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About Althams Travel - In business for 149 years ...
Originally founded in 1874 by Abraham Altham, and trading under his name, the Company had 60 shops by 1880, selling groceries and hardware. Abraham Altham then became a Limited Company in 1894. Abraham Altham died at the age of 44 in 1886.
In addition, Althams were well known as Tea Merchants, having their own five brands of tea, all blended and packed under the Althams’ label. Customers buying the best brands were given tea cheques valued at 2d, 4d or 1/~. In later years, 2/6d and 5/~ tea cheques were added to the range: these tea cheques could be put towards the cost of Rail tickets which were sold in many of our branches as early as 1876.
From 1876, Althams used to run their own Railway Excursions from Lancashire and Yorkshire towns to seaside resorts on the West Coast.
From 1944, the Company’s name was changed to ‘Althams Stores Limited’ and over the years a small number of self contained Travel Offices were opened in local towns such as Accrington, Burnley, Bury, Halifax and Nelson. The majority of the stores had a travel counter, but up to the early 1960’s the Travel Department was still the ‘poor relation’ of the Company.
During 1967, with the growth in supermarkets and other economic conditions, the Directors decided to close down the stores which were losing money, and this was done over the next eighteen months or so. When the last of these had been closed in 1968, the Company name was changed to ‘Althams Travel Services Limited’ in 1969.
Ten of our shops in Yorkshire, together with Blackburn, Colne and Farnworth in Lancashire, were converted to Travel Agencies in 1968 and 1969. Today, we have 31 branches in Lancashire, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.
Members of Abraham Altham's family have worked for the company, until the death in 1995 of his great grandson, Peter Kay, who was chairman at the time. Many of Abraham's descendants are still shareholders and continue to show a keen interest in the company's on-going development.
It is a fact these days many of the large travel agency chains are either owned by large tour operators, insurance groups, foreign companies or are nationalised, but we are completely independent and still consider ourselves to be a family Company, with the interest. and welfare of our clients being first priority.
By offering our customers a fully independent service, we endeavour to find you the most comprehensive holiday deals available from leading holiday companies, as well as offering you impartial advice from our team of experienced branch or telephone sales advisors.
‘Best Large Agency’ North West England & North Wales Agent Achievement Award Winners 2023
‘Best Large Agency’ North West England & North Wales in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022 & 2023
Important Travel information
UK Passport Office: http://www.ips.gov.uk/
Renewals, information & resources.
UK Foreign Office: http://www.fco.gov.uk
Travel advisory information & resources.
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