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).

Leyland Beaver Reg ATF 550A

After serving their time at W & J Riding many of the vehicles in the fleet were later sold on to other operators.

One in particular, which is documented here in detail was L.A.D. Cabbed Leyland Beaver Reg No ATF 550A which had an eventful life eventually ending it’s days in Rongai Kenya East Africa.

Registered new on the 1st of November 1963 at a cost of £2,854,14s,6d Leyland Beaver model 14B/17R Reg No ATF 550A was powered by a Leyland 600 power plus engine rated at 140 BHP and was driven from new by Dick Brewer.

W & J Riding normally bought all their Leyland vehicles direct from Leyland Motors Ltd but this particular one was sourced from Leyland agents Woodward’s of Formby.

Riding’s were so busy with the business rapidly expanding at the time that this tractor unit was put on the road brand new still in Leyland’s factory grey primer and was not taken off the road for painting until four months later in March 1964.

Pictured here in May 1964, shortly after being finally being painted in Riding livery, Leyland Beaver Reg No ATF 550A Fleet No 14 is seen  parked up in the yard at Longridge prior to its accident at Borrowby Bridge north of Thirsk the following year, one of three accidents to happen to Riding’s over the 1965 Easter period.

Another shot taken in 1964 shows Leyland Beaver tractor unit Reg No ATF 550A Fleet No 14 with an abnormal load on one of Riding’s 33 foot tandem axle trailers. 

Easter 1965 and disaster strikes when Leyland Beaver tractor unit Reg No ATF 550A, hauling a fully loaded trailer of Terylene spools destined for the ICI plant at Kilroot, came to grief on the old A19 at Borrowby Bridge on Oaktree Bank North of Thirsk demolishing the bridge wall and landing in Cowesby Beck below.

Tom Riding attended the scene personally who, along with other Riding staff, spent the following two days after the accident clearing the river of the Terylene spools and recovering the badly damaged vehicle.

Leyland Beaver tractor unit Reg No ATF 550A Fleet No 14 is pictured here after being recovered following the major accident at Borrowby Bridge North of Thirsk.

It was completely rebuilt in house at Longridge by Riding’s and put back on the road three weeks later as can be seen in the picture below.

Fresh out of the paint shop and ready for the road. Leyland Beaver tractor unit Reg No ATF 550A Fleet No 14, is seen here after been completely rebuilt in three weeks following its accident at Borrowby Bridge.

It remained in service with Riding’s for another seven years, after which time in 1972, it was sold on to a transport company in Kenya Africa for £625.

Another shot of Leyland Beaver tractor unit Reg No ATF 550A Fleet No 14 taken on the day it came out of the paint shop after it was completely rebuilt over a three week period  in Riding’s own workshops at Longridge.


Old Leyland’s never die, they simply emigrate and find a new life as was the case for Leyland Beaver Reg No ATF 550A.

It was sold for £625 on the 31st of December 1971 to Rongai Workshop & Transport Ltd Haulage Contractors who are, even to this day, still based at Rongai Kenya East Africa.

On arriving in Kenya in March 1972 the company put the vehicle through a thorough inspection finding no faults what so ever then gave it a new livery as can be seen in the picture above which was taken in April 1972.

Rongai Workshop & Transport Ltd are still very much in business today as can be found on their website HERE.

A rear view shot of former Riding’s Leyland Beaver 4×2 tractor unit Reg No ATF 550A in April 1972 now baring the local registration number of KLQ 007 at its new home at Rongai in Kenya East Africa.

A copy of a letter received by Tom Riding from Gordon Eccles at Rongai Workshop & Transport Ltd after they had purchased Leyland Beaver 4×2 tractor unit Reg No ATF 550A in December 1972.