Tributes have been paid to a pioneer of cruise holidays who has died after a long and successful career in the travel industry.
Audrey Wilson (78) was a founding partner of the family-run travel agency, Bolsover Cruise Club. She played a key role in the transition of the firm from local travel agent to one of the UK’s leading nationwide cruise specialists.
“Audrey’s death marks a sad day for the cruise industry,” said a spokeswoman for Bolsover Cruise Club, which has bases at Chesterfield and Meadowhall Shopping Centre.
The early 1980s saw Audrey take the helm as the first partner of Bolsover Travel, running the independent travel agency for several years.
From humble beginnings, and with just a handful of employees, she masterminded the huge success and growth of the business, and was soon joined by husband Derek, son Michael, who is the current managing director, and daughter Julie.
Audrey, who lived in Cuckney and was originally from Warsop, took great pride when the firm received the Canberra Cruises Top Agent Award in 1987 and 1988. It has since retained the coveted title of P&O Cruises Top UK Agent for an incredible 28 consecutive years.
A company spokeswoman said: “Audrey’s devotion has been unwavering, and she held an active and valued consultancy role until recently. As the company continues to grow and enjoy greater success, it holds a special place in its heart for the unsung hero so pivotal in its creation.”