Tom Stanhope bought his first coach, a 12 metre Volvo 49-seater, in 1966, closely followed by a 1969 AEC Classic Coach.
“I called the outfit Byeways for no particular reason,” says Tom. “I operated several coaches for 12 years before retiring, during which time I bought the registrations 804 BYE and805 BYE.
“On a few occasions I was asked why I called the coaches Byeways. My answer was normally that ‘I’m not allowed on motorways. I have to stay on country roads’. This was generally acepted.” Tom believes that both numbers were originally issued by Croydon County Council in 1963 to motorcycles used by the Metropolitan Police.
“As a young man, I subsequently joined the police force in 1965 and served for 25 years,” Tom informs us. “I then ran a driving school for company car drivers, engaged in motorcycle training and also ran a chauffeur service. This vehicle had the registration A11 LDN (‘All London’).
“When I decided to sell the plate, I advertised it in several London taxi drivers publications. Perhaps they didn’t understand it, or were worried that it was too easy to remember. Considering they will not go south of the Thames after 10pm they couldn’t really display it! “
Now fully retired and Byeways Coaches disbanded, Tom is looking to pass the ‘BYE’ registrations on and is currently looking for a ‘TPS’ mark for himself and his wife, Pauline.