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).

Motherwell Depot

W & J Riding’s Motherwell depot in Scotland was actually in the village of Carfin situated to the north-east of Motherwell and ideally located for the Ravenscraig and Dalzell steel works from where Ridings had the contact to move thousands of tons of steel coil and plate. 

Before Riding’s moved to Carfin in the 1980’s their previous depot was located on Summerlee Road in Wishaw South East of Motherwell.

An aerial view of W & J Ridings Motherwell (Carfin) depot taken in July 1991 with plenty of sheeted flat trailers in the yard loaded with steel plate from the nearby Dalzell Steel works at Motherwell.

Another aerial view of Motherwell depot taken in July 1991 which was tucked away in the bottom corner of the industrial estate at Carfin.

Based in Motherwell depot this Volvo F88 double drive recovery vehicle, operated by Bobby Mcintyre & Howie Elder is seen here recovering one of the company’s Seddon Atkinson tractor units on the M74 between Larkhall and Lesmahagow.

The late Tom Riding recalled below….

“This Volvo F88 belonged to two excellent fitters, Bobby Mcintyre and Huge Elder, who were self employed but used my garage in Motherwell to do all my repairs and recovery as and when required.

Above and beyond that they could do outside repairs so long as it didn’t cause me any grief and it was a good arrangement which worked well indeed*

Bobby McIntyre, Howie Elder along with Motherwell depot manager the late John Elliot along with his Alsation, take time out for a photograph.
Bobby McIntyre and Howie Elder were self employed mechanics who used Motherwell depot to do all of W & J Riding’s repairs and recovery as and when required while the late ‘Big’ John Elliot was a fantastic worker who used to turn the vehicles around in double quick time and was very highly regarded by Tom Riding.

The late ‘Big’ John Elliot, seen here on the fork lift truck, was the depot manager at Motherwell.

Tom Riding regarded John highly as he was a fantastic worker and used to turn the vehicles around in double quick time without delay, although in saying that things did not always go to plan as can be seen in the picture below.

Taken one evening in 1986 at Motherwell are, from left to right, drivers, Bill Proctor, Ian Noblet (who drove for Tony Lee on contract to Riding) and Alan Bretherton.
They are standing in front of Seddon Atkinson 400 Series 4×2 tractor unit Reg No ORH 90W Fleet No 12 ‘Tornado’ which was Bill Proctor’s regular motor.
On the left is Seddon Atkinson 400 Series Reg No UJP 758S Fleet No 79 ‘Hardwicke’, (Chassis No FC32479) powered by a Gardner 240 eight cylinder engine, it was purchased second from Caunce Farm products of Melling near Liverpool and was scrapped after eight years service in June 1986, not long after this picture was taken..

It’s Gardner 240 engine was removed and sold on to Hartwood Exports of Barnsley while the cab lived on to fight another day as it was used to replace the cab on KPF 421W after it had been badly damaged in an accident after running into the back of a tanker while traveling unit only through the village of Grimsargh see Accidents Happen.   

Carfin Depot drivers meeting with among others Archie Ryan, Billy McCann, Tam Brady and Sonny O,Rourke.

Day cabbed Seddon Atkinson 401 Series 4×2 tractor unit Reg No OPL 47W Fleet No 45 ‘Undaunted’ (Chassis No 72841) was powered by a Cummins E290 big cam engine.

It is pictured here in the depot at Motherwell after undergoing some refurbishment in 1989. 

Originally registered new to London Carriers on the 7th of July 1981 Tom Riding bought this when it was almost five years old on the 7th of March 1986 along with seven sister machines all from dealer Syd Hartley of Whittingham Lancashire.

OPL 47W cost £7,100 plus vat and after five years in the fleet it was eventually broken up and scrapped in February 1991.

The late Tom Riding recalled “These ex London Carriers Seddon Atkinsons proved to be very useful machines and did a good job doing the work that could not justify the cost of brand new equipment”.

Seen here having a good wash besides the workshop at Motherwell depot in 1988 is ex London Carriers day cabbed Seddon Atkinson 401 Series 4×2 tractor unit Reg No OPL 51W Fleet No 5 ‘Comet’ (Chassis No FC 32546)

Powered by a Cummins E290 Big Cam engine it was bought from local dealer Mr Syd Hartley on the 7th of March 1984 at a cost of £7,100 plus vat.

On arrival it was fitted with a compressor along with a hydraulic pump to operate a tipping powder tanker and, after painting, it was dispatched up to Motherwell depot in 1987 to work on the Ready Mix Concrete delivery contract.

After six years service with Riding’s it was finally scrapped in September 1990 with it’s Cummins engine sold on to Hartwood Exports for £1,000 plus vat.

Day cabbed Seddon Atkinson 401 4×2 tractor unit Reg No RPL 151X Fleet No 65 ‘Conqueror’ (Chassis No 73251) registered new by London Carriers on the 4th of November 1981 was one of a batch of nine ex London Carriers Seddon Atkinson 401 4×2 tractor units that Tom Riding bought second-hand.

Purchased in April 1986, when four and a half years old, from local dealer Syd Hartley RPL 151X cost £8,350 plus vat and was initially used on general haulage out of Longridge depot from 1986 until 1988 after which time it spent all its remaining life based at Motherwell depot, where the above photograph was taken, shunting the trailers that were sent up overnight from Longridge.

After five years service with Riding’s RPL 151X was finally broken up and scrapped in 1991.

1990 and seen here while washing off in Motherwell depot are, left, ERF E10 4×2 tractor unit Reg No F550 ABV Fleet No 35 ‘Pen-Y-Ghent’.
Based at Penrith it was purchased new from ERF Ltd on the 16th of January 1989 at a cost of £29,313 plus vat and originally came from the ERF factory fitted with a day cab as can be seen in the picture above but after suffering severe damage after turning over on the M74 it was later fitted with a with a full sleeper cab.
On the right is contract motor ERF E14 6×2 tractor unit Reg No F240 YFR which was operated by R J & I Wells Ltd of Great Eccleston and named ‘Fylde Coaster’.
Driven by Eric Kershaw it was powered by a Cummins 32O engine and supplied brand new to R J & I Wells Ltd by W & J Riding on the 10th of February 1989, replacing Seddon Atkinson 401 series Reg No D720 LVU.
Highly rated by its owners it completed 800,000 km in the six years it was working for Riding’s after which time, in 1995, it was sold on to K & P Iddon of Leyland.

ERF E10 4X2 tractor unit Reg No F660 ARN Fleet No 42 ‘Formidable’ was purchased brand new from ERF Ltd Sandbach on the 15th of February 1989 at a cost of £28,853 plus vat and was first registered for road use two weeks later on the 1st of April 1989.

Powered by a Cummins L10 325 engine F660 ARN was driven on a regular basis by Tom Brady and was assigned to the RMC contract in Scotland.  

Pictured here at Motherwell depot it is seen here coupled to a Riding liveried tri-axle cement tanker which would have later been repainted in RMC’s orange livery.

A couple of the early cement tankers parked at Motherwell depot which were used to collect bulk cement mainly from Dunbar and Leith Docks for delivery to all the RMC batching plants in Scotland.

All of Riding’s cement tankers based in Scotland were later given the orange RMC livery. 

Another shot of E10 4X2 tractor unit Reg No F660 ARN Fleet No 42 ‘Formidable’ while doing some shunting at Motherwell depot.

It is coupled to one of Riding’s 45 foot tri-axle flat trailers loaded with empty GKN pallets destined for the Heinz plant at Wigan.

These empty pallets would have been dropped off in the depot by other Riding’s vehicles after delivering Heinz products to Scotland.

As they were not required for the return leg due to loading up with steel coil and plate from the Ravenscraig and Dalzell plants the empty pallets were stored at the depot until there were enough for a full back load down South to England.

RMC Fleet line up at Motherwell depot  in June 1990 which consisted of, from left to right, 

‘E’ Series ERF 4X2 tractor unit Reg No G330 SEC Fleet No 68 ‘Wolf of Badenoch’ 
‘E’ Series ERF 4X2 tractor unit Reg No G320 NFR Fleet No 74 ‘Pentland Firth’ 
‘E’ Series ERF 4X2 tractor unit Reg F650 AHG Fleet No 107 ‘Dornoch Firth’ 
‘E’ Series ERF 4X2 tractor unit Reg No F660 ARN Fleet No 42 ‘Formidable’  
Seddon Atkinson 4-11 4×2 tractor unit Reg No E940 MCK Fleet No 36 ‘Firth of Forth’.

Parked in the depot at Motherwell is trailer No 245 one of many trombone trailers Riding’s operated for the transportation of steel plate out of the Dalzell steel works in Motherwell.