchased new and was given the David Urquhart livery for which it worked on contract until April 2009 when it was given the standard GHA (silver) livery.

2003 By December: the firm strengthened its operations in the Vale of Clwyd and took over the services and depot of Cloion Coaches (L E Roberts and Son) in Ruthin. This business involved Llewelyn Ewart Roberts and his son Erfyl and they started trading in the 1980s mainly with taxis and minibuses but extended to full size buses. From 1990 the trading name Cloion Coaches was used and in 2001 a new depot at Lon Parcwr was established.

GHA Coaches continued to operate and use this depot at this location until the demise in 2016. Only one vehicle transferred from Cloion. This was Dennis Dart / UVG - P17FUG but it left the fleet within one year of arrival. The takeover did establish a strong foothold in the area and the acquired depot was the operating centre for a number of Vale of Clwyd services.

When the company ceased trading in 2016 this depot was deemed by the Administrators not part of GHA Coaches but was owned personally by the family. It is still in use by members of the family and operated by the new business of Davies Motors.

2004: Saw the arrival of a number of new vehicles. One of these was a Volvo B7R with a Plaxton Prima 70 seater body. DA04GHA was the first of a number of high capacity coaches that has become the backbone of the school contract operations.

2004: Other new buses obtained in 2004 were four Volvo SB120 with Wright Merit 39 seater service bodies. These vehicles were essentially DAF but were badged and shown on the registration documents as Volvo which was the firm that marketed this particular model at the time in the U.K. These four new buses were given cherished numbers AA04GHA, BA04GHA, CA04GHA and GA04GHA. AA04 and GA04 were given a livery for the Wrexham Council contracted service of the 146 Wrexham to Whitchurch. BA04 and CA04 were given the black and gold livery connected with Line 9 which was a high profile service initially running between Mold and Chester Royal Infirmary via Connahs Quay. Ironically AA04GHA and CA04GHA carried the wrong registration plates which was not corrected until their first MoT.

2005 March: The floods which occurred in Cumbria during January 2005 affected numerous Stagecoach buses at their Carlisle depot. Some of these damaged vehicles that had been written off by the insurance company were obtained by GHA and over a period of time they were fully restored and were valuable servants to the fleet over a number of years. Two of these included Alexander bodied Volvo B10M-55 - K772DAO and K781DAO. There was also five double deckers – K129DAO, K130DAO and K131DAO which were 70 seater Alexander Bodied Leyland Olympians as was F811FAO. This latter bus had a long wheelbase chassis enabling 87 seats. The newest vehicle was P274VPN - a Volvo Olympian which was given the cherished number P4GHA. All of these rescued vehicles survived to the demise in 2016.

2006 March: Notable arrivals in this year were two new Volvo B7R with 70 seater Plaxton Profile coach bodies given cherished numbers BA06GHA and CA06GHA.

Also arriving was AA06GHA a new Mercedes Benz Autobus Nouvelle 33 coach body which assisted with enhancing the executive private hire element of the business.

Three Alexander ALX200 Dennis Darts were acquired from the rental fleet of Mistral. VX51PZM and VX51RBO were given a Traxx 111 route branding for the Mold to Ellesmere Port service and Y201KNB was given the Denbighshire sponsored Vale Rider livery..

2007 May: The Bryn Melyn company joined the 'Group'. The History of Bryn Melyn goes back to the 1920's where there is a story that an Anthony 'Laddie' Jones worked hard in the town of Llangollen hiring himself and a hand cart to convey goods for the purpose of raising funds to buy a bus. He and Richard Noel Jones entered a partnership and in 1923 started a service of conveying passengers from their home village of Rhewl to Llangollen. Elsie Marjorie Jones later joined the partnership. However in 1936 the partnerships were dissolved and 'Laddie' became a sole trader. By this time further routes had been established from Llangollen to Glyn Ceiriog and Oswestry.

In 1964 the business was sold to Londoner 'Ted' Broadhurst who decided to sell off the coaching side of the business to a neighbouring business in Cefn Mawr operated at that time by Theo Roberts. This coaching business became 'Vale of Llangollen Tours' and became associated with GHA at a future date. Ted Broadhurst ran the bus business of Bryn Melyn for nearly 20 years but in 1983 he sold it to two of his employees Terry Bluck and Clive Wilson.

The Bryn Melyn bus fleet expanded when in 1989 the company started the Llangollen to Wrexham service. In 2005 the business left Llangollen and moved to the Gardden Industrial Estate on the outskirts of Ruabon.

In addition to the depot at Gardden Industrial Estate, Tatham Road, Ruabon - 15 vehicles transferred to GHA. Included in these vehicles were five BMC Falcon 60 seater school buses, (BX54VTM/VUB/C/D/F), which were purchased two years before the takeover.

Until April 2015 Bryn Melyn operated as a distinct business under its own management but under the general direction of the two principal directors of GHA. This continued even after the Bryn Melyn depot was moved to its next location next door to the main GHA Ruabon depot in June 2012. In April 2015 a full merger began.

2007 June: The company completed the move to the much needed larger base at Unit 11, Vauxhall Industrial Estate, Ruabon. The company moved to this location from its previous main base at Gatewen. The former depot at Gatewen was situated nearer Wrexham but whilst it was adequate when it was first opened it had become too small for the ever expanding company. The new base in Ruabon was the nerve centre and head office of GHA. It was situated some 5 miles to the south west of Wrexham. Sometimes the depot was referred to as the 'Wrexham' depot. Located here were the offices for the senior managers of the company, the main engineering facilities and the base for a substantial part of the fleet.

A significant aspect of the Ruabon depot was the engineering facilities which comprised of various components. These included a massive workshop with some 13 bays each with a ramp which could handle any type of vehicle. There was also a double bay fully authorised MoT testing facility which was utilised by VOSA. In addition to a fully functional bodyshop to undertake various accident repairs there was a modern spray booth capable of painting all types of vehicles including double deckers. There were also various specialist stores for such things as tyres, glazing and seating.

2007: new vehicles entering the fleet included VDL SB120 / Plaxton Centros AA56GHA and BA56GHA which were put to work on the 146 Whitchurch service and was given a new all over route branding. GA07GHA was a Volvo B12B with Jonckheere Mistral 50 bodywork which became the second vehicle to be given the David Urquhart livery. This vehicle was sold in August 2009 after the contract with David Urquhart ended. Two Plaxton Centro bodied vehicles were also purchased. BA07GHA is a VDL SB120 with 40 seats and CA07GHA is a Volvo B7BLE with 45 seats.

2007: Also purchased in 2007 were three ex Chesterbus step Dennis Darts J52EDM, L62PDM and M166XMA. The former one of these was sold in January 2013 and is being preserved.

2008 May: The next significant acquisition was the vehicles, services and work of Vale of Llangollen Travel Limited which joined the group. The history of the business can be traced back to the family of Roberts (father Alexander and sons Theophilus and Herbert Richard) and their coal haulage business which expanded to convey workers to the local collieries. The firm initially traded as T & H R Roberts (being the initials of the two brothers). In addition to the workers and schools services the business developed a number of excursion ventures. These were undertaken in their own name and also in conjunction with a holiday company from Liverpool - 'Sunniways'. Brother Herbert Richard died in the early 1960's and shortly afterwards Theo bought the coaching business of Bryn Melyn of Llangollen. Theo was later joined in the business by three of his children, Russell, Ralph and Gillian, who later took over the business when Theo retired. The coaching side of the business expanded with many of the vehicles working for a number of holiday companies including Cosmos and Globus. For a year or so after acquisition by GHA, Gillian Roberts continued as General Manager until she finally withdrew from the company and retired to Spain. However Ralph and Russell continued to work within the new organisation as school bus drivers until the demise. Vale retained its identity operating as a separate company within the Group until April 2015 when the full merger began. The former Vale of Llangollen Travel company had established a working base in the Cheshire area at Waverton with a number of local school contracts. GHA have very much expanded on this initial foothold. 15 vehicles transferred to the GHA Group in 2008.

2008 October: Two interesting vehicles joining the fleet in 2008 were two Wright Handybus bodied Dennis Darts. K129LGO was given a GHA (White) livery whilst NDZ3161 was given a similar Vale Travel version of the livery. Initially the vinyls used were blue and pink but this was later changed to more conventional silver, red and burgundy.

2008 November: New vehicles bought in 2008 included three Volvo B7RLEs with Wrightbus Eclipse Urban bodies . These three vehicles (AA/BA/CA58GHA) were given black and gold Line 9 livery. Whilst they arrived in November 2008 they were not registered or used until January 2009

2009: By 2009 a sub depot was established in Macclesfield. It was located in Heapy Street within the premises of H Whittaker and Sons Ltd. It was used mainly as a base for double deckers of the Vale fleet which were being used on a number of school and college contracts won by the company in the north east of Cheshire. Over the years the vehicles located in Macclesfield gradually grew. In 2010 it was recorded that 4 deckers were based at the depot and by the beginning of the autumn term in 2012 the number had risen to 7. This location became unsuitable by 2015 and a new premises was found in Moss Lane.

2009: 17 new vehicles entered into the fleet in 2009. January saw the arrival of two new Optare Versas MX58KZE/F. They were purchased to operate the newly won Cheshire East Connect 88 Altrincham to Knutsford service. Initially this entailed a considerable amount of dead mileage from Ruabon to commence the service.

2009: In May five Volvo B7RLE / Wrightbus Eclipse UrbanA joined the fleet. DK09DZD/E/F/G/H were given a branding for the Denbighshire X50/X52 service which operated from Wrexham to Rhyl via Ruthin and Denbigh.

2009: In July two new Optare Solos arrived to operate the Denbighshire County Council Ruthin fflecsi services.

2009: In September two further new Solos arrived. YJ59GFX/Y had a new DeeBee livery to operate newly won Chester and Cheshire West contracts.

2009: October / November: On 26th October the company won the contract to operate a number of services from Nantwich. These included the 39 Nantwich to Crewe via Shavington, the 72, 73 and 75 to Whitchurch and Audlem and the 51-53 Nantwich local services.

To provide these services a sub-depot was established. THis was initially in Kents Lane, Crewe but it moved in January to Gates Farm, Poole. From the end of 2010 the services were operated from the Tarvin depot.

Whist delivery of four new Solos was awaited some vehicles were quickly acquired to operate these services in the interim period. In addition to loan vehicles from Optare two former London Central Marshall bodied Dennis Darts T112 and T115KGP joined the fleet. Initially on a short term basis but they were purchased and served the company until 2016. They remained in red livery for a considerable period but were eventually given the standard GHA low floor livery.

2009: November: In November the five new Solos joined the fleet. YJ59GHA/B/D/G were put into Cheshire East Connections livery and were put to work to operate newly won contracts and services around Nantwich. The fifth vehicle YJ59GHF was given the GHA (low floor) livery.

2010 May: During 2010 the Cheshire operations (with the exception of the Macclesfield and Nantwich area) were moved to the depot at Tarvin. This was located at Unit 11 Pool Bank Business Park just on the outskirts of the village. The depot was in an industrial unit with a small building for offices and a small provision for indoor storage but the depot had no significant engineering facilities. This depot replaced the temporary depot at a transport yard on the A56 in Dunham on the Hill which had itself replaced the base within Morrey Oils at Waverton which had been inherited from Vale Travel.

2010: In the summer of 2010 the company introduced a fleet numbering system. This was a four digit system with the first two digits indicating a classification of the vehicle. The classifications were ;-

CA – Coaches 01 - 40

SB – Service Buses 01 - 61

DD – Double Deckers 01 - 27

SL – Solos 01 - 21

MB – Minibuses 01 - 29

MC – Minicoaches 01 - 06

Vehicles were allocated a two digit number for each classification allocated by alphabetic order of the registration numbers. GHA Coaches and Vale Travel fleets were allocated numbers but the Bryn Melyn fleet was not. The fleet numbers were displayed on the vehicles by means of vinyls. Vehicles subsequently arriving in 2010 were given numbers at the end of the series but after 2010 no further vehicles were allocated a fleet number. When vehicles were repainted the fleet numbers were not re-applied. The system was never used for operational purposes. However quite a number of the fleet still carried these numbers up to the demise in 2016.

2010: In August 2010 after visiting an auction in the Midlands the Directors purchased 7 ex Travel West Midlands Optare Solos S280AOX, T289/308/313/314/316/317UOX. Over a period of time the vehicles were refurbished and entered service. One exception was T316UOX which did receive a new livery but every time it was near ready for service it appeared to be used for essential spares for its siblings. Two (T313/314UOX) went into DeeBee livery while the others received the GHA (Low floor) livery. The two DeeBee liveried examples were subsequently given the new GHA Service Bus livery.

2010: Four Optare Versas and two Solos owned by the Flintshire and Wrexham local authorities joined the fleet in August 2010. The Versas (YJ09OTN/P/R/S) were in Shuttle + livery and operated the SP1/2 routes from Mold to Ellesmere Port services which also served the Deeside Industrial Estate. The Solos (YJ09EZH/K) were used to operate the Wrexham Council supported Ceiriog valley services. YJ09EZH was allocated to the Bryn Melyn fleet.

2011 June: The first acquisition in 2011 was that of Ifor Jones who traded as J O Travel and he started his business in Ponciau, Wrexham when the well established business of T Williams and Son ceased trading in 2005. The depot was not transferred but a number of school contracts and some private hire work together with six coaches were transferred. The vehicles involved were: - R20STR - (Iveco EuroRider / Beulas), K2AME, K3AME & K487BCY - (DAF SB3000 / Co Algarve II), Y144HWE (later Y5GHA)- (MAN / Tourliner), N253NNR - Toyota HZB50R / Caetano Optimo III, N253NNR and K487BCY were not operated by GHA. R20STR, K2AME and Y5GHA were retained in the fleet for some time and were given fleet livery.

2011 June: In the same month of June 2011 a further significant acquisition occurred. R S Travel was a company formed in 1999 by Raymond Stockton and Linda Handley. They traded initially in Nantwich but later on in Brooks Lane, Middlewich. In addition to the bus and coach business they also operated a travel business selling various coach holidays which they then ran with their own coaches. In addition to the depot in Brooks Lane and the substantial school and college contracts seven vehicles were transferred. The holiday tours part of the company was not taken up by GHA. The vehicles transferred were: - HIB967( Bova), IIB7460 - (Scania / Van Hool), J271UDW (Leyland Lynx), M905/14OVR (Dennis Javelin / Transliner), RIL9160/1 (Dennis Javelin / Duple 320), N219VRC (Optare MetroRider).

2011 July: Whilst not a takeover as such a significant purchase made in July 2011 were four of the service vehicles of Pats Coaches which were acquired with the services they operated involving Wrexham – Brymbo (15 and 15A), King Street - Barker Lane (44) and some evening services. Pats Coaches continued to work a Wrexham local service (Townlynx) for a period and have still a significant coach fleet. The vehicles transferred to GHA were :- H7WXM & N109LCK - Dennis Dart / East Lancs, N7WXM & V896DNB (Dennis Dart/ Plaxton). These buses soon left the fleet most of them not being used.

2012 December: A further Cheshire acquisition occurred in December 2012 when Dobsons Buses Limited was purchased. This company was based in Lostock Gralam near Northwich. It had been formed by Ronald Edward Dobson in 1991 although his bus and coach business started before this date. The company had numerous school contracts and these and 9 vehicles were transferred. No property was involved. The transferred vehicles were:- Deckers E916KYR, G627EKA, K656UNH, NJZ9086 – high capacity school buses H620RAH, J935CYK, M416UNW and minibuses M561SRE and N263FMA. E916KYR, M561SRE and N263FMA were never used.

2013 January: GHA extended their operations into Manchester when they started running the Sunday 130 Macclesfield to Manchester service.

2013 April: The contracts and drivers of the family business Rogers of Graigfechan were acquired together with one vehicle. The business was started by Cecil Rogers in the 1950's when mainly one coach was operated. In the early 1970's Cecil's son Eric Edwards took over the company and the fleet then grew to some 10 vehicles. However in April 2011 Eric died at the young age of 60 and the business passed to his son Kevin and Eric's wife Margaret. Kevin and his mother ran the business for a couple of years but Kevin decided to cease trading and develop an alternative career. There were a number of school contracts and the business had a number of regular customers for their private hire work. No premises were involved in the transfer and Kevin sold the remainder of his fleet of six vehicles privately. The vehicle transferred was S490UAK (Mercedes Vario / Plaxton Cheetah). The coach was used by GHA for a while in the livery of Rogers but was subsequently given the GHA (silver) livery and was re-registered to TIL 7583.

2013 August: A new depot was opened in Winsford and the operations from the former R S Travel depot in Middlewich transferred to this new premises. It was situated within the Warehouse One complex in Smoke Hall Lane Industrial Estate on the outskirts of Winsford. The site had excellent security and all visitors had to be signed in and obey strict safety instructions before embarking on the long walk to the rear of the premises where the depot was situated. In addition to the area of outside parking there was a purpose built building with a two bay maintenance facility, a staff room and an office for the depot manager and administrative support staff.

2013 September: A new element of work commenced involving a fleet of some 5 minibuses with wheelchair facilities conveying children to and from the specialist Springfield school in Crewe. In addition to a driver, an attendant was also provided. A small fleet of suitable vehicles was acquired for this contract.

2013 December: Following the withdrawal of Arriva Cymru running the X94 Wrexham to Barmouth service GHA were awarded the emergency contract to operate the service from 23rd December 2013. The service was not new to the company as they had operated the evening and Sunday service for some considerable time. During 2014 the company won the full contract and a new revised timetable was put into operation from November 2014 when the service was renamed the T3 to bring it line with other TrawsCymru Welsh Government funded services. New vehicles were obtained in 2015 for the route. Scania OmniCity YR14HLU was acquired new in July 2014 and whilst entering service initially in its dealer white livery it was the first vehicle in the fleet to be given the TrawsCymru livery.

2014 June: On an emergency basis in June 2014, due to the demise of Padarn Buses, GHA began working two Snowdon Sherpa services in the Llanberis and Llanrwst area. This involved two vehicles, normally a decker and a single deck vehicle, which were sometimes out-stationed at Llanrwst. This service was not operated by GHA after October of that year.

2014 August: GHA began operating the commercial 45 Northwich to Warrington service entering into direct competition with Warrington Borough Transport. Two vehicles were initially utilised on this service. Over a period of time changes were made to the operations on this route. A further commercial Warrington area service to Dallam was also later commenced and the buses involved became three and at first interworked the two services. Two new Optare MetroCity buses were acquired in early 2015 to operate the service. GHA withdrew from this 'bus war' with Warrington Buses in early 2016.

2014 October: GHA retained the contract to run the East Cheshire 88 Connect service from Altrincham to Knutsford in October 2014 . The frequency of the route was doubled to 30 minutes and 4 new high specification Enviro 200's were purchased for this high profiled service. YX64VRF/G/J/K had leather seats, a table and free Wi-Fi and were given a new 'Gold' livery.

2014 Autumn: A number of other contracts were won and retained in the East Cheshire area in the autumn of 2014. Retained with some changes were the contracts for the Nantwich area work. Contracts were won to operate services previously operated by D & G Bus involving the 90/91/92 Congleton town service, the 42 Crewe to Congleton service together with some evening services in the Crewe area. Some 9 Solos owned by the local authority were initially transferred from their previous operators and loaned to GHA to assist with operating these new contracts. These Solos YJ54ZYA-F, YM52TPV/Y and YJ54UBD were eventually purchased by GHA from the local authority.

2014: Vehicles acquired in 2014 included 5 Wright Renown bodied Volvo B10BLEs - R217/19/26/20/34HCD. After being used for a while in their previous Brighton and Hove Red and Cream livery they were - over a period of time - given the GHA (low floor) livery. The exception was R234HCD which was given the X50/X52 livery and was also given the cherished number R13GHA.

2014: Three other similar vehicles R838/39/48PRG arrived from Go North East in red. These were used with this livery for quite a while and were given GHA Coaches vinyls. R848PRG was the last vehicle to receive the GHA (Low Floor) livery.

2014: Two ex Metroline London Northern President bodied Volvo B7TL were also acquired (Y166/88NLK). Y188NLK remained in its plain red livery until the demise but Y166NLK received the X50/X52 livery.

2014: The coach fleet was added to during 2014 with R979PRD, M688KVU, FN03DXM, CN08TKV, YN07LDV, R12GHA, CNZ3819 and BP52XAE joining.

2015: During 2015 there began a major merge of the GHA subsidiary companies of Bryn Melyn Limited and Vale of Llangollen Travel Limited into the principal company of the group - GHA Coaches Limited. These companies had remained as separate operating companies within the group since their acquisition in 2007 and 2008. Until the 'merge' they had their own managers and staff and the fleets had retained their own identity and liveries. The Bryn Melyn company even maintained its own fleet at its own depot. This was originally in the Gardden Industrial Estate in Ruabon but in June 2012 had moved to a Unit next door to the main GHA depot. Shortly after the start of the financial year in 2015 the Bryn Melyn fleet joined the parent company fleet and the former depot was altered and became an annexe to the main depot. Route registrations began to change to the parent company and the long term task of changing some of the vehicles liveries commenced.

2015: During 2015 a new GHA Coaches logo began to be used and started to appear on buses, tickets and the web site.

2015: During this year 15 new vehicles joined the fleet. Two ADL Enviro 200's YY15CMX/Z were branded with a very interesting 'Beartown' livery and were commissioned to work the Congleton town service. A further three similar vehicles YY15CNA/C/E were given the high specification GHA Gold interior and livery and were branded and used on the East Cheshire contracted service from Crewe to Congleton. Four Optare Solo SR's YJ15AYE/F/G/H were the first vehicles to be given a new GHA (Service Bus) livery. These Solos were used on the Nantwich area services. YJ15AWN/O were two Optare MetroCitys which also joined the fleet in April and were used initially on the commercial service running from Warrington to Northwich which also interfaced with the 16 Warrington to Dallam service. Later in the year three Scanias with Enviro 400 high specification double deckers SN15ETD/E/F joined the fleet in the TrawsCymru livery. Also arriving at the same time in the same TrawsCymru livery was a ADL Enviro 200 YY15FZF. These four vehicles were soon put to work on their intended route the T3 Wrexham to Barmouth.

2015 April: The Macclesfield depot that had been situated in Heapy Street moved to a much larger site in Moss Lane, Macclesfield.

2015 April: A new fleet numbering system was introduced in 2015. Mention has already been made of the abandoned system of 2010 but which still appeared on some vehicles. The later system was a 4 digit numerical system with the first digit indicating the type of vehicle - the second digit the make of vehicle and the 3rd and 4th digit is the numerical number within the series.

Like the previous fleet numbering system this new system was never actually used for operational purposes and only new vehicles were labelled with the new numbers.

2015 April: Saw the acquisition of the companies trading as Shropshire Bus and Coach. These companies were RJ's of Wem Limited and RML2418 Limited. Four full size buses, six minibuses, some with wheelchair lifts and some cars were transferred together with the depot situated off Castle Foregate in Shrewsbury. This depot became the operational centre for a number of services that had previously been run by the Bryn Melyn part of the Group and also for the 436 Shrewsbury to Bridgnorth service that was won from Arriva Midlands North and commenced on 1st September 2015.

2015 April: In April 2015 a major change occurred on the Wrexham to Llangollen and Cefn Mawr corridor with Bryn Melyn and Vale Travel no longer operating services under their own identity. Previous to this change the GHA element of the 5 service had previously operated from Wrexham to Llangollen and then on an hourly basis it was extended to work a service through to Ruthin via Corwen. The bus would then work a service through to Rhyl via Denbigh and then work a return service back through Ruthin and Corwen to Wrexham. From April 2015 the 5 service terminated at Llangollen and operated 3 times an hour. The Cefn Mawr service was re-designated the 5C and had an increased frequency of 3 times an hour giving a 10 minute service frequency between Wrexham, Johnstown and Ruabon. The service was in direct competition with Arriva Midlands who operated a similar frequency on the same route. Apart from an occasional service (re-designated the 94) only the T3 service operated at that time from Llangollen to Corwen. The Corwen to Ruthin service became the 55 and vehicles continued to Rhyl as the intermediate service between Ruthin and Rhyl. This made the frequency on that corridor 30 minutes alongside the Wrexham – Rhyl (X50/52) service.

2015 Autumn: By the autumn of 2015 the company were operating almost all of the Reaseheath college contracted student service conveying over 1000 students per day using some 20 vehicles from 4 of their depots. These routes ranged from a wide variety of locations such as Broughton, Chester, Liscard, Upton, Port Sunlight, Ellesmere Port, Warrington, Stockport, Poynton, Congleton, Knustford, Middlewich, Uttoxeter, Telford, Shrewsbury and Oswestry. The contract ended suddenly at Easter 2016.

2015 June: Some of the other vehicles joining the fleet in 2015 included two Scania OmniCitys. YR10AZO/V arrived in June 2015 and were given the new 'GHA Service Bus' livery and worked the newly gained 436 Shrewsbury to Bridgnorth service. They left suddenly in June 2016 returning to Scania.

2015 August: Also joining the fleet in 2015 were three Plaxton President bodied Volvo B7TL yellow liveried deckers X635/39/57LLX . These vehicles were often seen working the Reaseheath College contracts. At a later stage they were given Reaseheath college branding.

2015 November: The company were awarded some interesting rural contracts by Wrexham Borough Council. These were single journey once a week services. On Mondays the 45F went to Bettisfield near Whitchurch and visited Worthenbury and Threapwood. On Tuesdays the 47F service was to New Brighton near Minera and visited Rhosllanerchrugog, Legacy and Aberoer. On Thursday the 42F went to Rhosymadoc near Ruabon and visited Erbistock, Gyfelia and Sontley.

2015 December: At the end of the year in December 2015 the Macclesfield depot closed. The four Enviro 200s that had been operating the 88 Connect Knustford to Altrincham service moved to the Tarvin depot during November and the service was then worked from that depot. All other vehicles from Macclesfield were transferred to Winsford on closure together with the staff who were prepared to move. The remaining services previously operated by Macclesfield depot were then worked by the Winsford depot.

2016 January: During this month there were two vehicles on demonstration. Both worked from the Ruthin depot and were being tested to see which were the more suitable for the working of the Denbighshire contract work. These were Optare Solo SR YJ64DWD and Alexander Dennis E200 MMC - YX65RKK

2016 February: During this month there were some changes to service work in the Denbighshire area. GHA won contracts from M & H Coaches involving the 66 Denbigh to Henllan and Llanefydd service and the 76 Denbigh to Ruthin and Graigfechan service that went through the villages of Llangwyfan, Gellifor and Llandyrnog. After a period of absence Denbighshire County Council restored the X5 service which linked Corwen with Wrexham. This service was worked in conjunction with the newly timed 55 Denbigh to Corwen service and buses ran through to Wrexham on some 4 journeys. There were some reductions in the X1/1/2 Ruthin to Mold workings. This route reverted to be worked by the Ruabon due to capacity issues at Ruthin.

2016 February: A significant development was that the company entered into a 'bus war' and commenced working the commercial 84 – Chester to Crewe service in competition with Routemaster and Arriva. Statements by a senior manager on an enthusiast forum indicated that the service had been run as Routemaster had chosen to run the service when Arriva reduced the frequency on the Nantwich to Chester element of the route. However it was suggested that Routemaster altered the running time such that their vehicles ran just before the GHA 82 Chester to Northwich route on the Chester to Tarvin section. GHA had retaliated by running the newly registered 84 service just before that of Routemaster. The 'bus war' eventually ended when on 29th March 2016 Routemaster announced that they were withdrawing from the C84 Chester to Crewe service. They ceased trading shortly afterwards. On 23rd May GHA gave notice that they too would withdraw from the service. This was to take effect on 18th July but due to staff shortages and the demise the service ended some time before this date.

2016 March: A new livery was agreed with Denbighshire Council but only one vehicle was ever given the livery which had mixed reviews. The recipient was Solo YJ59NMX

2016 March: March 2016 saw the beginning of the end of the 'Warrington' bus war. This had started back in August 2014 when GHA commenced a commercial service from Northwich to Warrington in competition with Network Warrington. The frequency before the arrival of GHA was hourly and whilst the number of buses increased to two an hour it was not of great benefit to the travelling public as both buses were often seen running one behind the other. Initially GHA utilised the newly acquired ex Go North East Renowns and they retained their 'red' livery similar to that of the Warrington buses. However in April 2015 two new Optare MetroCity's were obtained by GHA to operate this service and these were given a special red and cream livery. These colours were also similar to the Network Warrington livery. Network Warrington changed their timetable a number of times and so did GHA in response. In May 2015 GHA extended their Warrington operations by registering another commercial service the 16 – Warrington to Dallam. Interestingly not only were Network Warrington working this service but also Fairbrothers ran the route. GHA ran this service in conjunction with the Northwich service and 3 buses were employed. A further change occurred in December 2015 when GHA introduced an extension of two journeys to the business park where IKEA is located.

In the early part of 2016 it appeared that due to driver shortages some journeys on the 16 Dallam route were not operated on a frequent basis.

In February GHA made a decision to withdraw from the 16 (Dallam) and the 46 (IKEA) services and the cancellation of the services were duly registered and this took effect on the 18th April 2016. On 3rd March GHA also gave notice to cancel the 45 (Warrington to Northwich) service and this took effect on 29th April 2016 – thus ending from that date the presence of GHA in Warrington.

2016 March: A further (and last) demonstrator arrived in March 2016 namely the unusual service bus version of the Scania K250UB with Irizar I3 body. YP64WVW worked mainly from Tarvin but did a days operation on the 1/2/X1 Ruthin to Mold corridor with the General Manager at the wheel.

2016 March: A significant contract was ended at Easter 2016. For two terms GHA Coaches had been transporting students to and from Reaseheath College in Nantwich. This involved 20 routes and students travelled from various points of the compass as far as the Wirral, Warrington, Stockport, Macclesfield, Congleton, Uttoxeter, Hanley, Telford, Shrewsbury, Wrexham and Chester. Various rumours circulated about the reasons for the ending of the contract.

The two Caetano Levantes (which had come from Shropshire Bus and Coach) continued to sport the Reaseheath branding as did the three President double deckers until they left the fleet later in the year.

2016 May: In May 2016 after a significant gap of vehicles joining the fleet three vehicles arrived. These were Volvo B10BLE / Wright Renown - B44F. The first two R842/7PRG were new in April 1998 to Sunderland & District (4842/7) and the third V531GDS was new in November 1999 to Arriva Scotland West (531). All three had come from Go North East. Work never started on preparing them for service and they never actually worked for GHA. It is believed the sale was never completed and two of them returned to Ensign Bus. R847PRG was also suppose to return but due to a mechanical issue was retained and it eventually went to Davies Motors in Ruthin

2016 June: GHA Coaches began working a new Shropshire based contract the 511 Shrewsbury to Whitchurch service. This had been won from Arriva Midlands. They had also been awarded three Shrewsbury local services the 21 Reabrook Estate, the 23 Heathcotes and the 26 Adswood Grove and duly registered these services. However they were never operated and Arriva Midlands continued to work these services.

2016 June: On 1st of this month was observed that due to a shortage of vehicles the 96 Shrewsbury to Telford service had to be operated by a minibus and therefore no fares were being collected.

2016 June: The company appeared before the Magistrates sitting at Mold and they pleaded guilty to breaching the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 and failing to comply with an Improvement Notice. Initially they were fined £250,000 but after a re-hearing the Magistrates' imposed a fine of £90,000 and ordered that costs of £3,068 be paid to the H.S.E.

2016 June: Following nearly twelve months off the road following a Road Traffic Collision the TrawsCymru Scania SN15ETF returned to service. Apparently the main delay was due to the company obtaining the necessary parts required such as the dashboard and doors.

2016 July 13th: GHA Coaches Limited ceased trading on the evening of Wednesday 13th July 2016 and on the following day Jason Bell and Christopher Petts of Grant Thornton UK LLP were appointed administrators.

2016 July 14th: Meetings of staff were held with the Adminsitrators and it was made clear that the company had ceased trading. A small number of staff were employed by the Adminstarors for varying periods to sort out various outstanding matters and to prepare for the sale of the assets.

The Local Authority owned buses Versas YJ09OTN/P/R/S and Solos YK05CBX, YJ09EZH/K were removed from the Ruabon premises and placed into storage at Flint. An ITV news crew filmed the buses leaving.

2016 July - August: Within a few days the work began of bringing all vehicles from the outside depots to Ruabon and in the case of those depots that were rented they were returned to their owners for other use. A small number of mechanics had been retained by the Administrators and they were engaged in carrying out any possible repairs to enable vehicles to be sold.

During the following 2-3 weeks some 74 buses and coaches left the premises to the possession of various Banks and Finance Houses. A number of these went to various auctions and some to dealers to be sold.

The premises as Ruabon became very full.

2016 August - November: Auctions Four separate auctions were held on 25th August, 22nd September, 20th October and 24th November. These auctions were conducted by on-line bidding but viewing of the vehicles occurred just prior to the auctions.

Details of these auctions can be found <<HERE>>

2016 September: Public Inquiry On the 20th September the Traffic Commissioner Nick Jones held a Public Inquiry into the company GHA Coaches Limited its two Directors and the Transport Managers. The venue at Welshpool was packed with Press, Media and interested parties. The written decision of the Commissioner following the Inquiry was published on 28th September.

The operator’s licence held by GHA Coaches Ltd was revoked. Both Directors of the company were disqualified from holding or applying for an operator’s licence in any capacity including as a director, partner, or operator in any traffic area for an indefinite period.

In his written findings Nick Jones stated "This is a case of consistently choosing to put commercial advantage over road safety across a period of time and an indefinite disqualification is appropriate and proportionate."

2016 September - December: RJs of Wem interlude When the operations of Shropshire Bus and Coach were acquired in 2015 two separate companies transferred. One of these was RJs of Wem Limited which possessed an Operators licence within the West Midlands Traffic area. Following the administration of the GHA Coaches Company it became apparent that this company was outside the scope of GHA Coaches Limited and belonged to the two former Directors. They therefore registered some of the former GHA services and began operating on behalf of the Wrexham Council these routes. They were the 6 Wrexham to Ruabon, 17 Wrexham to Moss, 34 Wrexham to Trevalyn, 64 Llangollen to Ceiriog Valley and the 146 Wrexham to Whitchurch. These services commenced on 6th September 2016 and initially the Directors of the company RJ's of Wem were the former Directors of GHA Coaches Limited. However after a short period they resigned and the new Director of the company became Sally Lloyd Davies, wife of Gareth Lloyd Davies.

A small fleet was acquired mostly of former GHA Coaches buses. These buses were Dart SK52UTT, Volvo / Renown R226HCD, Dart SJ53AXG - which was not in service for long and was replaced by sibling Dart SJ53AWX which was acquired from the Stafford Bus Centre. Also in the fleet was minibus CW03XBD which was mainly used for staff transfers.

Whilst the services being operated were in Wales the Operating Licence had been issued by the West Midlands area and therefore it was necessary that the vehicles operating the services were based in that area. They were actually kept overnight and at weekends at the Gledrid Service Station near Chirk just outside the boundary of Wales. They were maintained, however, at the Ruthin depot.

The company RJs of Wem Limited were called to a Public Inquiry in Birmingham which was conducted by the Traffic Commissioner for Wales Nick Jones. Following this Public Inquiry the operating licence of RJ'S of Wem Limited was revoked with effect from 19th December and therefore all services ceased on 18th December. The reason for the revocation was given as 'no sufficient financial standing as required'.

Some of the fleet of RJ's of Wem seen at the Gledrid Service Station

2016 - present: Davies Motors The two former Directors Gareth and Arwyn Lloyd Davies established a successful business at the former depot in Ruthin buying and selling used buses and coaches. They also utilise the former depot at Betws-Gwefril-Goch.

2017 July: The Insolvency Service, having received reports from the Administrators resolved that the two former Directors of GHA Coaches would be disqualified from holding the post of a Director of a Company for a period of 7 years. This was due to their conduct that had been alleged that they caused or allowed G.H.A Coaches Limited to breach the terms of its Public Service Vehicle operator’s licence

2020 July: On 27th July 2020 the company GHA Coaches Limited was formally dissolved. The subsidiary companies Bryn Melyn Limited and Vale of Llangollen Travel were dissolved in January 2019.

The Administrators filed their final report in April 2020. Normally the period of administration is less than 12 months but this process took nearly 4 years.

The Administrators realised £3.303million which included the following :-

£900K on the sale of the Ruabon depot, £1.367m on the sale of vehicles, £165 k on the sale of plant and machinery

£545k was recovered from debtors (i.e. those owing the company money)

From this amount the following was paid out:

The Administrators took £462k as their fees and expenses apparently they charge for their work at over £280 per hour

The amount of other professional services (legal etc.) was £171k

Other costs post Administration including security, site clearance, employees retained etc was £367K

Returned to the bank which had a charge on the company was £1.185m

Finance and leasing companies were paid £243K although some actually had their vehicles returned.

The employees were owed £204k and this was paid in full. Most of this had been dealt with through the relevant Governemnt Departments.

The last category was classified as Unsecure Creditors which consisted of a list of numerous companies, businesses and individuals. A significant amount of these being local traders. The claim from these creditors in total was £4.697million but only a total of £133k was paid. This meant that they received only 2.82p for every pound owed.

2021 - February: Sadly on 19th February 2021 Rhiannon Lloyd Davies passed away at the age of 75. She was the husband of Eifion Lloyd Davies the founder and was the mother of Gareth and Arwyn. She worked with her husband Eifion to work the initial college contracts into Wrexham and for the duration of the company she was the Company Secretary.