Fred Nobbs, a great raconteur

Fred was born at 80 Albert Street in 1910 and attended the National School on that street, taught by F J J Macey. He was the son of Frederick Nobbs, a ‘four-in-hand’ coachman. Driving in some shape or form seems to have been in the blood, for the young Fred started driving a motor vehicle when he was only 15 and a half and by the age of 16, he was driving a charabanc named ‘Pride of Ventnor’ that belonged to Bill Bates whose parents ran the Globe Hotel on the High Street.

Fred became a regular driver for Bill Bates, Bill having assembled a fleet of four coaches by the early 1930s. When Bill Bates sold out to Crinage’s coach company in early 1937, Fred transferred to Crinage’s as well, ending up working for that firm for some 50 years, ultimately becoming manager of their Church Street garage.

Fred Nobbs loved his working days and he was out driving his car until three weeks before his death in November 1998, aged 87.

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