Twelve Royal Tigers
The compete story of the coachbuilders Beccols & Bellhouse Hartwell and how Blue Cars became an important part of the tale
authors: Michael Eyre, Peter Greaves, Martin Ingle, Michael Fenton & Chris Howard
hardback 215mm x 250mm, 128 pages
includes over 280 photographs and illustrations, as well as detailed production lists
ISBN 978 0 9565740 2 2
Hit by the fall in trade in the mid-1930s, the owner of a modest Lancashire cotton firm recruited his bright young nephew to broaden the business. His solution was to build coach bodies. This had hardly started when two key staff members left and set up as a rival business.
A couple of years later, one of that rival's coaches won an award at an international coach rally, resulting in an order from one of the country's most prestigious continental coach tour operators for twelve specially-designed luxury coach bodies on Leyland Royal Tiger chassis.
Things went wrong. Six were built, when there was a dispute and the coachbuilder ran out of money. The order was then taken over by the coachbuilder they had left, bringing that firm close to large orders from the country's major bus and coach operating group.
The tour operator went on to invent and develop the air packaged holiday, and in doing so founded the United Kingdom's second-largest airline. The coachbuilder, too, moved into aerospace. It is still in that industry and chances are that it made some parts of the Boeing or Airbus that took you on your last holiday or business trip.
Unbelievably, this is not the plot for a new TV series; it is the story of Bellhouse Hartwell, Beccols, Blue Cars and Brittania Airways, as retold in this book.
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