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The Harry Shaw Story

Harry Shaw now operate one of the UK’s largest privately owned coach and travel businesses.

It wasn’t always like this though - Harry Shaw actually started the business in 1951 with a milk float and two milk churns! Milk was not delivered in bottles then - Harry rather delivered it by the jug direct to people’s houses.

Things progressed quickly and Harry imported some of the first milk vending machines direct from Chicago, USA, to put into Coventry’s booming car factories. Soon Harry was selling more milk than anybody else via vending machines in the Midlands.

From here he rapidly moved into road haulage and sent some of the first lorries from the UK direct to Milan in Italy.

Coaches were next - Harry bought his first coach in 1964 and soon established a name for top quality vehicles. In the ‘60’s and ‘70’s the business was unique as he renewed his vehicles every 12 months. The coaches were painted sky blue - and again this was unheard of at the time as every other coach was painted green or red! Harry, however, wanted the vehicles to be in the same colour as his milk lorries. It is surprising when you look around now just how many coaches have blue on them!

Travel Agencies were next. Robert and John joined the business in 1981 and the 1980’s saw Harry Shaw grow rapidly in the travel business. Coach tour operations were started to Mediterranean resorts and a whole host of UK and European tours entered the programme.

In the mid 1980’s Harry Shaw became famous nation-wide for actually paying people to take a holiday! The Company paid each client £5 to go away as a promotional offer. At the time it was estimated this generated over £2 million worth of publicity!

Throughout the years the coach fleet was constantly being up-dated and the, by now, orange vehicles were a familiar sight throughout the UK and Europe.

In the early 1990's the Company were amongst the first to see the opportunities made available by the opening of the Disneyland® Resort Theme Park at Paris. A programme of trips was developed staying in both 'on site' and 'off site' hotels. These trips are still popular today and Harry Shaw takes clients to the resort throughout the year.

The Company has also become renowned for providing great value trips to see concerts and events both in the UK and in Europe.

Harry Shaw are still one of the only companies in the UK to operate holidays to Spain by coach. These days our Super Coaches operate the route.

Of course the Company holds a full ABTA licence and CAA ATOL licence.

We are constantly on the lookout for new products and ideas.

We would welcome the chance to bring our exciting world to yours.