Joan Johnson Wins at the British Coach Tourism Awards

Date Added 22/03/2017

We are delighted to announce that Joan Johnson won the Recognition Award for Service to the Industry at the British Coach Tourism Awards 2017.

The awards held on Wednesday 22nd March 2017 at The National Motorcycle Museum and organised by trade magazine Group Tourism & Travel Magazine, recognises excellence and innovation across coach tour operators, tourist destinations, attractions and industry suppliers.

Joan Johnson won the Recognition Award, however was unfortunately unable to attend to collect the award. John Johnson collected the award on behalf of Joan, with his team in front of more than 400 tourism industry professionals and presented by TV personality Gethin Jones.

Having been in the business for 60 years, it is only in 2016 that Joan, our winner decided to retire.

Having joined the business in 1956, with just 3 coaches, a furniture removal lorry and a taxi, Joan was soon raising 5 children whilst running a business and becoming one of the first ever female coach drivers in the UK.

In 1981 the first coach tour was completed to Blair Gowrie with her son, John Johnson and from there, Joan has accompanied over 350 tours all over the UK, Europe and Worldwide.

Joan's dedication to the family business saw her taking on research to each destination and excursion, a particular favourite being the Isles of Scilly. She always made sure that customers were well looked after Joan even canme up with the company’s motto ‘Travel with Johnsons, Travel with Friends’.

To top it all off, in her spare time she volunteers for the local charity, raising over £11k in just three years.

This is what one of our long standing drivers said about Joan;

"Joan  has always been a person that has looked after all the people around her, from the driver, to the hotel staff, to the passengers. She’s always concerned about everyone but herself, making sure everyone is ok.

She has never made out that she was the boss or part of management, in fact she went out of her way not to advertise herself as the boss as she didn’t want favours from anyone and didn’t want people to act differently. Joan made you feel that she was just one of the girls and just doing her job, that she was no different to anyone else which made you feel instantly at ease.

I loved working with her, she always went above and beyond the call of duty. Always did her homework and even after a long trip when we were absolutely shattered she would still always give time to everyone before herself.

Joan is one of life’s genuine carers. When I look back to the early days, I was always amazed that she was not only bringing up her family, running a coach company, as well as becoming one of the first ladies in the country to drive a coach but that she always had time for everyone and anyone. Joan would go anywhere and drop anything to help someone. On top of all that -  she was a damn good courier!

On my very first tour, I had Joan as my courier and the coach we had had a manual door and no courier seat so Joan had to sit on the top step for the whole journey. She used to say in the early days;  ‘Don’t worry if you run out of hours, I’ll take over!’ even though she was there to be the courier!
Joan is small in stature but works tirelessly like a tiger, nothing phases her. If she was tired, she never showed it.  Joan always showed great aptitude for the job, I can’t speak more highly of her!"

Adrian Pointon, Driver for 32 Years and did his very first tour with Joan to Scarborough.

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