A family-owned company, Gardiners NMC has a pedigree stretching back more than 30 years. Today, the company is a well-known name in coaching in north east England.
The story begins in the early 1980s when Glenn Smith started working in the coach industry, operating coaches for various travel companies on tours, excursions and private hires in the UK and continental Europe. His son, Adrian, started his career working in well-known high street stores. In the mid-1990s, they acquired Northumbria Mini Coaches (NMC), turning it into one of the largest privately-owned coach and bus companies in north east England.
In April 2008, they sold the bus side of the business to the national bus operator Go Ahead. The remaining business became NMC Tours Limited with offices in Newbiggin by the Sea near Ashington. The shop window initially featured a single day trip and one coach holiday a month!
At the same time that all this was going on, Glenn and Adrian were in talks with Gardiners Travel of Spennymoor, a highly reputable County Durham company with its own 75-year pedigree. It wasn’t long before Gardiners Travel and its coaching operation was acquired.
But what to call the new company and maintain the reputation and goodwill built up over all those years. There really was only one answer, and Gardiners NMC was born.
The Gardiners’ tour programme was revitalised to offer a new and exciting Gardiners NMC range of tours, holidays and day trips. The programme featured a new range of ‘easy-to-access’ pick-up points throughout the north east and home collection. All the hotels were a minimum of 3-star with all excursions included in the price. A new website was introduced with secure online booking facilities. In 2010, Gardiners NMC joined together with a number of leading high street travel agents to expand the number of booking locations across the north east.
The new programme, combined with a commitment to quality and customer service saw Gardiners NMC expand. In 2011, following three successful years in Newbiggin by the Sea, the company moved to new offices in Ashington town centre. But even that wasn’t enough. In 2013, the company moved to a new garage and offices in Coopies Lane Industrial Estate, Morpeth bringing the coach fleet, garage and office staff all under the one roof, in 2019 they purchased a new shop on Newbiggin Road, Ashington which is now a travel shop.
In 2020 the company was hit by COVID19, all tours cancelled, all coaches parked up and all income taken away overnight! With refunds due to customers and the company having over £200k in a cash bond to protect customers from financial failure through the Bonded Coach Holiday scheme, the companies Gardiners NMC Limited, (North East) and (Epsom) had to be placed into liquidation to allow customers to be refunded.
After many years of hard work by the Smith family, Glenn has retired from operating coaches and coach holidays and the next generation has set-up Gardiners Holidays Limited to offer holidays from the North East initially. They have avoided Bonded Coach Holiday scheme due to the way the have treated everyone concered including trying to avoid paying customers their entitled monies!
We are proud of what was achieved in the 10 years as Gardiners NMC Limited, and what will be achieved under Gardiners Holidays Limited. We will continue to strive for excellence and look to become finalists and winners in National Coach Tourism Awards and the UK Coach Awards, but most of all..... serving our customers and offering them the very best in coach holidays.