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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 (3)

Accidents happen all the time in the haulage industry and unfortunately over the years W & J Riding suffered their fair share.

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

Accident at Copster Green

On Tuesday the 22nd of June 1982 driver Kenneth Fell was returning to Longridge depot in Atkinson Borderer 4×2 tractor unit Reg No OTF 550M Fleet No 81 ‘Robust’ hauling a partially loaded 40 foot tandem axle trailer with isopropanol in 40 gallon drums on board.

On the main A59 Whalley to Preston Road at Copster Green, just before the left hand bend approaching the Park Gate Hotel, a Toyota car travelling in the opposite direction was overtaking a Ford Cortina and hit OTF 550M head on.

During the collision the front offside axle of OTF 550M was wiped out causing the vehicle to veer across the road resulting in around ten drums of isopropanol dropping off the trailer.

Driver Kenneth Fell, who was in no way to blame for the accident, was not hurt although he was badly shaken up.

Unfortunately as a result of the accident the driver of the Toyota car a Mr Keith Townley aged 43 of Oswaldtwistle was killed while his two passengers were taken to hospital with head and leg injuries while a driver of a third vehicle involved, Mr Frank Riley of Sutton in Craven near Skipton, was uninjured although his Ford Cortina was badly damaged.

Atkinson Borderer 4×2 tractor unit Reg No OTF 550M Fleet No 81 ‘Robust’ finished up on the opposite side of the road after the head on collision with the Toyota car pictured below.

The seriously damaged Toyota car in which the driver, Mr Keith Townley, died after it hit Atkinson Borderer 4×2 tractor unit Reg No OTF 550M head on while attempting to overtake a Ford Cortina on the A59 Longsight Road at Copster Green Lancashire.

The partially loaded 40 foot tandem axle trailer had 40 gallon drums of isopropanol on board, ten of which broke lose after the collision and spilled on to the roadway.
 
At the time assistant divisional fire officer Mr Bill Riley said
 
“Around 10 drums of isopropanol either fell off the trailer or were damaged in the incident and were leaking.
 
The chemical is inflammable and gives off poisonous gases so as there was obviously a risk so the fireman wore breathing apparatus and protective clothing while dealing with the incident”

Atkinson Borderer 4×2 tractor unit Reg No OTF 550M Fleet No 81 ‘Robust’, powered by a Cummins NH250 engine, was registered new on the 1st of September 1973.

After the accident above it was rebuilt and went on to serve Riding’s for many more years until it was sold on to J. Canning of Leyland.

When J Canning ceased trading it later passed into the hands of Kevin Dennis and into preservation in Norfolk were it is now in the livery of Morgan Transport as can be seen in this photograph here.

Roll Over at Stourton

Seddon Atkinson 400 Series 4×2 tractor unit Reg No VHG 570R Fleet No 62 ‘Mammoth’ came to grief beneath the M621 Stourton interchange Leeds on the 26th of April 1983.

On the 26th of April 1983 Seddon Atkinson 4×2 tractor unit Reg No VHG 570R was negotiating the roundabout beneath the M621 interchange at Stourton Leeds.

The vehicle rolled over while hauling a 20 foot demount tank loaded with Isopropylamine and stopped just short of hitting a lamp post.

Fortunately the fully loaded tank held firm and there was no spillage at what so ever.

To see this exact location today click HERE

Roll Over at Whittingham

Seddon Atkinson 400 Series 4×2 tractor unit Reg No XFV 910V Fleet No 98 ‘Royal Star’, powered by a Gardner 240 eight cylinder engine, came to grief just three miles from Longridge depot when the whole outfit turned over on a right hand bend on the B5269 at Whittingham.

Hauling a 40 foot tandem axle trailer loaded with 20 tons of Coca Cola and Lilt it rolled over and finished on it’s side in the adjoining field.

After the accident this bend was always referred to by Riding’s drivers as Coca Cola corner.

Seddon Atkinson 400 Series 4×2 tractor unit Reg No XFV 910V Fleet No 98 ‘Royal Star’ lies on its side after losing its 20 ton load of Coca Cola and Lilt .
At the time of the incident Chris Miller of Preston provided the crane for recovery and Tom Riding can be seen in the picture directing operations.
The crane operated, by Chris Miller of Preston, prepares to start the recovery operation and get the vehicle back on it’s wheels.

After being righted Seddon Atkinson 400 Series 4×2 tractor unit Reg No XFV 910V Fleet No 98 ‘Royal Star’ was in a rather sorry state after suffering extensive cab damage in the accident.

Powered by a Gardner 240 eight cylinder engine XFV 910V had been registered new to Riding’s on the 1st of April 1980 at a cost of £24,550

Rear End Shunt in Grimsargh

While travelling solo on the B6243 Preston Road in the village of Grimsargh, opposite Station Garage, Seddon Atkinson 6×2 tractor unit Reg No KPF 421W unfortunately skidded in the wet conditions and ran into the back of a tanker operated by Fleet Haulage in September 1986.

Seddon Atkinson 400 Series 6×2 tractor unit Reg No KPF 421W Fleet No 50 ‘Alfred the Great’ was powered by Cummins E290 engine.

Registered new on the 1st of August 1980 it was bought second hand when three years old from Yardley of Kidderminster for £9,400 plus vat on the 7th of August 1983 and was fitted with Norde third axle conversion to run with a tandem axle tipping trailer at 38 tons.

It came to grief in the wet when it ran into the rear of a Fleet Haulage tanker when travelling unit only at Grimsargh about 3 miles from the depot at Longridge.

After the accident KPF 421W was rebuilt using the cab from Seddon Atkinson 400 Series Reg No UJP 758S Fleet No 79 ‘Hardwicke’ which had been scrapped earlier that year in June 1986. 

Another shot of Seddon Atkinson 400 Series 6×2 tractor unit Reg No KPF 421W Fleet No 50 ‘Alfred the Great’ after it came to grief while traveling unit only through the village of  Grimsargh, only about 3 miles from the depot at Longridge.

Taken from another angle you can see the DAF tractor unit and tanker operated by Fleet Haulage which KPF 421W ran into the rear of while traveling through the village of Grimsargh in Lancashire.

After the accident KPF 421W was rebuilt using the cab from Seddon Atkinson 400 Series Reg No UJP 758S Fleet No 79 ‘Hardwicke’ which had been scrapped earlier that year in June 1986. 

A close up shot of the damage to Seddon Atkinson 400 Series 6×2 tractor unit Reg No KPF 421W Fleet No 50 ‘Alfred the Great was rebuilt using the cab from Seddon Atkinson 400 Series Reg No UJP 758S Fleet No 79 ‘Hardwicke’ which had been scrapped in June 1986. 

Twisted Chassis

Seddon Atkinson 401 Series 4×2 tractor unit Reg No C50 OBV Fleet No 72 ‘Vulcan’ is seen here back in Longridge depot  after recovery from it’s accident in Edinburgh.

Seddon Atkinson 401 Series 4×2 tractor unit Reg No C50 OBV Fleet No 72 ‘Vulcan’ was powered by a Gardner 6LYT 16 litre 320 engine.

Registered new on the 1st of June 1986 at a cost of £27,468 plus vat it was driven from new by Alan Bretherton.

The picture above shows it at Longridge after being recovered following an accident coming out of Edinburgh when it went off the road into a ditch.

The damage included a badly bent chassis resulting in the vehicle being totally written off and scrapped.

Fortunately the Gardner 6LYT 320 engine was undamaged and was later transferred into Seddon Atkinson 401 Series tractor unit Reg No D400 SRN.

Collision on the A59

February 1995 and Seddon Atkinson 4-11 Series 4×2 tractor unit Reg No F340 SHG Fleet No 14 ‘Firth of Clyde’ left the road during icy conditions on the A59 just east of West Marton and unfortunately collided with a large tree which resulted in the vehicle being totally written off.

In this series of eight photographs below, taken by the late Tom Riding, we see the recovery operation with a mobile crane from Settle called in to recover the trailer and container which after the collision had turned on their side and landed in the adjacent field. 

In 2024 Riding’s driver Paul Holliday who was driving F340 SHG at the time of the accident recalled…..

“When Tom’s BMW appeared over the hill my heart sank I’d only been with Ridings a few months and thought for sure I was gonna get sacked after having an irate conversation with Dave Nicolson in the traffic office on the phone.

But I couldn’t have been further from the truth.

Tom approached me and asked how I was after several apologies from me his words were ‘Don’t worry son your not the first and you certainly won’t be the last’

He was the best boss ever and W & J Riding the best company i ever had the pleasure of working for even to this day”

 

Seddon Atkinson 4-11 Series 4×2 tractor unit Reg No F340 SHG Fleet No 14 ‘Firth of Clyde’, driven by Paul Holliday, left the road during icy conditions on the A59 just east of West Marton in North Yorkshire and unfortunately hit a large tree.

At the time of the accident it was hauling a Bell 30ft box loaded with 24 tons of Barley for Whitbread’s at Samlesbury which over turned into an adjacent field but fortunately remained attached to it’s trailer which made the recovery easier.

This picture was taken shortly before the crane began work in righting the 30 foot trailer and container which had overturned into the field after the collision. 

From this angle you can see the badly twisted chassis and damaged cab which resulted in the vehicle being written off.

This picture, taken from the adjacent field, shows the container lying on it’s side with the Coles recovery crane from Settle getting into position.

Another view from the adjacent field showing the 30 foot Bell Line container on it’s side shortly before it was recovered.

Fortunately the container remained attached to it’s trailer which made the recovery operation a lot easier.

With the road closed the mobile crane is in the process of righting the overturned container which fortunately remained attached to the trailer 

This particular tractor unit along with Reg No F110 SRN Fleet No 22 ‘Solway Firth’ were both fitted with Gardner 6LXDT engines and were the very last Gardner engined vehicles to come out of the long gone Seddon Atkinson factory at Oldham in 1988.

With the mobile crane having now left the scene the trailer and container are seen here now upright back on the road awaiting recovery.

The BMW on the right was the late Tom Riding’s who had traveled to the scene from Longridge and took all the photographs of the accident featured in this gallery.

 

Another shot taken from a different angle with the mobile crane having left the scene after it had recovered the trailer and container out of the field next to the A59 just east of West Marton in North Yorkshire.

A Longridge depot mechanics Ford Escort Garage Van Reg No F456 FWG is seen here on the scene.

This van was registered new on the 4th of April 1989 and joined the fleet as a second hand purchase in 1993.

Burnt out Tanker

On the A66 near Penrith one of Riding’s ICI tandem axle tankers loaded with twenty seven tons of PTA for Kodak Workington burst into flames.

This was the end result after a tyre went soft, with the driver unaware he kept ploughing on causing the tyre to overheat and burst into flames.

The incident occurred on the A66 near Penrith with the tanker loaded with twenty seven tons of PTA for Kodak Workington.

Fortunately the tractor unit was disconnected and driven clear and did not suffer any damage.

Another shot of Riding’s burnt out tanker after it had been recovered and brought back to the depot ay Longridge.

Seddon Atkinson Strato Fire

Seddon Atkinson Strato 4×2 tractor unit Reg No F500 BFV Fleet No 24 ‘Invincible’ did not live up to it’s name after being burnt out following a fire which started in a front wheel hub.
Seddon Atkinson Strato 4×2 tractor unit Reg No F500 BFV Fleet No 24 ‘Invincible’ was the first Strato tractor unit to enter service with Riding’s on the 1st of May 1989 at a cost of £30.027.65p + VAT.
 
Unfortunately F500 BFV did not live up to it’s name of ‘Invincible’ as it was written off after being burnt out following a fire which started in a front wheel hub.
 
The burnt out remains of F500 BFV are pictured here in the depot at Longridge on the 4th of May 1996 shortly after being recovered.
Another shot taken in the depot at Longridge shows the burnt out remains of Seddon Atkinson Strato 4×2 tractor unit Reg No F500 BFV. Classed as a total write off the remains were broken up for scrap. Photographs courtesy of Chris Richards.

ERF Electrical Fault Fire

ERF E10 4×2 tractor unit Reg No F260 XRN Fleet No 105 ‘Ingleborough’, powered by a Cummins L10 325 engine, was registered new on the 10th of February 1989.
 
Driven from new by Vinny Chambers and based in Keighley this was the result of an electrical problem causing it to burst in to flames when just two years old in June 1991.
 
As Tom Riding says “fibre glass cabs wont rust which is a good thing, but unfortunately if you get them hot enough they sure as hell will burn”.
 
F260 was later fitted with a new cab and remained in service with Riding’s for another six years until 1997.

Overloaded Forklift

The late ‘Big’ John Elliot was the depot manager at W & J Riding’s Motherwell depot. 

John was fantastic worker and used to turn the vehicles around in double quick time.

Sometimes this haste had dire consequences especially, before the yard was concreted.

In this series of pictures below the overloaded fork truck could not manage the weight and as can be seen below it finished up in a precarious position.

Luckily no one was hurt on this occasion.