OBITUARY: Don Broughton, Sleafordian Coaches

The co-founder of Sleafordian Coaches, the Lincolnshire coach and bus operation, Don Broughton, has died aged 81.

Don was a family man and, alongside his wife Jean, was keen that their business should continue to thrive and create a legacy for his children and grandchildren; he was so proud of the arrival of his great grandchildren, Finley and Emilia, the future fourth generation of the family, that Sleafodian’s new coaches carry their names.

Sleafordian Coaches was originally set up as a taxi company (Sleaford Taxi Co Ltd) by Don and Ted Barton and is now a much changed operation run by Don’s son and daughter-in-law Mark and Lisa. Mark and Lisa’s daughter and son-in-law Hannah, and Danny and their son Tom are the third generation of the family to be working for the business.

Don and Ted ran taxis for about 20 years and then acquired their first minibus in the late ’60s. They found they were getting more jobs including taking nurses to hospital. The minibus jobs grew into bus jobs and Don would often say: “If you don’t set off with a particular goal you can take advantage of doors opening for you.” This was certainly true of Don, an astute businessman of whom his customers spoke highly.

The company trading name was changed to Sleafordian Coaches in the early ’70s and its first coach was bought around 1972, at which time the Company moved to Westgate, Sleaford, where it stayed until 2004.

In later years, Don may not have been working day-to-day within Sleafordian but he remained a real presence, and his mentoring of his family members and opinion of progression was highly valued. A highlight for him was the arrival of our two brand-new Plaxton Panther coaches in February 2020, and he was among the first to the depot to see them first-hand.

“We have received many kind comments and the theme of these is that Don was a true gentleman and a kind man with which we wholeheartedly agree,” said Jemma Familton, HR Manager. “Another of Don’s sayings was that if he walked down the street and didn’t say hello to a certain number of people he would be disappointed. His work ethic evolved around being part of the community and building relationships with his clients some of whom became his friends.

“He was truly a legend to his family and his workforce, who are all grateful for the efforts he made to develop the company we are privileged to be involved with today. His guidance and support will be greatly missed by all but we will continue to uphold his legacy.”

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