HUNTOF  ALFORD                                           

Operating then from Alford to Boston

90th ANNIVERSARY YEAR 1930 - 2020

Please note this is a site of historical record and does not contain current service information

For current travel information and timetables visit the website Traveline East Midlands

Based in the market town of Alford at the foot of the Lincolnshire Wolds, this business was started in March 1930 by Frederick Hunt (who had previously driven for Wrights of Louth) with a 14-seater Chevrolet. That first vehicle was employed to run from Alford to and from Boston three times a day. Whilst Hunt's have had many Bedfords over the years (operating virtually every type from WLB through OB and SB to YMT) it is known that a 1929 Chevrolet LQ 14-seater UT5717 was bought by Hunts in 1933 from Farrow of Melton Mowbray. (History repeats itself sometimes and in 1979 a 1968 Bedford VAM / Duple 45-seater WUY472G came from Farrow to Hunts). An early acquisition in 1936 was three further routes and a Reo Gold Crown from Fenwick of Old Bolingbroke, who had acquired them a year earlier in 1935 from J W Streets of Keal Cotes; the routes involved were from Stickford Fenside to Skegness, Boston and Spilsby. By 1941 there were 16 vehicles in the fleet, covering a typical mix of schools, works and local buses. Other local operators businesses were acquired, and the business of  A H Buttery of Eastville was bought in 1951.

The illustration below shows an undated timetable from this long established Lincolnshire operator (with hand written updates) showing their then main route from Alford through Spilsby to Boston, and also showing supplementary market day and workers services.  The timetable is from 1961 or later as it contains the route from Firsby to Boston introduced in June 1961 (and probably related to the closure of Eastville railway station that year)

The main Boston service was still in operation in 1978, although by then reduced to four days a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday).  Hunts - the Spirit of Lincolnshire continue to this day as operators of a fleet of luxury coaches, with an extensive holiday tours programme, as well as private hire work. The family firm still provides several bus services in and around the area, but the routes and services shown in the timetable below no longer operate.  (Alford to Boston now requires a change of buses at Spilsby, with the operator Brylaine).

In the 1970s the two sons Charles and Michael (now the managing director) took over the business and the company continues to expand and prosper to this day. The business became F Hunt Coach Hire Limited in 2005. The bus and coach fleet in 2013 numbered twenty-three vehicles, ranging in size from 25 to 53 seats, including four minibuses, two single-deck buses and three double-deckers. After Charles's retirement in 2013, Michael took over full control of the business, which emains a family firm. Now in 2017 there are 33 vehicles in the fleet.

The main bus route is from Alford to Skegness two-hourly, increased in the summer season to hourly, with additional journeys between Chapel St Leonards, Ingoldmells, Butlins and Skegness. The sector between Chapel and Skegness is duplicated by several other operators services.  All year round there are market day services from Alford and Skegness to Boston (Wednesday), Skegness and Alford to Grimsby (Tuesday) and Alford to Louth (Wednesday); also an Alford town sevice (Tuesday).

hunts bell punch tickets
Historical timetable from 1961 for the routes to Boston

Hunt's Leyland bus MCK229J seen at the depot in 1989
(photo with thanks from the johnmightycat1 collection)

Hunts 1989 MCK229J

Bus routes operated by F Hunt in 1977
Alford - Spilsby - Eastville - Boston

Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays
Little Steeping - Spilsby

Mondays (one return journey)
Stickford Fenside - Thorpe Culvert - Skegness

Tuesdays (one return journey)

with many thanks to John Brogden for the loan of the timetable,

and incorporating information from articles and publications

by Roy Marshall and David Kaye found in the libraries of Lincolnshire