Wearside Bus firm makes top 20 on quirky business name list

Coach charter PG Trips, Phil Hay
Coach charter PG Trips, Phil Hay
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A Wearside business has made its way into the top 20 of most bizarre business names in Britain.

Bus charter firm PG Trips, which is based in Hetton, was named 20th on the list which has been compiled following research by Vistaprint.

Coach charter PG Trips, Phil Hay

Coach charter PG Trips, Phil Hay

The only other North East entry on the list is Bonnie Tiler, the female-fronted tiling and plumbing company based in Gateshead, which was named 10th best.

PG Trips owner Phil Hay, who set up the business 16 years ago, told the Echo: “I came up with the name.

“Me and my best mate Gary were playing around with ideas using our initials when we decided on that and it’s gone from there.

“To be honest, we do get a decent reaction from people.

Coach charter PG Trips, Phil Hay

Coach charter PG Trips, Phil Hay

“I would imagine that most drivers in the North East have seen our buses before, but sometimes we’ll go somewhere a bit further away and you’ll see people taking pictures of it for a laugh.”
Asked to whether he thinks being in the top 20 will increase business for the company, Phil added: “You never know what will happen but it can’t hurt.”

Carper cleaning company Spruce Springclean, Lostwithiel, Cornwall, took top spot on the list, with Portsmouth locksmith Surelock Holmes second and Planet of the Grapes, a wine bar and restaurant in London, named third.

Elsewhere in the list of memorable shop names in the UK, a solicitors from Leamington Spa with the fortuitous name Wright-Hassall was sixth.

Oliver Harcourt, UK head of Vistaprint, which carried out the research, said: “Small businesses around the UK are always finding clever and innovative ways to showcase their offerings.

“Having a creative business name is one example of how you can be more memorable to your customers and stand out from the crowd.

“Some of the shops from our poll are businesses that are generations old, showing that a catchy name can stand the test of time.”

Six in 10 respondents told the survey they would prefer to see more businesses embrace a quirky name rather than just something that described the store or its owner.

And over a third are more likely to recommend a business with a witty name, compared to one with a more traditional moniker.

Two-thirds of Brits also said a quirky business name is so appealing because it makes them smile, and half reckon it makes the store easier to remember.

And despite the two not having any direct correlation, a quarter of respondents think they typically get better service from a shop with a great name.

Four in 10 Brits would like to live close to a shop with a funny name, and Brits believe hairdressers benefit from a witty name most, followed by pet stores.


1 Spruce Springclean, Carpet cleaners, Lostwithiel, Cornwall

2 Surelock Homes, Locksmith, Portsmouth

3 Planet of the Grapes, Wine Bar and Restaurant, London

4 Floral and Hardy, Florists, Hertfordshire

5 A Fish Called Rhondda, Fish and Chip Shop, Pentre, Wales

6 Wright Hassall, Solicitors, Leamington Spa

7 Jean Claude Van Man, Removal Company, Merseyside

8 Sellfridges, White Goods Outlet, Stoke Newington

9 Grate Expectations, Fireplace Specialists, Wimbledon

10 Bonnie Tiler, Tiling and Plumbing, Gateshead

11 Deja Brew, Coffee House, Denton

12 The Chopfather, Barbers, Bristol

13 Barnie’s Rubble, DIY Shop, Bolton

14 Facial Attraction, Beauty Salon, Pontypool, Wales

15 Samuel ‘L’ Jackson, Driving Instructor, Southport

16 Hair Raid Shelter, Hairdressers, Downham Market, Norfork

17 Alan Cartridge, Office Supplies, Leeds

18 Jason Donervan, Food truck, Bristol

19 Frying Nemo, Fish and Chips Shop, Yorkshire

20 PG Trips, Bus Charter, Houghton


Wearside has had a number of memorable business names in the past few decades.

Here are 15 of the best:

1. Amy’s Winehouse, Sunderland city centre

2.Shiney New Appliances, Boult Terrace, Shiney Row

3.Billy’s Shughes, Vine Place, Sunderland city centre

4.Future Hedz, Pallion

5.The Inn Between, Fatfield

6.Walter Wall Carpets, Leechmere Industrial Estate

7.Short, Bark and Sides, Hylton Road

8. Sew Unique, Stockton Road

9.Doggy Styles, Houghton

10.Mackem Mover Removals

11. Belle Tents Marquee Hire

12. Ell’s Kitchen, Pallion

13. Throwing Stones, National Glass Centre

14, Curl up and dye, Grange Terrace

15. Bake That and Party, Seaham Grange Industrial Estate