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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).

Family Album

This section of the site contains images taken from the late Tom Riding’s personal family album along with a selection of photographs taken by some of his personal friends.

Founders of the company William Riding on the right and his eldest son Jim Riding (Tom Riding’s father) on the left.

1954 and a youthful Tom Riding, aged just 19, is pictured here at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool with his future wife to be Margaret aged 18. 

After after serving his engineering apprenticeship at Leyland Motors Tom went on to do his two years National Service before joining the company fully in 1956.

Tom Riding’s certificate of apprenticeship which he served at Leyland Motors from 1949 to 1954. 

1955 and Tom Riding is seen here in the yard at Longridge while reversing Leyland Beaver four wheeler Reg No  EBA 151 on to its draw-bar trailer.
 
This was a Saturday afternoon when he was on a 36 hour pass while serving his National Service in the Royal Airforce of R A F Weeton in Lancashire.

One Spring Sunday morning in 1967 the late James Riding popped down to the depot with his four year old daughter Pamela and took a couple of pictures for the family album.

In this shot we see her proudly standing in front of L.A.D. cabbed Leyland Octopus Reg No 860 WTE Fleet No 16 which was purchased brand new direct from Leyland Motors in August 1961. 

Shortly after this picture was taken it was rebuilt and converted into a 4×2 tractor unit.

Another shot taken in the Spring of 1967 showing four year old Pamela Riding the daughter of the late James Riding.

This time she is standing in front of Atkinson Mk I Silver Knight 4×2 tractor unit Reg No BTB 420E Fleet No 57 while on the right is the last tilt cabbed Ergomatic Leyland Beaver that entered service with the company in 1967, Reg No YTD 360D Fleet No 58.

The late Tom Riding recalled below a great way to spend a Sunday morning……..

“In April 1970 i jumped in this outfit to take the children for a ride and also take a few photos along the journey.

This particular photograph was taken on Dale Brow, a couple of miles from the depot at Longridge.

My late brother’s twin boys Matthew, Jeremy and daughter Pamela are on the left while my eldest daughter Elizabeth is on the right, what lucky children!”.

The Atkinson Mk II 4X2 tractor unit pictured is Reg No WTB 660H Fleet No 41 which was a brand new addition to the Riding fleet on the 1st of March 1970 at a cost of £4,708.22p.

Tom Riding’s younger sister the late Dr Irene Riding, who sadly passed away in 2011, is pictured here in the depot at Longridge in 1968 alongside her brand new Triumph GT 6 Reg No JTD 300F (Chassis No KC 10233 ‘0’)

Powered by a 2 litre 6 cylinder petrol engine it was purchased new from Rover, Triumph, Daimler dealership Tom Mitchell (Blackburn) Limited King Street Blackburn on the 1st of February 1968 at a cost of £1,126 1s 7d. the equivalent value of £24,337 in 2024.

Irene was a director and shareholder of the company but took no part in the day to day running of the business.
 
This was due to the fact that a few years later in 1974 she became the headmistress of the prestigious St Georges High School for Girls at Ascot in the South of England, as can be seen here in this picture on the right.
 
Irene was a stark contrast to her predecessor, when she swept into the school drive in her Lotus sports car. 
 
As well as having a love of fast cars Irene also held a private pilots licence.

Scammell Rigid 8 at the Tyne-Tees rally in 1985 which was the year it was finally restored.

The late Tom Riding continued below…….

“We had a trouble free run to South Shields but on arrival i discovered the metalastic rubber coupling behind the gearbox was close to collapsing so i decided to leave it in the yard of Crows Transport in Gateshead.

I sent a new coupling up to our Teesside depot and they fitted it and the following weekend my brother James and I went back up for it.

In any organisation you must have some good men and we were blessed in having more than our fair share.

In the picture above, from left to right, are myself standing next Jim Blezzard who worked with us for nearly 40 years and was fleet engineer from 1971 to when he retired in 1996.

Jim was a craftsman and could make or mend anything.

On the right is my late brother James who worked all his life with the company and was an excellent Traffic Manager and his way of doing the traffic sheets was used right to the very end”.

Tom Riding takes time out for a photograph with his close friend ‘Doctor’ John Killingbeck during an Atkinson gathering at Leyland on the 22nd of May 1988.

They are standing in front of John Killingbecks Atkinson Venturer Reg No KBU 371P.

Seen here at London St Pancras station in 2002 the late Tom Riding was a keen railway enthusiast all his life and over the years had made many close acquaintances in the railway industry.
 
This enabled him to travel with numerous engine drivers in their cabs on journeys across the country and something he did on a regular basis, especially after his retirement, during empty coaching stock movements on the West Coast main line.
 
Tom always had plenty of stories to tell of his exploits while sat up front in the cabs, a practice which would be unheard of today.

Tom Riding seen here celebrating his 80th birthday on the 13th of October 2013 complete with a very apt birthday cake while at his daughter Anne’s house in Chislehurst Kent

Tom Riding at home in Ribchester while in his ‘man cave’ on the 5th of September 2017.

Tom Riding’s family art deco home ‘ Culrathain’ on Preston Road in Ribchester Lancashire.

Tom Riding pictured here with Dennis E. Smith former M.D. of Bewick Transport Services Ltd. Milnthorpe Cumbria.

The picture was taken on the 4th of May 2019 at the Llandudno Transport Festival just two months before Tom sadly passed away.

One of the last pictures of Tom Riding taken on the 22nd of June 2019 just two weeks to the day before he sadly passed away after a short illness on the 6th of July 2019.

He his pictured with one of his three daughters, Anne, during a visit to Wembley Arena when the family attended a Billy Joel concert.