It’s been selling days trips and UK holidays for almost a century, but yesterday marked the departure of Travel Wright’s final tour after the operator confirmed it will cease all operations in early April.
The five-day trip, Scottish Borders in Springtime, departed its Newark offices yesterday morning with 48 passengers on board.
“Very sad and a few tears”, the company said on its Facebook page.
It added it was ‘ready to make it a memorable experience for our lovely passengers’.
Travel Gossip revealed in January that Travel Wright was preparing to close – pending a final decision – after it was unable to find a buyer.
Although a potential offer emerged at the last minute, the process of closing the business was already underway.
The business has been owned by the Wright family for almost 100 years, having been founded by Charles Wright in 1926.
It is currently in the hands of his three grandchildren, David and Colin Wright and Paula Allen.
Paula said COVID had played a part in the decision to bring the curtain down. But she stressed it was not the only reason the family had called it a day.
“It was the right time,” she said. “There are a variety of reasons really. We are getting towards retiring age so it’s got to stop sometime.
“The stop-start nature of COVID didn’t help. Over the last couple of years one minute you thought you were coming out of COVID and the next minute you’re refunding everyone, so you’re doing everything twice.
“But we had been looking at it before COVID.”
Paula said the local community had showed its support for the company by plying staff with chocolate and cakes over the past few weeks.
“Now we’ll all have to start training to get fit!” she said.
A post on its Facebook page said: “May we take this opportunity to say thank you for all the lovely messages we have received. It is humbling to know Travel Wright has been so appreciated and well liked over the years.
“We will certainly be taking with us some very happy memories.”