THE founder of one of Wales’ best known bus companies, who started out ferrying miners to and from the pit in a minibus, has died aged 74.

Glyn Williams died with his son and daughter at his side in the early hours of January 17 at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport.

The former miner turned business owner from Ynysddu, in the Sirhowy Valley, worked hard for his success and bought his first minibus in the 1970s, using it to ferry miners back and forth from the pits.

His business grew from those humble beginnings into one of South Wales’ most recognisable brands, Glyn Williams Travel.

Mr Williams’ son, Tim, worked alongside his father after leaving school with the business running coach trips to Europe.

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De-regulation in the 1980s gave Glyn Williams Travel an opportunity to expand into bus routes, and the company built a successful network of some 30 routes, helping 10,000 people a day get around Newport, Cardiff and the Valleys at its peak.

In 2006, the company was sold to a subsidiary of Stagecoach.

Granddaughter Candice Williams told the South Wales Argus that Mr Williams worked hard his whole life, but was “incredibly humble” about his achievements.

“His success really wasn’t something he liked talking about,” she told the South Wales Argus.

“We heard stories growing up, and asked him. But he was an incredibly humble man.

South Wales Argus:

“He was a little boy from Ynysddu with four other siblings, and his family didn’t have much money while he was growing up.

“It’s pretty amazing that he achieved what he did, in a place where a lot of local people didn’t.

“But he was never boastful about it. It was just normal to him. He worked hard for all of it.

“He was a legend of the valleys.”

Ms Williams explained her favourite memory of her grandfather would always be the Christmas family holidays he took them on after he sold his business.

“My grandfather and father used to work so hard with the business, and after they sold it we went on a holiday over Christmas.

“The family has kept that tradition, and we always went away every Christmas with him.

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“My own son has such fond memories of his great grandfather at Christmas. That’s how I’ll remember him.”

Ms Williams added that her grandfather’s death was a big shock to all of his family and friends.

A motorcycle fanatic, who used to travel as far as Cambodia to ride, Mr Williams loved all vehicles, old and new.

He is survived by his wife, Jean Williams, son Tim, daughter Sarah, grandchildren and great grandson.

The family would like to thank friends, family and ex-employees for their condolences so far.

Mr Williams’ cremation will take place at Cwmbran crematorium, with a wake held at Bryn Meadows.

A date and time will be published by the family in the South Wales Argus at a later date.