About us

With over 95 years' experience, Barnes Coaches are the largest and most modern coach operator in the area. We have a full range of vehicles from 8 to 100 seats and can cater for any requirement. We specialise in a wide variety of areas offering Coach Hire, Holidays, Day Trips, Theatres and Concerts.

Background

  • 1920

    Tommy Barnes became the village carrier from Aldbourne to Hungerford. He acquired two carts and six horses from his predecessor, Jimmy Martin. The whole operation was run from 15 The Square, where they also had a yard.

    The first passenger vehicle was a seven seater wagonette, drawn by a single horse, which went to Hungerford 3 times daily to meet the London train.

  • 1924

    In 1924 Tommy purchased his first motor vehicle!

  • 1927

    In 1927 Tommy increased his fleet with a second Ford T van and two Ford T 14 seater carrier’s buses.

  • 1932

    In 1932 two Ford AA's were added, and famous Aldbourne author Hammond Innes describes in a letter to the Aldbourne Parish News how "I went to the war in a Barnes' bus, and came back from the war in a Barnes' bus"

  • 1951

    Tommy was already playing in the village band, and an ardent Swindon Town Football Club supporter. This was the beginning of a long and happy relationship of being Swindon Town FC's main travel firm – still so today, as well as that of the Aldbourne Band.

    After the war, Jim and Bob joined the business, together with their sister Ena's husband Joe Hewlett. Jim and Bob both played tenor horn in the Band, as had Tommy. Jim’s young son Lionel was by now helping with the carrying business. Bob and a young Cyril Barrett (who retired after serving more than 46 years with them!) drove the 29 and 31 seater coaches in 1951.

  • 1963

    In 1963 Lionel joined the family business, and later his wife Sue.

  • 1974

    In 1974 his sister Elizabeth joined the administration team, and then her husband Kevin. By that time a main part of the coach business was for school runs, as well as private hire.

  • 1978

    In 1978 the livery was established as green and white.

  • 1983

    1983 saw the holiday travel business taking off in earnest, and their first brochure was printed.

  • 1990

    In 1990 some land was purchased to increase the size of the yard, as by now there were some 20 coaches in the fleet. Terence Barnes – Bob’s son – joined the company.

  • 1994

    In 1994 the old Bell Inn, next door, was purchased for office accommodation.

    Bob's daughter Jean joined the company, and later her husband Steve also joined.

  • 1995

    By 1995 the Barnes fleet comprised 23 coaches, one van and one recovery lorry, company employees numbered 22 drivers, 2 fitters and 4 office staff. Both Lionel and Terence continued the family tradition of playing in the Aldbourne Band, as does Lionel's son Luke, today.

  • 2000

    Going in to the new millennium, Lionel and Sue’s 2 sons, Matthew and Luke plus Bob’s younger son Russell joined the company. However, most dramatically, after more than 85 years of operating in Aldbourne they were forced to move to larger premises at South Marston.

  • The Future of Barnes

    Barnes Coaches will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2020.