The big ‘B’ is everywhere, as I found to my delight when catching photographs at the beginning of this little diary. All the vehicles seem to start, and finish, here in the yard around the Hen House, but they travel everywhere throughout these valleys, all the time.
The BaynesTravel enterprise began long ago in a galaxy a thousand light-years away (I made that up, sorry), thanks to the ingenuity of Dennis Baynes, Nigel’s dad, and his VW dormobile, when he realised that folks could do with a bit of ferrying about between town and village. Dennis was also very fond of his chickens, but unfortunately the chicken house was subsumed in a giant snow bank during a bad winter some time ago.
Ultimately, it seemed reasonable to create parking space among the old sheds behind the Baynes family house, and the space somehow enlarged as the vehicles accumulated. Down now just a bit from their peak, there are some 20 Baynes vehicles in potential service at any one time, and some 15 staff (many of whom are senior, experienced drivers, supplementing their pensions in a job they love — I was one of the drivers too, before I became too poorly last year) to drive them or to do the administrative duties of this enterprise that’s become an institution of Allendale. Got a wedding reception to get folks to? . . . interested in a tour of a stately home, a theatrical experience, a trip to the sea-side? Book a Baynes tour, or alternatively, marvel at the buses taking school children to their appointed places, or go yourself to the place you need to be, just by booking in advance on 683269.
The Hen House became two stacked industrial units, which house the happy admin staff — you can pop up to the second eyrie at any time and share local news with Lisa, Margaret, Wendy or even the boss himself, who is often carefully filling in his schedules and overseeing his very own starship up in the sky.
Best to have a purpose to your visit though — the office is busy, even though their friendliness often belies the diligently paddling effort that’s going on beneath the serenity floating above. !Serenity? I hear Nigel snort, do you imagine this office is ever serene?! . . . and yet it does have a comfortable, unhurried air of cheerfulness, which is so reassuring to clients and drivers alike. So you could stop in to pick up or order a Calor gas bottle or cylinder (be sure you have an empty one to replace the new full one), or perhaps a 15kg bag of dog food, another diversification of the overall enterprise.
Meanwhile, as this enterprise moves steadily along, and helps to keep Allendale residents on the go, it’s also steadily consolidating a good name for itself regionally as a coaching firm par excellence, and bringing credit to the village with its virtue. Steady as she goes, Mr. Sulu.