Edwards Through The Years
The Edwards family, who were originally from Llamphey in Pembrokeshire, moved to the Rhondda valleys during the latter part of the 19th century. The brothers George, William and James Edwards were heavily involved in the construction industry. Together they built most of the houses in Clydach Vale, the Tonypandy Grammar School and the Judges Hall to name just a few.
The First World War saw the decline of the building firm as there was a shortage of labour and contracts could not be fulfilled. The firm eventually became bankrupt during the depression in the post war years. George and his family moved from the Rhondda to a small farm in the village of Beddau. This was to be the base for the new venture into public transport called Edwards Bros (Beddau) Ltd. The first vehicle purchased and shown in the picture above was a 1920 Spa charabanc. The gentleman fifth from the left in picture 1 at the bottom of this page is the founder George Edwards with his son Cyril at the wheel. The company not only transported day-trippers to the seaside and the races but started the local bus service into the market town of Pontypridd.
We are the award winning Edwards Coaches, a well established family business and one of Wales’ leading premier tour operators boasting a history of innovation that began in 1925.
During the Second World War, Edwards carried workers to the munitions factory in Bridgend and in the 1950s and 60s to the booming Treforest Industrial Estate.
By then, long distance coaching was becoming popular with the advent of luxury coaches boasting heaters and a radio. Popular destinations for groups would be to Bath, Blackpool, Evesham, Stratford and London. The first tours into Europe took place in the early sixties. Favourite destinations were Ostend, Paris and even as far afield as Austria. From the 1970s and for the next 30 years “Edwards” gradually evolved through some tumultuous years with mergers, takeovers and family feuds.
By 1984 the company had outgrown its historical base at Ty Twarch, Beddau and moved to its current headquarters in Llantwit Fardre. This allowed the company to grow from a small operator of 18 vehicles in 1970 to 60 vehicles by the year 2000. Today (2018) there are 300 vehicles operated.
Further expansion was made possible through the acquisition of the factory unit next door which was turned into a garage maintenance facility. The company now has an 8 acre parking and maintenance depot with its own MOT test centre, body repair shop and spray booth.
There are also satellite depots in Abercynon, Wattstown, Barry, Newport, Cardiff , Llanelli and a full maintenance facility in Llansamlet, Swansea. We carry more than 6,500 students to school each day, operate most of the coaches that travel out of Wales for “National Express”, 364 days of the year around the clock. We transport over 80,000 clients on our own holiday programme and we still operate the local bus service to the market town of Pontypridd and also into Cardiff city centre.
Our Groups department consists of a team of enthusiastic and knowledgeable group travel experts, who give large groups the opportunity to tailor their own tours and can assist them in making their ideas a reality. We have an extremely busy private hire department that provide coaches for not only local clubs and societies but the Wales rugby and football teams, Cardiff City football club, The British Lions and most of the visiting teams to the Principality Stadium. Edwards boasts an unrivalled Educational Tour department called Ecole which provides high quality tours and travel for schools and colleges. In addition we own and run a hotel in Cornwall.
More From the Past
The first coach or “charabanc” as they were commonly known, was a 1920 Spa. The above photograph shows this vehicle with Cyril Edwards at the wheel. The gentleman with the moustache in the centre of the picture is the company founder, George Edwards.
ABS company was a merger of Edwards, Greys, Bebbs, Maisey’s & Gardeners. The merger of the companies took place in order to compete against the Rhondda Bus Company and Western Welsh
This Tilling Stevins bus, was the first bus Lyn Edwards drove.
He received a call at 5am from his brother Alvis to be told the vehicle had run out of fuel on the Broadway in Treforest. Lyn fuelled the bus and started it up, Alvis called out “meet you back at the garage” and left Lyn to drive the bus back home to Beddau. Lyn was aged 14 at the time.
A Bedford Duple Seagull. This bus was collected from Blackpool by Lyn Edwards. The bus is parked outside the County Cinema, Sardis Road, Pontypridd whilst on the Beddau to Pontypridd service run.
A trip to Scotland during 1950. Denzil Edwards is the driver in the doorway. From the passenger clothing we’re taking a guess that it was to watch a Scotland V Wales rugby match.
Bedford Duple, 33 seats.