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Emotional curtain call for family business after three generations and 108 years

PUBLISHED: 18:08 11 August 2018 | UPDATED: 18:08 11 August 2018

Charles Reynolds at the auction which saw the company sell everything it owned. Photo: James Carr.

Charles Reynolds at the auction which saw the company sell everything it owned. Photo: James Carr.

Archant

As the gavel came down on the final lot Charles Reynolds was overcome with a mixture of emotions.

All twenty coaches were sold at the auction. Photo: James Carr.All twenty coaches were sold at the auction. Photo: James Carr.

The sound signified the end of 108 years of Reynolds Coaches.

Three generations of the Reynolds family have proudly run the Caister-on-Sea business but an aggressive lung cancer diagnosis has forced the end of an era.

At an auction earlier today the firm sold off everything it owned – from £200,000 coaches to spare brooms.

All 20 coaches up for auction were sold.

All twenty coaches were sold at the auction. Photo: James Carr.All twenty coaches were sold at the auction. Photo: James Carr.

Mr Reynolds described the bittersweet curtain call as “overwhelming”.

He said: “I’m absolutely saddened by the fact this day has come but I am so proud of how we have turned the fleet out.

“And I am so glad we finished on a big high - this has been very successful.

“The coaches are going to owners all over the country, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland – and they are all going to good homes.”

All twenty coaches were sold at the auction. Photo: James Carr.All twenty coaches were sold at the auction. Photo: James Carr.

The 62-year-old took the decision to sell up after he was diagnosed with cancer last year.

While chemotherapy initially seemed successful and he was given the all clear, the cancer soon returned and he has since started a new course of treatment.

Mr Reynolds’ grandfather set up the business in 1910 – starting with horses and carts.

From the holiday heyday to countless trips to school the coach firm occupies a special place in the hearts and minds of numerous Norfolk residents – many of which voiced their support for My Reynolds.

Charles Reynolds and Sean Connolly. Photo: James Carr.Charles Reynolds and Sean Connolly. Photo: James Carr.

He added: “I have been overwhelmed by literally hundreds of letters, emails and phone calls from my customers – I didn’t know we were held in such high affection.

“First of all I would like to thank my staff, past and present, they have been so loyal and we have been a team throughout.

“But mostly I will miss my customers who I think we have served well for three generations.”

Sean Connolly of East Coast Coaches travelled from Northern Ireland to be at the auction.

He said: “It going to be hard on Charles - it would be hard for anybody, especially a family business.

“They call it the bus disease – you complain about it but you can never give it up.

“I wish him all the best.”

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