Thank You!

A special thank you to the late Thomas William Riding, former managing director and chief executive of W & J Riding for 25 years, to whom this website is dedicated.

Over the years Tom was kind enough to supply a vast amount of detailed historical information along with many of the superb rare photographs featured and without his invaluable help and dedication this website would not have been possible.

The site now contains over 2500 images, complete with in depth details, all of which are accessible via the main menu & side menu (marked with the mobile menu icon of 3 lines on a mobile & tablet).

Accidents Happen (1)

Accidents are a frequent event in the haulage industry and unfortunately over the years W & J Riding suffered their fair share.

Below is a selection of various incidents which Tom Riding documented from the mid 1950’s through to when he retired from the company in 1995.

Leyland Cub Accident

Driver Bert Slater, who was later to spend his whole career at Riding’s, was heading north on the old A74 at Ecclefechan in 1947 when he veered off the road and ran into the side of a cottage.

Loaded with ships machinery, destined for Glasgow, Bert was lucky to escape unhurt but the same could not be said of the Leyland Cub four wheeler Reg No 9790 which was written off and scrapped.

The badly damaged Leyland Cub, Reg No 9790, with the cab all but destroyed by the impact is pictured here after being recovered and brought back to Longridge.

A close up shot showing the remains of the Leyland Cub cab in which driver Bert Slater was lucky to escape serious injury.

After being recovered and returned to Longridge it was scrapped and broken up with any salvageable parts for used spares.

The damaged ships machinery is seen here after being transshipped from the Leyland Cub on to the back of Leyland Hippo Reg No RTJ 258.

The whole load had to be sent back to the manufactures to be inspected for any damage before Riding’s could finally deliver it.

Accident at Silkston.

In 1956 while negotiating the long steep hill on the A628 down towards the village of Silkston in South Yorkshire driver Jock Innes lost control of this prewar W & J Riding Leyland Beaver ‘TSC 9’ four wheeler Reg No FLV 646 which was hauling a Crane draw-bar trailer.
Fully loaded with heavy rolls of conveyor belts, destined for National Coal Board coal mines in this part of Yorkshire he very sadly lost his life with the trailer mate suffering some non life threatening injuries.
After being recovered the outfit was examined with a fine tooth comb by the then Ministry of Transport and was given a complete clean bill of health.

Leyland Beaver in Trouble

In 2017 and in his own words the late Tom Riding recalled the following incident….

“It’s the early 1960’s and Leyland Beaver 4×2 tractor unit Reg No 649, driven by Ken Wade, was on nights heading home to Longridge down the A19 from Teesside.

Whether it was through a lack of concentration or falling asleep Ken ran off the road and finished up with the whole outfit in a ditch on its side.

The load was nylon chips in sacks packed in large reinforced steel crates on their way to Australia via Liverpool Docks.

This traffic from ICI Ltd at Wilton was a big movement for us at the time and from memory the load wasn’t damaged and the tractor unit and trailer only suffered slight damage with the Leyland Beaver soon back on the road”.

Leyland Beaver 4×2 tractor unit Reg No 649 CTD is seen here laying on it’s side in a ditch after coming off the A19.

This particular Leyland had two lives while at W & J Riding as originally it was a O.600 engined four wheeler rigid Beaver that was later converted into one of the company’s early 4×2 tractor unit’s.

Leyland Beaver 4×2 tractor unit Reg No 649 CTD along with it’s tandem axle trailer lie on their side in a ditch after leaving the road.

Amazingly the traffic sign and it’s post remained completely intact.

This photograph, taken from another angle, shows how the whole outfit slid on it’s side narrowly missing a tree on the right and road sign on the left.

Driver Ken Wade is stood with his back to the camera while Jimmy Sudel is seen stood on the trailer chassis accessing the damage.

The underside of stricken Leyland Beaver 4×2 tractor unit Reg No 649 CTD.

Fortunately with the fuel tank located on the near side it remained undamaged resulting in no leakage of diesel at the scene.

Reminiscing about the incident the late Tom Riding recalled……

“Leyland at this time only had small 33 gallon tanks available on these short wheelbase Beavers.

Fortunately i discovered that AEC made a short tank that fitted the space available and held 50 gallons so we always fitted these to the 14B10 models and to the later L.A.D. units”.

Comet comes to Grief

Leyland Comet four wheeler Reg No 921 DTJ was travelling along St Michael’s Road when it lost it’s footing in a drainage ditch at the side of the road resulting in it turning over with a full load of ICI Corvic on board

Regarding the incident the late Tom Riding recalled….

“This particular road was a nice short cut between St Michael’s on Wyre on the A586 and Bilsbarrow on the A6 but was a notoriously twisty road.

The road was later given a 17 ton weight restriction duly closing it to HGVs.

The photograph was taken in the late 50s and i can be seen in the picture overseeing the recovery”.

Stricken Leyland Comet Reg No 912 DTJ lies on it’s side on the A586 after coming off the road into a drainage ditch.

With plenty of help on hand the load of ICI Corvic was soon transferred to another vehicle 

Tom Riding;s wife Margaret can be seen on the right looking on.. 

Leyland Beaver on Ice

Leyland Beaver 4×2 tractor unit Reg No 680 ETJ came a cropper after sliding on ice and the running into a telegraph pole as it pulled out of the depot at Longridge in 1965.

Pictured here in the depot at Longridge after recovery 680 ETJ was only plated at 24 tons gross so unfortunately this accident signified the end of the road for for this tractor unit and it was written off.

The engine and other salvageable parts would, of course, have been used elsewhere.

A side view of the damage sustained to Leyland Beaver 4×2 tractor unit Reg No 680 ETJ after it slid on ice and ran into a telegraph pole as it left Longridge depot in 1965.

Crash on the A59

L.A.D. cabbed Leyland Beaver 4×2 tractor unit Reg No 3800 TD was driven from new by Bill Coolican.

On this particular day it was being driven by Ken Wilson one Saturday morning hauling a Crane four in line trailer destined for Preston Docks loaded with Tote bins on the Wilton to Carrickfergus inter factory service.

Just North of Whalley on the A59 one of Charrington Hargreaves Ford ‘D’ Series tankers ran into the side of Leyland Beaver 4×2 tractor unit Reg No 3800 TD.

The collision resulted in considerable damage to the cab of the tanker as can be seen in the picture below…..

Graphic detail of the damage substained to Charringtons Hargreaves Ford ‘D’ Series four wheeler tanker after it ran into the side of L.A.D. Leyland Beaver 4×2 tractor unit Reg No 3800 TD just north of Whalley on the A59.

Over the edge at Barrowby Bridge

Easter 1965 and disaster strikes L.A.D. cabbed Leyland Beaver 4×2 tractor unit Reg No ATF 550A

While hauling a fully loaded trailer of Terylene spools destined for the ICI plant at Kilroot it came to grief on the old A19 at Barrowby Bridge near Thirsk. 
It completely demolished the bridge wall spilling it’s load into Cowesby Beck below. 

Another photograph taken from a different angle showing L.A.D. cabbed Leyland Beaver 4×2 tractor unit Reg No ATF 550A after it came to grief at Barrowby Bridge on the old A19 near Thirsk in North Yorkshire.  

View looking down from the bridge showing the load of ICI Terylene spools which spilled into Cowesby Beck below.   

L.A.D. cabbed Leyland Beaver tractor unit Reg No ATF 550A is pictured here after being recovered following the major accident at Borrowby Bridge north of Thirsk.

Although the damage was quite considerable the tractor unit was completely rebuilt in house at Longridge garage by Riding’s and put back on the road within a matter of weeks.

These two photographs above and on the right show L.A.D. cabbed Leyland Beaver tractor unit  Reg No ATF 550A Fleet N0 14 after it was recovered on one of the companies own four-in-line trailers and brought back to Longridge depot.

The vehicle had quite an eventful life at Riding’s eventually ending it’s days in Rongai Kenya East Africa as can be found in a dedicated section on the website regarding ATF 550A, just click here.

Aftermath of sliding on ice

L.A.D. cabbed Leyland Beaver 4×2 tractor unit Reg No HTC 990B was just seven months old when it came to grief after it sliding on black ice and crashed into a bridge on the A59 at Blubberhouses on the 18th of April 1965 which was the Easter weekend..

The late Tom Riding who took this photograph recalled……

“After the accident at Blubberhouses we had a local job on stock transfer from ICI Hillhouse at Thornton Cleveleys down to Squires Gate Blackpool and believe it or not due to us being short of vehicles at the time this tractor unit was used in this damaged state for a week or two until we could bring it into our workshop at Longridge to sort it out.

After the rebuild, in May 1965, we ran it for another six years until we sold it on the 12th of June 1971 to R. Tilling of Pilot Cottage Longton Nr Preston for the sum of £750.”

A Bridge to Far

L.A.D. cabbed Leyland Beaver tractor unit Reg No MTJ 440C was hauling a trailer loaded with empty tote bins being brought back to Wilton when this incident occurred.

When empty tote bins were being returned to ICI they were always stacked double and W & J Riding’s drivers could only use a recognised route.

However one Sunday morning driver Frank Collins forgot and tried a variation of his route thus the resulting in the high load striking the low bridge pictured above.

Fortunately no one was hurt in the accident although the Vauxhall Viva came off a little worse for wear. 

The road remained open throughout with none of the usual chaos and mayhem associated with such incidents today where the road would be closed for hours.

Accident at West Marten

L.A.D. cabbed Leyland Comet four wheeler Reg No 591 NHN Fleet No 23 is seen here in Longridge depot after being recovered following an accident on the A59 near West Marten.

L.A.D. cabbed Leyland Comet four wheeler Reg No 591 NHN ran into the back of one of Riding’s own articulated trailers being pulled by 680 ETJ which was an air braked Leyland 14B10 Beaver.

The Comet was fitted with air over hydraulic brakes which were obviously not as powerful as the vehicle in front.

The driver, who shall be nameless, carried a bit of weight so he was a lucky lad to get out of it unharmed.

After the accident Leyland Comet four wheeler Reg No 591 NHN was later rebuilt in Riding’s own workshops at Longridge.

It is pictured here back on the road just a month after the complete rebuild with a well sheeted and roped load.

Roll Over at Preston

Leyland Beaver 4×2 tractor unit Reg No 880 FTF rolled over while negotiating the roundabout on the A59 beneath Junction 31 of the M6 near Preston in Lancashire..

Reg No 880 FTF was originally supplied brand new to W & J Riding as a Leyland Steer on the 26th of June 1958 at a cost of £3,459 17s 5d.
In 1963 it was taken into Riding’s own workshops and cut down and converted into this Leyland Beaver 4×2 tractor unit.
Hauling a four-in-line trailer it is seen here in 1967 after rolling over on the A59 roundabout adjacent to Junction 31 of the M6 near Preston, known locally as the Tickled Trout’.

Thanks to some expert sheeting and roping by the driver the load on the  four-in-line trailer remained virtually intact after rolling over.

Another shot taken at the scene of the accident in 1967 shows Riding’s staff in attendance to help with the recovery operations on the A59 adjacent to Junction 31 of the M6. 

Bringing a trailer with them to trans-ship the load they turned up in Atkinson Mk I Silver Knight 4×2 tractor unit Reg MTD 160C Fleet No 6 which at the time was undergoing a complete overhaul in the workshops.

Shortly after this picture was taken MTD 160C  received Riding’s new two tone livery and remained in service for a further seven years until 1974.

Leyland Beaver 4×2 tractor unit Reg No 880 FTF Fleet No 45 is seen here back at Longridge depot after being recovered from the scene of the accident.

It was soon up and running again after undergoing extensive repairs in Riding’s own workshops at Longridge.

In later life Reg No No 880 FTF was converted into a yard shunter and given Fleet No 47.

With concrete blocks attached It was also used as a recovery tug as can be seen here

Accident on the A6055

Albion Clydesdale four wheeler Reg No BTB 230E was involved in an accident with a Thames Trader travelling in the opposite direction on the A6055 just North of Knaresborough while loaded with paint destined for Leyland Paint’s North East depot.

Albion Clydesdale four wheeler Reg No BTB 230E Fleet No 23  is pictured here on the A6055 Boroughbridge Road just North of Knaresborough after being involved in an accident with a Thames Trader while loaded with paint destined for Leyland Paint’s North East depot.

In this shot we see the fireman busy dealing with the incident, note the Knaresborough town boundary sign on the left,  

To see this exact location today click HERE

A close up shot of accident damaged Albion Clydesdale four wheeler Reg No BTB 230E Fleet No 23 after it was side swiped by a Thames Trader operated by Alan Crowther of Flaxby going in the opposite direction. 

Aftermath of the accident involving Albion Clydesdale four wheeler Reg No BTB 230E on the A6055 Boroughbridge Road just North of Knaresborough.

The badly damaged Thames Trader four wheeler, Reg No XVO 47, operated by Alan Crowther of Flaxby which side swiped Riding’s Albion Clydesdale going in the opposite direction.