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When I was a young driver in the mid Seventies Friday was guaranteed to be a busy day which would finish at half past five but we would always be back in Saturday morning. The camaraderie and teamwork at that time was great, a great set of lads and every Saturday morning finished with a roping and sheeting competition. No awards just criticism and banter to bring people up to scratch.


No chance of anything in the workshop on a Friday, whereas during the week my Dad, cousin John, and myself may have been on servicing and repairs or other work on site or seeing customers, Friday would see us all on driving or on the forklift.


Our mainstay of the fleet were four wheelers that were engaged on multidrop work covering most of the country. We specialised in the Midlands, Derby, Nottingham and Leicester and the surrounding area. We took an immense amount of cotton and woollen yard to the knitters of that area twice a week, Mondays and Wednesdays.


We did the same for Scotland with textiles but also had many customers who supplied these areas with ancilliary goods such as dyestuffs, machinery and engineering products.


On a Friday our customers really wanted to get the full weeks production out so it was all go. We would always load at least one four wheeler for Ayrshire and Glasgow, one for the Borders, Edinburgh and Fife. If we had enough traffic there would be a third one heading further North often as far as Elgin and Keith.


On one of these loads would be consignments for the Harris Tweed Industry. We only ever took these as far as Hebrides Haulage in Glasgow. They ran Glasgow to Stornoway and gave us a great service as did John M Young of Langholm. We also used Highland Haulage and Sutherlands of Peterhead.


Most of our customers were in Huddersfield, Bradford and Halifax. Jos Crosfields from Warrington often brought us Five ton consignments of chemicals for Stornoway.

A typical Friday as I remember it would be a load of blended wool from Elland to some spinning mill in the Huddersfield area then collect from a few customers in the Colne and Holme valleys. This load would be palletised in our warehouse and then off again for more collections.


We tried obviously to load bigger consignments onto four wheelers that would not be transhipped. This always worked well with the Midlands work as most of it came out of two Huddersfield Mills.


The Scotland work was more small consignments of woollen and mohair yarn in bags and cartons, cotton warp beams, dyestuffs, engineering products for the power stations. We always worked with Roadway Services of Huddersfield so there were Hopkinsons valves and the occasional David Brown tractor.


Dad was amazing at getting loads on vehicles, often valves in the bottom then a plywood board on top then cartons of yarn and lightweight yarn bags on top. Even though we got as much on as possible there was always the start of a load for mid week.


If Mum was doing a dinner party then she would route the Ayrshire wagon opposite way round and as he came along the Solway coast he would call at one of the fishermans huts to collect a fresh Salmon!!!


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