Wallace Arnold Worldchoice is the company that owns Coachholidays.com, and it has reached the impressive age of 65 this year after a long and varied history.
The story starts in 1937, when Frank Flin set up Homeland Tours as a coach operator based in Park Lane, Croydon, but with the outbreak of the second world war, the Ministry of Defence commandeered his coaches, and only a few of the original fleet were returned in working condition. Meanwhile, Robert Barr of Wallace Arnold had been running the successful coach operator in Leeds, which had been around since 1912, and after the War, was looking to expand the company to start operating out of London. Mr Flin decided to sell what was left of his coach company to Wallace Arnold in 1948, who asked him to keep the booking office to continue making reservations for Wallace Arnold holidays.
Within a few years, the reservations office had so much business from Wallace Arnold, that Homeland Tours changed their trading name to Wallace Arnold Tours. They later joined the Worldchoice consortium of independent travel agents and changed their name again to Wallace Arnold Worldchoice. Fortunately Shearings allowed the travel agency to keep their name when they bought the coach business of Wallace Arnold in 2005 and we are still going strong in George Street, just a few yards away from the site of the original office. After 65 years, the travel agency is still very much a family business, now being run by Frank’s grandson John Flin.