Bus and Coach Operators

Burnham and District Services

This was run by Harry Sefton from a garage in Maldon Road ,Althorne from 1928.

Although official address of the garage was referred to as Oakleigh Garage it's popular name was the 'Tin Whistle Garage'

The reason for this was that the previous use of the premises was in the manufacture of tin.

A daily service from Burnham to Maldon and two journeys per week to Chelmsford were operated.

Sefton's buses were unreliable and as a result he  sold his routes to Quest Motor Services who were his main competitors.

The tin whistle garage returned to it's base as a motor garage until it closed in the 1960's.

A A Ford- Althorne

This was run by Mr Ford at Althorne who in 1929 bought a coach which he used for private hire and then in 1931 tried services from Althorne via Hazeleigh to Maldon on Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday  and another to Southend.

These proved unsuccessful so by 1934 Mr Ford closed the bus routes and returned to his core business of garage proprietor and private hire.

In various Kelly's directories over this period Anthony Ford of Three Ways Garage is shown as a motor engineer so it appears that the motor bus was an extension of his main business.

The business still thrives today as Fords Coaches under a new generation of the Ford family.

John Kemp, Tillingham

John Kemp was an early entrepreneur described in various Kelly's as  cycle agents , corn dealers and agricultural haulage operators.

For a short period he operated a service on Fridays from Bradwell via Tillingham to Chelmsford.

The route was taken over by Eastern National in 1934.

Pride of the Marshes

Pride of the Marshes was one of the first of the regular bus operators in Eastern Essex starting up in about 1925 from their base at Bramble Farm, Steeple.

The proprietors were Herbert Martin and Bernard Inman.

Their small blue buses became a familiar site on the northern part of Eastern Essex connecting Bradwell to Maldon via Southminster  for a fare of 2 shillings.

 They later added and extension of service to Burnham on Crouch.

By 1929 Kelly's directory listed them as Martin and Inman, Omnibus proprietors.

Later that year Martin and Inman decided to sell the business to the Tabersham Brothers who renamed the buses Pride Associated Coaches.

By 1933 Bramble Farm had reverted to a poultry farm

Pride Associated Coaches.

The Tabersham Brothers came from London and probably recognised a business opportunity in an area with little public transport.

They established a base at Mayland in the grounds of the Rosary Tea rooms.

Their next step was to take over the Burnham and District route to Chelmsford from Harry Sefton leaving themselves and Quest as the two main local operators.

A three times daily service from Maldon to London with connections to the other Pride routes was the next step but they seem to have overreached themselves as problems of reliability increased and the London route was taken over by Quest and by 1933 Quest was able to take over the remaining routes.

Kelly's Directory of 1933 shows the Rosary Tea rooms being run by the Misses Bryant with no mention of Pride Associated Coaches.

Quest Motor Services


Quest Motors was run by Jimmy Gozzett from Maldon who in 1929 established Quest Motors as a Maldon based company.

Perhaps influence by his wife Phillys who was a Southminster girl or perhaps by the business opportunity Mr Gozzett quickly moved into the Dengie 100 with a bus service to Burnham.

Quest seem to have been involved in a local power struggle with Pride Coaches ( See above) which they won giving them domination of the market until they sold out to Eastern National in 1935.

Most of the villages could access a Quest bus via the daily routes

Maldon to Burnham on Crouch

Maldon to Bradwell on Sea

Maldon to Wickford

Maldon to North Fambridge

At it's peak Quest ran a fleet of 14 buses.

In Kelly's director of 1933 Quest Motor Coach Office, Motor Coach Proprietors were shown as running from 29 and 31 High Street, Maldon. while James William Gozzett was shown as running all weather coaches and saloons from the Garage at the Causeway, Maldon.

Under residents James Gozett was listed as living at 66 Victoria Road, Maldon.

Quest Motors are still trading as motor engineers at Maldon run by a member of the Gozzett family.

Rolfes of Woodham Walter

The Rolfes operated a successful nursery business in Woodham Walter, founded in the mid 1800's and is still operating today.

In the early 1920's Thomas Walter Rolfe bought a Chevrolet coach and began daily service from Woodham Walter to Maldon.

The service operated until 1953 when it was bought out by Eastern National.

A 1930's timetable shows  service on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with stops at the Bell Inn, The Cats Inn, Colickey Green , North Hall, The Corner to Beeleigh and then Maldon .

Colickey Green is now known as Curling Tye Green.

The service was still seen as secondary importance to the nursery as in 1937 Rolfe is still listed as a nurseryman in a trade directoy.

In his book 'Just the Ticket' David Thornton relates that Rolfey or Donkey as he was nicknamed took orders for fish and chips from housewives en route to Maldon . On arrival he purchased the items from Whales at Maldon and then delivered them on the return journey!

Eastern National

The big firm in Essex that swallowed up the competition,

From 1935 when it took over Quest Motors it had the monopoly of bus routes in Eastern Essex.