A small operator with large horizons

Title: Cooks Way

Author/Publisher: John Hammond

ISBN: 978-1-3999-1572-4

Specification: 295mm x 210mm, 88pp, softback

Price: £10 (£14 by mail order from John Hammond, 186 Charlton Road, Keynsham, Bristol, BS31 2LG)

In many ways, Cooks of Biggleswade was a typical small independent coach operator.

Its fleet never exceeded nine vehicles and it thrived on a mixture of private hires, factory and school contracts, coastal express services, excursions and extended tours, with a small local bus operation added towards the end of its 50- year existence.

But it was different in at least one other respect highlighted by John Hammond in this modestly priced and well-researched history.

That was the ambitious approach it took to operating continental European coach holidays.

One of the many photographs shows the third coach Cooks owned, a 1947 Bedford OB with Pearson bodywork that was in the fleet from 1949 to 1955, on the Gotthard Pass in the Swiss Alps. We tend not to associate those little bonneted Bedfords with such lengthy journeys.

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