Gillinghams Coaches was established in the mid 1930’s by Andrew Gillingham at which time it was based in Maiden Law near Lanchester.
In the early years the company ran a Durham to Stanley local service route. The company later became a founding member of the Diamond bus group teaming up with Mowbrays and Hammels. Andrew’s son Tommy was in the Royal Navy and worked for his father while on leave.
Andrew retired and Gillinghams Coaches was then restarted by Tommy Gillingham in the mid 1950’s where it moved to the current address in Victoria Terrace, Catchgate. Tommy married Mary Dixon who’s family also ran a separate local coach services.
“Under Tommy and Mary the company held long term service contracts with Durham County Council and provided a daily service to the local bingo halls in Gateshead and Stanley.”
The company began taking on private hire works including regular holiday trips to Blackpool. Tommy and Mary had three children, daughter Margaret and two sons Tom and Richard and following the death of their father in 1997 Tom and Richard took over the running of the company. During the last 2 decades Gillinghams have grown to now provide a range of coaches from 25-70 seats.