Final departure after 30 golden years in resort
AFTER nearly 30 years of trading on Cleethorpes' St Peter's Avenue, Golden Hind Travel is preparing for final departure.
Travel agency proprietor Peter Baxter will not be extending the lease on the popular town centre street as it expires at the end of this month, with daughter – manager Claire Branson – to operate from a private Humberston office under the national Travel Counsellors banner.
Five part-time staff are being made redundant, while all clients with holidays looming will be transferred across into Mrs Branson's care.
Explaining the decision, which will see the shutters come down on January 22, she said: "Over the past few years we have found that more of our clients do not even come into our existing St Peter's Avenue office, choosing to make their travel arrangements by e-mail or telephone.
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"With technology moving so fast and high street trading becoming more difficult – as seen by the demise of many travel companies – we felt a change was needed."
Of the reaction of the team, who worked either two or three days a week, Mrs Branson said: "They have all been wonderful. We have worked together for 20-odd years and been one happy family, so it is a shame, but they all understand why."
Mrs Branson decided to join Travel Counsellors, having found that the organisation mirrors their operation's values. It places a large emphasis on the expertise of the consultants, who number 1,200. She will work on a commission basis for the Bolton-headquartered firm that acts as an umbrella for the individuals.
"It is a fully bonded hi-tech company with the same personal high customer care ethos that Golden Hind Travel has always had with all of our valued clients over the past 30 years," she said.
"There will be a smooth transition for the continuation of business for all of our clients with bookings made. All monies and bookings are fully protected by Travel Counsellors, ABTA and bonds.
"We will have far better buying power and be able to get excellent prices for our clients through Travel Counsellors.
"The only difference is in the way we will trade in the future. Clients will not have to come to our office, personal contact will be by telephone, e-mail or home visits if required.
"Clients will still book with their favourite tour or cruise operators as in the past and still enjoy the personal service that our family-owned company Golden Hind Travel has always offered for many years, all from the comfort of their own home."
Taking its name from the globe circumnavigating galleon captained by Sir Francis Drake – the first Englishman to complete the feat of discovery in the late 16th century – Golden Hind originally opened in Grimsby, but quickly focused on Cleethorpes, where it has been for the past 27 years.
Mrs Branson will be available on 07918 733723 or e-mail email@example.com