Li’le Billy went on to become so famous that Corgi Model Toys made replicas of it – and the bus is now in a museum in Japan!
“I didn’t think much to the idea when I first heard they were getting a vintage bus to run the service over Kirkstone,” says Chris. “But we cleaned it up and rebuilt it and it was very reliable! We had to rebuild the gearbox a time or two though!”
The mainstay of the fleet in the early days were converted Ford Transit minibuses with roof racks to carry backpacks and other equipment. The company now has a fleet of around 30 vehicles, mostly Mercedes Sprinters, ranging from 6 seaters to 24 seaters.
“Much of our success over the years is down to our drivers – who are more than just drivers,” says Stephen Broughton. “They are guides who use their personalities and expertise to educate and entertain passengers while showing them some of the most stunning landscapes in the world.
“Over the last 50 years the number of people coming to the Lake District has multiplied massively along with the number of cars coming. It is important to try and to get cars off the roads and The Mountain Goat helps this while enabling people from all around the world to enjoy all that the Lake District has to offer.”