Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Festival Survival Guide by A1 Coaches

Are you ready for Festival Season?? 

We have written this festival survival guide for your use this summer. All the do's and don't of attending a large festival can be found here.

Happy Festival Campers!

Arrive Early - No Messing Around! 
Get there in plenty of time, you can book on one of our coaches, the buses always arrive in time for the gates opening. If you are camping

Be ruthless with your packing! 
Dressing for the occasion is a necessity, in Scotland we can have 4 seasons in one day so although you are packing scarecly you should also make sure you have something to cover any weather scenario. Always remember when you are packing the arena/campsites are not only going to be a hop skip and a jump away. What you pack - you are going to have to carry.

Footwear that is already broken in is a must! 
Welly boots are the "In-thing" to wear to festivals but please remember to wear a pair that is already broken in, if you have new welly boots to wear, please make sure you wear them around the house for a while or take a stroll down the beach. Never go with new welly boots and be stuck with them the whole day or even weekend. Nothing worse than sore blistered heels/ankles.

Don't Carry Glass! 
The arena and campsite are always super busy, make sure you are reducing risk where ever possible. Not carrying glass is reducing the risk for yourself and the rest of the festival goers. Where possible fill plastic containers with your refreshments or any other item that may come in a glass packaging.

Pop up Tents! 
If you are camping, arriving early is a must as you may find you have the space of a postage stamp to pitch your tent. Why spend the time fixing pins and posts when you can purchase a tent that pops up in a few seconds. People tend to leave their tents after the festival too, you simply just have to drop the tent and pack away.... Bliss!!

Make sure you find yourself a partner in Crime!
If you are travelling in a group of people it is easy to become parted with them. Please make sure that you have a back up plan for anyone getting lost etc. It's always good to partner up with someone so you are never alone.

Love the mud!
It never fails we always get rain of some sort during festival time, the foot fall at the festival grounds is going to become muddy inevitably! Learn to love the mud, just make sure you are dressed for it. You can buy huge body wipes from Home Bargains stores and pack them in your back for cleaning yourself down. The mud all adds to the fun, Festivals are never clean... Let's face it your gonna be gettin dirty!!

Know the line up! 
Make sure you don't miss your favourite acts, normally there are different stages dotted around the location. Make sure you know where your favourites are and at what time. That would be a complete bummer to pay all that money for a ticket to miss your favourite act!! I would be sick as a dog!!.

Make sure you stash your cash! 
Split your cash around so not all your pennies are in the one place in case something goes wrong and you are left without a bolt. Just to be safe store your dosh in separate places so it's not all in the one place. Never leave your money in your tent!!

Keep in touch! 
Make sure you carry one or two fully charged power banks for your mobile phone. It is good to stay charged at all times in case you need to make a phone call. Sometimes there are places to charge your phone within the grounds of the festival but it is so expensive!

BE prepared to pay inflated prices for food and drink! 
Make sure you depart with a full belly!! It is always so expensive within the grounds. If you can have a drink before you go into the arena that would help keep your costs down. It's all money, money, money!

Don't forget to chill!!  
That's what festivals are all about, chilling out and enjoying the atmosphere, the acts and more importantly the company you choose to be with!!

Don't forget folks we are providing transport to most of the festivals this year. You can book and pay for your seat right here.

We aim to provide you with a safe, reliable and friendly service.

Call our office on 01592 713443 or email if you need anymore information. You can also visit to find out about any of the other transport services we provide.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Mischievous Fifer

Playing with the words, saying that Fife is a “picturesque” place is quite right, as the first dwellers of these lands were the Pictish peoples who inhabited this area well before the Roman Invasion, and since those times Fife has always been an important economic engine with consistent farming, mining and fishing activities.

Fife will be quickly identified if you mention the city of St Andrews. This city resonates in the minds of people around the world as the cradle of golf and its world class University of St Andrews. Although the relevant role of this region through history goes a long way back: Starting by the Pictish and the Celts and the merge of peoples forming the Scots, who gave enough trouble to the Roman invaders as for them to build Hadrian’s wall, and culminating in the present day, with renowned artists and public figures dominating the public scene.

Kings, philosophers, artists including writers, painters, singers and dancers; politicians, millionaires, you name it, Fifers have always been intrepid people taking their talent above and beyond any limitation.

The long reach of Fifers at making an impression in the rest of the world has always been felt, with figures like Adam Smith in philosophy and economics, influential millionaire Andrew Carnegie, or our more contemporary novelist Ian Rankin or acclaimed painter Jack Vettriano, and this is only quoting a very few of the many Fifers that gained international prominence through their contributions.

Mischievous Fifer

Wandering through the coastal villages of Fife is one of my favourite “welcome tour” for visitors from outside, with a guaranteed satisfaction for the tourist. All these pretty villages, with ‘local specialties’ like the fish shops at Anstruther and the many cosy places to stop for a snack make it ‘piece of cake’ to entertain the curious visitor.

And while exploring the nooks and crannies along the coast, you bump into one of these characters that made history without even trying, a man whose desire for adventures entertained generations of readers, oblivious he once existed for real: Alexander Selkirk.

Statue to Alexander Selkirk, Lower Largo, Fife

Alexander Selkirk, born Alexander Selchcraig (1676 – 13 December 1721) in Lower Largo, Fife, was an “unruly” youth, sort of a rebel, and after he had shown some “indecent conduct in church” and was summoned to appear before the “kirk session” (church court) he was “gone to sea”.

He enrolled as a privateer, that is, a sort of ‘endorsed pirate’ and the adventures that followed culminated in him being ‘marooned’ (left behind) in a desert island in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Chile. With a musket, a hatchet, a knife, a cooking pot, a Bible, bedding and some clothes, he survived for four years in the island. Hoping to be rescued he had to hide from enemy vessels until finally a friendly vessel rescued him. Upon his return to Britain his story inspired numerous chronicles and articles, and also inspired one of the most famous adventures books: “The life and surprising adventures of Robinson Crusoe”, by Daniel Defoe.

Detail of plaque 

Alexander Selkirk, in my opinion, is the most extreme example of the strength of spirit, determination and ingenuity of Fifers. His legacy of adventure and tenacity, even bigger than the book he inspired, lives in the collective imagination of people all around the world.

Discover Fife with A1 Coaches!

A1 Coaches will pick you up at your selected pick up point and take you to your chosen destination. Just call 01592 713443 or e-mail or visit

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Personal Touch

Have you ever dreaded “talking to a computer” on the phone? Endlessly selecting “other options” from the menu till you get to speak to a real human being?

In this world of today, in which everything happens instantly with almost all things being automated and so much stuff is dealt with online, our experience as a customer can vary greatly, that is, from a feeling of despair and helplessness to a feeling of relief and satisfaction.

Obviously things like “a prompt delivery”, “the quality of the product” or any other advantage we perceive about this product or service will determine our satisfaction and likely our loyalty as customers.

But sooner or later we find ourselves having a “special requirement”; a “last minute change” or something comes up that requires a “personalised” attention.

What comes next needs to be approached with patience: selecting options from a menu either online or on the phone, keeping calm until we finally get to speak or “chat” to a real human being.

In situations where you seem to be hitting against a brick wall, it all comes down to the one person willing to lend ears to you.

And this is when the magic happens. Usually, a person will walk the extra mile for you in trying to meet your requirement. The results will largely depend on how flexible the organization is to adapt to customers’ requirements, but it will also depend by a great deal on how much concern and willingness to help the person at the other end of the line has.

I have found there are people willing to walk out of their way, willing to walk the extra mile for you, in order for you to get what you wanted.

I call this the personal contribution, the personal touch. In a world of competition and marketing, companies encourage “customer care” and implement procedures and systems to better communicate with their customers but at the end of the day, it all comes to the individual contribution, to the genuine concern of a person for making a difference.

It is really as simple as that. A given situation can have different outcomes depending on the integrity and commitment of the individual dealing with it. Those acting from their willingness to be of help, do the extra bit, get the job well done and walk that extra mile for somebody, stand out.
I give to this “human factor” the success of our daily endeavours through life.

Gratitude and appreciation goes out to those anonymous people who want to leave a positive contribution to this society, to all my colleagues at work whose daily commitment and disposition help to the success of this company, and a massively big “thank you” to our customer base that acknowledges and appreciates our commitment to service.

Because, what really counts and makes a difference is people taking an interest in people.

A1 Minibus & Coach Services, in business for 35 years, is a family run transport provider.
Contact us at: 01592 713443 or e-mail or visit

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Blossoming Wedding Transport Packages by A1 Coaches.

Sunny days brighten up our lives. The  air is filled with familiar scents like the smell of a freshly mowed lawn and the ever so subtle sweet aroma of flowers blossoming.

With its lush display of life, the good weather makes us feel strong and willing to achieve all we are yearning for, with renewed confidence, that’s why we see so many new initiatives, projects, enterprises popping up everywhere.

This positive mood heralds a positive outcome for our dearest projects, so it is only natural that we choose this time of the year to commit to the very one project that best embodies the blossoming of life: Our wedding.

This milestone event is treated with awe and respect as our wedding is this moment in life when we go past selfishness and vanity and grow to be a better person, bigger than ourselves: Two souls united as one.

The wedding ceremony signifies and enhances the sacred bond between two souls, and it will become an everlasting memory for the rest of your life, when family and friends rejoiced in happiness celebrating this union.

You may be well ready to join your soul mate with all your heart, but organizing such an important ceremony in the details is not that an easy task, there are many things that need to be carefully coordinated, months in preparation and in the dates prior to the wedding, this is usually a full time job for the happy couple and often times for their parents too.
The church, the venue for the banquet, transport for the guests... Every element needs to be in place and perfectly synchronized for the whole event to go smoothly.

The car... and your guests

There is no other element that creates a more spectacular arrival than the wedding conveyances you and your wedding party arrive in.

Wedding cars play a key role in making magnificent entrances, adding solemnity and glamour to the ceremony, and the pleasure of travelling in opulent luxury and style too.

While selecting the right wedding car to complement the style and theme of your event is crucial, it is also of uttermost relevance to know that your guests are arriving timely and safely to the venues: The Church, The Banquet, back home...

Here at A1 we contribute “peace of mind” by providing comprehensive Wedding Transport Packages, which include a wedding car of your choice and will also cover transportation needs for your guests.


BMW  A modern style car, black with a cream interior. An elegant design and “presence” that merges well with the most impressive venues.

Rolls-Royce  Classic car, in a beautiful hue of blue that changes according with the light.  An icon of quality and class, this car will make for a spectacular appearance!

Jaguar  A timeless classic piece of design, very elegant and classy while showing dynamism and sportiness. In a light blue colour with cream interior.

Mercedes  Notes from a bygone era, this comfortable cream Mercedes with cream interior sports elegance and sobriety.

Guests transport

However big is your guests party, A1 Coaches’ Wedding Packages offer a range of buses and minibuses from 8 to 73 seater. Booking all your Wedding Transport with us can massively reduce the stress associated with organizing transport with different companies for each transportation requirement.

A1 Coaches also offers transport for:

Hen Night/Weekend Transport
Stag Night/Weekend Transport
Honeymoon Airport Transfers

Just call 01592 713443 or e-mail or visit

And the work must go on...

You would think that with the Schools being on holidays there would be not much activity at the garage... it turns out everybody is busy as usual, except for the lucky drivers away on holiday.

Extracting brake pads
Lee is performing a brakes and steering overhaul. Maintenance is an ongoing work all year round.

Shug giving me a hard look... he doesn't like being chased around for pictures

Maintenance is more than just mechanical adjustments, as we can see, there is a lot of cleaning involved:

Peter removing the stains caused by condensation 

David carefully treating the black plastic surfaces
More than just cleaning the floors, deep scrubbing with hot water is needed to lift the greasy film that slowly but surely forms on the buses' floors.

Ray hard at work scrubbing the floors with scalding water and a soapy anti-grease product

The seemingly calm school holidays period is still busy-busy time here at A1 Coaches!

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Hen Night Transport

Girls Night out or Weekend away – we have you covered!

If you are a bridesmaid or a bride looking to plan your perfect hen party, A1 Minibus and Coach Services LTD can take care of one of the most important events… The Hen Transport. We can provide vehicles for small or large hen parties and we will transport you to and from your destination in a professional, safe manner. Fife and the surrounding areas have so much to offer for amazing nights out or even more adventurous brides to be if you want to have an active hen party. A1 Minibus and Coach Services LTD have been providing transport for Hen nights for almost 37 years. If you are stuck for ideas give one of our Sales girls a call on 01592 713443 and they will also give you some ideas on past hen night knowledge. If you book your hen transport with us we will also offer you a discount for your wedding day transport. We offer Wedding Cars and Minibuses and Coaches for your guests. Booking all your wedding transport with the one company makes transportation of your wedding guests so much easier as well as saving you money. Hen night packages are also very popular; this is when you book a package with hotels, entertainments and sometimes drinks and extras.
Check out our wedding package offers. You can get one wedding car free if you book your guest transport with A1 Coaches.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Thunder in the Glens and a biker's world, with Joe

If there’s nothing like the smell of petrol and exhaust fumes for you, the roaring and rattling of engines pitches up your heart, and the open road expands your soul, you’re most probably a motorbike fan.

Bikers near Berwick upon Tweed

There are motorbikes, and then there is the Harley-Davison. This make has its own fan base and bikers from all over the world who ride Harley-Davison are proud to be members of the same “family”.

Thunder in the Glens is one major event in the UK for Harley-Davidson fans; it attracts people from all over Britain and the rest of the world who attend an impressive three day event in the middle of a beautiful, jaw dropping National Park.

Aviemore hosts Thunder in the Glens

To get a better perspective of what is it like to attend a gathering like this I have asked Joe, our Mechanic at A1 Coaches who is a biker himself.

Joe trying out his prospect new bike at the shop

Joe was brought up among bikes. As a matter of fact, he took his passion for bikes from his parents at a very early age: Joe’s mum loved to go on a ride with Joe’s dad when Joe was still in the womb. A “few years” later, Joe sports the rugged looks of a legendary biker and even his partner Dawn is a biker herself.

Joe- “With the kids grown up and settled, we’ve got a lot more time to spend touring on the bike” – says Joe. “I’m really lucky; my partner is also a biker! I find there are guys out there that don’t share their hobby with their partners. I’m lucky that my soul mate is also my comrade in adventures. When we are out on the bike we enjoy a sense of freedom, the exhilaration of the open road. Riding on a bike is a firsthand experience of the outdoors, very intense and invigorating, a completely different thing to being ‘caged up’ inside a car, as I see it”.

Q-“Why do you like Harley Davison instead of other motorbike makes?”

Joe-“Harley Davison got me hooked just by the way they sound. I am a mechanic, and the sound of certain engines is music to my ears. For example, the sound of a V8 engine is music to my ears. Of course, Japanese bikes can be very refined and well tuned, but there’s something about the Harley’s rumbling sound that really gets you. This “potato-potato” sound is like a song to me. And Harley Davison is also a lifestyle and a big family too”.

Q- Thunder in the Glens is a paramount event for a biker. Would you recommend it to those of us who are not bikers?

Joe- “Oh absolutely! It’s a big rally with something for everyone. If you are not a biker then you are in for a big parade of impressive motorbikes, all different, it’s a very colourful spectacle. And it doesn’t end there: plenty of things to do, during the day there’s also a family atmosphere, kids line up to see the bikes, although very small kids may cry with the thundering sound.
Many events are motor related like demo bike rides, Jeep demo drives, custom bike show and off road motorbike riding. On top of that there are lots of stands and outside entertainment, things like Scottish Knights battle scenes, live bands, you can even catch a vintage steam train at Aviemore.  Oh, Thunder in the Glens is a big rally that happens to be pivoting around The Queen of Bikes, the Harley Davison. There is a lot going on at Aviemore, I tell you”.

As a qualified specialist technician for the oil industry Joe has travelled to many countries and always found time to visit the local Harley Davison dealership collecting merchandise and memorabilia from local Chapters.

Harley-Davison shop in Alaska

A chapter is a HOG (Harley Owners Group) sponsored by a Harley dealership. A membership to a chapter connects you with other Harley owners in your area, giving you the chance to gather and ride with other local Harley owners, and to be a part of the Harley-Davison rallies and events, which are many and very well organized all around the world.

Here in Scotland there are two chapters, the west coast chapter, called Clyde Valley Chapter and the east coast chapter, called Dunedin Chapter. Dunedin means Edinburgh in Gaelic ( Dùn Èideann, and there is a city of Dunedin in Florida and a city of Dunedin in New Zealand).

A biker’s dream holiday in the USA

Daytona International Speedway

Joe travelled to the 76th Daytona Bike Week Anniversary, a big motorbike gathering, and had the chance to visit the city of Dunedin in Florida. Other members of the HOG Dunedin Chapter from Scotland were also there with Joe, and they proudly wore their kilts while strolling around Daytona Beach. As you see, belonging to a HOG Chapter goes a long way, and you will meet other members and make friends within this big family of Harley owners and other bikers no matter where in the world you go.

Joe and Dawn in the city of Dunedin, Pinellas, Florida

Biker’s event of the summer, Thunder in the Glens, Aviemore, 25 to 28 August 2017

Thunder in the Glens is one major event in the UK for Harley-Davidson fans. People from all over the world attend to enjoy the event.

By far, the largest Harley-Davidson rally in the UK nowadays.

A highlight of the event is the Saturday Mass ride out to Grantown on Spey which starts at 12:00 noon. And again, on Sunday 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

To have a glimpse of the atmosphere at Thunder in the Glens of the 2016 event:

2017 Thunder in the Glens expects to attract bikers and general public from all over Britain and beyond.

A great opportunity to enjoy the impressive surroundings of Aviemore in the Cairngorms National Park, Thunder in the Glens three day rally is a remarkable addition to the Scottish festival scene this summer.

A1 Coaches facilitates transport to this three day rally. For enquiries just call 01592 713443 or e-mail or visit