Although the short 22 year history of Marfleet’s Coaches began in 1960, when Marfleet and Son, described as car proprietors, of Binbrook, Lincolnshire, began operating coaches on private hire and school contract journeys, the Marfleet involvement in local transport goes back to the turn of the century.
The lack of a railway connection serving Binbrook meant that, at the turn of the century, carriers’ carts were the main lifeline for the village.
These carts provided a regular service between Binbrook and nearby towns, such as Grimsby, Louth, Market Rasen and Caistor, with the local housewives entrusting their shopping lists to certain carriers.
There were four separate carriers operating out of Binbrook at the beginning of the century, including one Edward Marfleet, but by 1920 these had all but disappeared, replaced by the motorbus.
In 1972 Mr. Stanley Marfleet was to recall, ” My father, Mr Bert Marfleet, was the first of the old carriers to operate a motorbus service from Binbrook, using an old type 14-seater Model T Ford. This was way back in 1919.”
Little is known of this service, but records do show that a motorbus named ‘Rambler No. 1’, crashed at Waltham in 1926, the conductor of which was named Marfleet. The service had ceased by 1931.
The bus business was resurrected in 1960, when Marfleet’s purchased several coaches for private hire and contract work, which included the provision of school bus services for the local Education Authority in Market Rasen, Caistor, Louth, Binbrook and Ravendale.
In addition the company operated six of the County Council’s own vehicles.
Initially the livery was red and cream, but when FJN165-166 were acquired in 1965 they retained their Eastern National Tilling green livery.
KTV123 had already been placed in service sporting a dark blue with three light blue bands livery, courtesy of Grimsby-Cleethorpes Transport, and it was not until later that the company adopted a light blue and cream livery.
The fleet was a mixture of second-hand vehicles of varying makes. One of the first vehicles in the fleet was a 1948 Leyland Tiger PS1/1 with Bellhouse Hartwell C33F bodywork, originally with Smith of Wigan, which had been subsequently operated for 11 years by Delaine of Bourne.
This vehicle lasted only a further two years with Marfleet’s before being scrapped in 1962. It joined the fleet in 1960 with two other elderly vehicles, a 1939 AEC Regal and a 1948 Foden PVSC6.
The first double-decker arrived in 1963 when an ex-Nottingham Corporation 1949 AEC Regent III with MCCW H30/26R bodywork joined the fleet.
In 1973 the first new vehicle was purchased, a Leyland Leopard PSU3B/4R with Plaxton Elite Express III C53F bodywork.
This vehicle was still in service at the company’s demise, along with a Ford R1014 (OFW695M) and a Leyland Leopard PSU3E/4R (BTL485X), the only other vehicles purchased new.
Throughout the history of the company, close ties were maintained with Peter Sheffield of Cleethorpes and many interchanges of vehicles took place between the two fleets.
Sadly, in August 1981, Stanley Marfleet died on holiday in Torquay at the relatively early age of 59.
With no immediate family to continue the business, his estate fell into the hands of the banks, who sold off the company’s assets, bringing to an end 22 years of Marfleet’s Coaches in Binbrook.
This history has been compiled with information supplied by John K. Marfleet to whom we extend our thanks. If anyone can provide further information John would be pleased to hear from you at; [email protected] .