50 years on buses all ‘ad’ up

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 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 Norwich in 1964. Its original advert is still on the back of a bus today – a vintage 1964 ACE Reliant 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 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.”

The new buses, based in Ipswich, Norwich, Great Yarmouth and Leeds, will carry the advert for six months.

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