Whitestar Travel History

The Whitestar Travel story traces the beginnings of the company originally set up by Don Smith, the grandfather of Whitestar Travel owner Paul, to the launch of Paul’s own coach company in 2013.

After serving in World War 2, Don returned to the UK and set up his own haulage company, which he ran for five years before making the move into coach services, establishing Don Smith Coaches as a leading provider of coach transport in the region.

The company continued to thrive in the 1960s and 70s with every coach in the fleet deployed on school contracts. The images on this page show three of the five new coaches that were brought in during the late 70’s to help fulfill these contracts.

Paul recounts “When I was 7 years old, I recall my grandfather having at least 28 coaches on school contracts around the North East.

After Don passed away in 1981, his daughter and son took over the family business that they were already involved in, taking the company to new heights by adding new offerings to their coaching business, including contracts with National Express, which meant adding longer distance journeys to their portfolio.

Paul immersed himself in the company from a very young age. “As a young child, I was always involved with coaches and as soon as I was old enough to drive coaches, that was exactly what I did – became a coach driver for the company. A few years later, after working in the family business for some time, I decided that the time was right to set up my own coach company, and in 2013 set up Whitestar Travel.”

Whitestar Travel has an outstanding reputation for reliability, courtesy and friendliness and Paul maintains a fleet of pristine coaches that provide exceptional service from local school contracts, executive travel for corporates, as well as catering for those who wish to explore the UK in high-specification coaches.

The company also maintains the tradition of good old-fashioned family values that hark back to the early days when Don Smith started to build his empire and delivers a high standard of customer care that sees both the public and his private hire contracts returning time after time to enjoy the Whitestar Travel experience.