Seaside holidays 14: charabanc What’s happening here? Expand These holidaymakers are about to set off on a charabanc trip from Folkestone in the 1920s. Charabancs (pronounced charabangs) were early open top buses. These ones belonged to Folkestone Motors. Charabancs left Folkestone on day trips to local tourist destinations including Canterbury, Hythe, the Romney Marsh, Rye and the villages of the North Downs. Fascinating fact The name charabanc derives from the French char à bancs or ‘carriage with wooden benches’. They were a more modern of a horse-drawn vehicle in France in the early 19th century.