Channel Coachways

Operated from c.Mar 1963 to Unknown

Founder/Director – Reginald ‘Jack’ Jones – (From 1972) Les Caten & Roy Jennings

Looking for a way to get passengers to the airport more quickly and efficiently, Channel Airways went out on a limb and began their very own private coach service. These coaches would essentially fulfil three purposes, that of shuttling passengers back and forth between Rochford railway station and SEN (roughly a mile and a half by road), picking up passengers from the many small towns and villages around Essex and finally bringing passengers in directly from London (although other cities and towns such as Brighton were occasionally serviced too). The fleet was initially comprised of two types, an older 1950s AEC Reliance and the more modern Bedford/Ford Duple Viceroy although both were said to have luxury interiors. Indeed, these coaches eventually became a common sight in the short stay car park located in front of the airport’s terminal.

When Channel Airways finally collapsed in February 1972, the fleet and company name were taken over by two of the company’s drivers (Les Caten already having his own small operation in Westcliff) and more modern vehicles were gradually added. The company remit also changed somewhat and while Rochford station services were undertaken with the AEC Reliance and Bristol SUL until at least the early 1980s, this company would begin to branch out into local school’s contracts, away-days and Continental trips. Needless to say, the company fleet would still be based at the airport although by this time, the parking area had moved to what was then the long-term car park. From this point on, this company’s history becomes hazy and it would seem that around 1996 Channel Coachways relocated to Bow in London where it continued to operate for at least another 12 years although its ultimate fate remains unknown.


Channel Coachways fleet from 1963 to 1996

(Select coaches seen at SEN)

AEC Reliance

8627 DT

Ford/Bedford Duple Viceroy

KJN 818E

KJN 819E

KJN 820E

KJN 821E

KJN 822E

KJN 823E

MFV 196F

Bristol SUL

275 KTA

Harrington Reliance

VWW 16

WWN 189

Bedford Plaxton C51F

BNW 636C

Bedford Plaxton


Leyland Leopard Duple Dominant

NNW 113P

IVECO Vanhool R1114

KIW 86 06

Leyland Tiger

JVW 157Y

Scania K112

A565 TVD

Volvo ?



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