The family have regrettably to announce the death of our father and the founder of Sanders Coaches, Norman Sanders, after a short Illness:
Norman was born in Woodford Essex in 1930 and worked as a steam fitter on British Rail for many years. After the change to diesel in the early 60’s he was retrained, but found the fumes caused him illness, The family Doctor suggested a new start and in 1968 the family moved to Sheringham in North Norfolk where they had enjoyed many holidays.
Norman first worked at Kingsland engineering but hated the indoor factory life so took a job with mascot Coaches at Cromer as a mechanic and there he first learnt to drive a coach.
Mascot was taken over by Reynolds Coaches and in summer 1975 Norman left Reynolds to join the 5 coach business of Bennett’s coaches at Holt. George Bennett unexpectedly told Norman in October of the same year he was going to retire and Norman was worried about his job and income.
Having discussed with George what might happen George again unexpectedly said “ Look Norman, you seem to know what your doing why don’t you take it over “ Norman who had 6 children at home and no money said I can’t afford to and George said no worries you can pay me as you go.
On Norman’s 45th Birthday at the end of the day he was handed the keys of the 6 vehicles and Sanders Coaches was born the next morning the 1st December 1975. Little did he envisage that day how the company would expand and grow over the next 25 years. By the year 2000 the company was operating close to 100 vehicles. As other company’s dropped rural routes a way was found to replace them, Norman was passionate about serving his local community and ensuring peoples transport links remained open. He was often to be found out in his car collecting someone who had mistakenly missed the bus and had an important appointment. Norman and his wife Gladys spent many years personally escorting many of the 50 plus coach holidays and short breaks they arranged each year. Their personal style and delivery of these Holidays was unique and very successful for that reason.
Norman hung up his driving gloves on his 80Th birthday Nov 30th 2010 after what can only be described as a job very well done – The Company he built will go on as a living testimony to his life’s work.
Norman leaves 6 children, 17 grandchildren and 4 great grand children who will all miss him very much. We will of course announce his funeral arrangements once we have them.
Valerie, Charles, Andrew, Paul , Mary and Helen. ( Norman’s children )