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An estimated crowd approaching 10,000 people visited Plaxton’s factory this weekend when the company threw its doors open as part of its centenary celebrations.

“The support we had was truly overwhelming and vastly exceeded our expectations,” says sales director Kevin Wood. “In organising this, the biggest event in the company’s history, we could only guess at the number of people who would come along. Looking at the number of cars in the car park and at the number of people who arrived on visiting coaches or using the shuttle service provided by East Yorkshire Motor Services, we have estimated that approaching 10,000 visitors came to see us over the weekend.”.

As well as hosting open days at its factory, Plaxton organised a Centenary Ball at Scarborough’s historic Spa, which was attended by almost 600 guests representing a cross-section of customers, suppliers and employees.

“Everyone at the plant put a huge amount of work in to preparing for the weekend, and their effort was well-rewarded,” Kevin continued. “It gave past employees an opportunity to see how the company has changed, and it gave our present employees the opportunity to show their families where they work. It also gave local people a unique opportunity to see behind the scenes at the town’s biggest employer.

The book, Plaxton – A Century of Innovation was launched at the event and proved extremely popular with visitors. Author Stewart Brown was kept busy signing copies and the initial advance allocation is almost sold out although a few copies are still available from Plaxton ahead of the general release in May.

One of the many highlights of the event was the Sunday afternoon Cavalcade through Scarborough which saw almost 50 vehicles parade through the town. Crowds had gathered at a number of vantage points along the route but the huge number who lined The Valley, Cliff Bridge and Marine Drive was truly magnificent, Kevin described it as “…an emotional trip and rounded off what was an unforgettable weekend”

The centenary celebration was supported by Plaxton’s key suppliers and chassis partners, and by the many operators and preservationists who supplied a range of old Plaxton buses and coaches for a display which illustrated the company’s heritage and Kevin was forthright in his praise for them, “Without their help and support for the event, we’d never have been able to achieve anything on the scale which this turned out to be and we owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude for their contribution”

Below are some of the highlights of the event.

Centro TM

The very latest Plaxton, a Centro destined or TM Travel, completed just the day before the event.

Leyland Badger

The oldest surviving example of Plaxton coachwork, this 1930 Leyland Badger delivered new to Bradford Schools and Education Board, seen here at the head of the historic vehicle display.

Consort SB

A comparatively rare survivor, a Plaxton Consort body on a petrol powered Bedford SBG dating from 1956.

Bedford OB

Ken Edward’s 1950 Bedford OB is one of perhaps only two survivors of this once common model. The coach travelled over 250 miles from West Wales to attend the event and ran faultlessly.

Mayoral Visit

Among the many who visited over the weekend of the event were the Mayor and Mayoress of Scarborough who were given a conducted tour by Brian Davidson, Chairman of Plaxton Limited.

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 Plaxton 100 Years banner showing various Plaxton bodied vehicles from 1907 to 2007