A COMPANY that has been running coach holidays from Malvern since 1976 is to close next year.

Easytravel Coach Holidays is taking bookings for its 2024 tours but they will be its last.

Owner Rachel Williams, who has run the company for nearly 25 years, says the time is right as she approaches her 70th birthday.

“I will miss seeing the regular customers, I will miss seeing them enjoying their holidays and the comments I get,” she said. “But my husband died when he was 57 and I always said I would stop when the time was right.

“I closed the international travel part of the business in August 2020 and said I would continue the coach holidays programme until I was 70, so 2024 will be the last year.”

Mrs Williams took over Easytravel in 1999 following the death of her father Eric Davis.

He had started the business in Worcester Road in 1976 with his redundancy money following the closure of Midland Red’s depot and travel centre in Malvern.

From running coach holidays, the company grew to offer international travel including cruises.

In 1999, Mrs Williams left her job at HSBC to take over the family business.

“I had to make a quick decision,” she said, “but I knew the girls wanted to keep their jobs and people had told me they wanted the business to keep going, so I came in as tea and coffee maker and told them they’d have to show me what to do.

“We only run 10 to 12 holidays a year now but it’s still really popular - we get 30-plus people on every tour.

“It will be a big loss - some people have told me they probably won’t go on another holiday after we’ve gone.

“I’ve had so many comments from people already, and it’s very sad but I’ve got grandchildren now and I have to do the right thing for me.”

Mrs Williams, who also ran the Red Lion in Malvern in the late 80s and early 90s with her late husband Andrew, said the success of Easytravel showed what a small business that is fair and honest with its customers can achieve.