It’s a new era for the family business as 16-year-old Louis Goodwin prepares to take the helm from dad Wes in just five years’ time. After all, he’s been learning the ropes since he was 12
Eccles-based operator Go Goodwins has made its stamp on the Manchester and Bolton transport scene over the last 40 years.
And its youngest family member Louis Alan Goodwin is preparing to take on the legacy, learning the business inside out, during school holidays, and now as an apprentice in the workshop.
In 1976 Alan Edward Goodwin started working with his granddad at York Motors in Chorlton-cum-Hardy as a mechanic. A year later he started Goodwins Coaches from his home in Benchill, Wythenshawe.
Within a year his son Geoffrey Alan joined the business, aged 19 and by 1980 the company was developing further and needing new premises.
In 1983 the operation was moved to Stockport and got a new garage and workshop.
Alan’s grandson Wesley (Wes) says: “Grandad was always buying and selling and had between five and ten coaches at any given time.
“It was anything and everything. We had a lot of AEC’s and Plaxton Elites – all 53-seaters.
“It was all used vehicles until 1989 when he bought a new Volvo B10M Jonckheere.”
As the operation grew it started picking up new contracts along the way. One of which was Altrincham Aces Ice Hockey which turned to Trafford Metros. By 1985 the firm had built up a solid reputation and began to earn high profile contracts, one of which was Manchester United Football Club.
In 1994 it bought Erics Way Coaches and moved to larger premises in Salford. Just after that Geoffrey’s 18-year-old son Wes joined the company.
Times weren’t always easy. In 1995 the whole fleet was destroyed in a fire on the eve of Bonfire Night.
However, the family was determined to continue the Goodwins name despite having to start from scratch again. With the strong connections they had built over the years and the trusted client base the firm was soon back on track.
Over the next few years the coaches became more and more bespoke for higher end use. The company began renting its luxury coaches to some of the biggest artists in the world at the time including Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears.
Goodwins also obtained the official coach contract for the England Cricket Board (ECB)
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