Argyll’s strategically entrepreneurial West Coast Motors has recently expanded to the east coast, with the acquisition of Berwick Upon Tweed based Perryman’s Buses Ltd.
Perryman’s employs around seventy five people and has a fleet of 45 buses and coaches operating out of depots based in Berwick Upon Tweed and St. Boswells. WCM now employs around 350 people and has a fleet of 175 buses and coaches operating under different subsidiary companies and out of a variety of depots, with services in much of Scotland – including the Isle of Mull.
As seems to be a recurring motif in West Coast Motor’s acquisitions, Perryman’s is also a family and family run business. Such operations have a very specific ethos of local service and local employment – a perspective and a philosophy familiar to WCM. Perrymans’ local teams are being retained by WCM.
Roddy Perryman, the third generation of his family in the company and who had worked alongside his parents Richard and Linda Perryman, together developing the business into what it is today, was said to be staying with the company. However, it was confirmed to us today, 28th April – in working to make contact with the Perrymans to talk about the history of the business – that no member of the Perryman family is still with the company.
Colin Craig, the energy driving West Coast Motors, says: ‘It is very much our aim to continue the good work undertaken previously as well as to build on this with further investment in fleet and customer focused systems in the coming years. We believe that our experience and synergies with our other businesses will bring long-term benefits to Perryman’s and its customers as we develop and expand our range of services in the south and east of Scotland and north of England.’
Perrymans’ runs an east coast service between Berwick Upon Tweed and Edinburgh, local services in Berwick – and in the Scottish Borders and into Northumberland. This is an exciting extension of WCM’s reach and brand – with the Northumberland operation resonating as a powerful and empty landscape – as is Kintyre. [Try Mark Knopfler’s Fare Thee Well Northumberland on Spotify for a visceral sense of place.]
The Northumberland sector includes a service that may well be the only one of its kind in the world- and certainly in the United Kingdom.
This is a daily summer season and irregular winter season bus service on Perryman’s Route 477 from Berwick Upon Tweed right out to Lindisfarne’s Holy Island in the Farne Islands – on the tidal causeway. This dictates that the service is generally twice daily but occasionally once – with the timetable changing daily according to tide times.
Beat that for a Unique Selling Point – and adding hugely to the experience of a trip out to Holy Island.
For a bus specialist company like WCM which, through its subsidiary, Kintyre Express, runs a 12-seater fast passenger ferry from Campbeltown across the North Channel to Ballycastle on the north coast of Ireland and on from there to Port Ellen in Islay – what else could they do for variety but buy into a bus service to an island.
This is so WCM.
Note: The image above has been rephotographed and cropped by us from an uncredited photograph in an informative online brochure here – ‘Enjoy the Northumberland Coast by Bus’ – developed by Northumberland Coast AONB Partnership.