Bus adverts help Shortis Group celebrate 50 golden years

Richard Shortis, right, managing director of Shortis Group, and First Eastern Counties’ staff manage

Richard Shortis, right, managing director of Shortis Group, and First Eastern Counties’ staff manager Richard Alger with the old and new buses carrying advertising for the Shortis Group which is celebrating 50 years of trading. - Credit: Mike French | Foras Imaging

When Kevin Shortis opened his second car spares store in Great Yarmouth nearly 50 years ago, he booked an advert on the back of a bus.

Now, five decades later, the Shortis Group has again trusted the bus to promote its message after a new mega-rear advert was been created on six First Buses.

Kevin Shortis, now almost 75, is still heavily involved in the business which has 81 trading sites across the country, 600 employees and his son, Richard, leads the business day-to-day in his role as managing director.

The Shortis Group, which includes Wilco Motor Spares and Fast-Fit tyres and exhausts, was started in Barn Road, Norwich, in 1964. Its original advert is still on the back of a bus today – a vintage 1964 ACE Reliant which is stored at East Anglia Transport Museum at Carleton Colville, near Lowestoft, which has a special open day on May 10 and 11.

Ten years ago, the vintage bus was saved from scrappage and restored to its former glory by a team from the museum, including First Eastern Counties' staff manager Richard Alger.

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Richard Shortis said: 'It's lovely that we managed to get the two buses together. We have done a lot of bus advertising over the years. It's very prominent and eye-catching – it's a brilliant way to raise awareness.'

Buses based in Norwich, Yarmouth, Ipswich and Leeds will be carrying the advert for six months.

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