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).

Scammell Rigid 8 'Lococmotion'

Scammell Rigid 8 – Reg No FJH 102 ‘Locomotion’ technically isn’t a W & J Riding motor – it being the late Tom Riding’s personal possession who painstakingly restored it and gave it a W & J Riding livery.

Back in 2015 the late Tom Riding kindly gave this personal in-depth history of the vehicle below……….

“Scammell Rigid 8 – Reg No FJH 102 was brand new to Albright & Wilson of Widnes in October 1939 for a discounted price of £1,600, which is the equivalent of an unbelievable £127,913 by today’s value using the Historic Inflation Calculator.

Ordered from Scammell Lorries Ltd Watford on the 4th of August 1939 baring Chassis No 2839R8 it came with a Gardner 6LW engine in line with a six speed Scammell gearbox, 12 volt lighting, 36″ x 8″ Goodyear tyres, an additional near side mirror and a 50 gallon fuel tank.

It was 25 foot long, 7 foot 6 inches wide and the price included the body and finished painting in Kemobel soda ash resistant paint with the outfit paid for as ‘cash on delivery’.

It came with a six month guarantee and was collected from the Scammell factory at Watford by Albright and Wilson’s own driver on the 21st of October 1939 who then drove it back to their premises in Widnes where it was put to work for the following thirteen Years.

In 1952 it was subsequently sold to Round Oak Motor Services of Stourbridge and was used extensively on the movement of tinplate between South Wales – the Midlands and Scotland.

In 1956 it was sold on again this time to Mountford Brothers of Bucknall Stoke on Trent were it was used on general haulage between the potteries and Liverpool.

Around this time, after approximately 16 years of service, it had a new cab built and fitted by a company called E,Wigglesworth & Co (Stanningley) Ltd.

The actual cab that is on the vehicle today of course has been completely rebuilt after extensive restoration.

After the rebuild it was used In conjunction with a four-in-line dolly extensively for the countrywide movement of 40 to 60 foot steel girders and fabrications from the Shelton Iron and Steel Co.

It actually carried the girders used in the construction of the then new Rover Company plant at Solihull with some of these loads being 70 foot long and above the vehicles 32 tons gvw.

In 1967, after 27 years service, it was finally replaced by a Leyland Octopus with a tilt cab but as the Scammell had been such a good machine for many years at Mountfords it was then parked up in a corner of their yard and allowed to die with dignity.
Fifteen years later on the 9th of September 1982 i purchased the dilapidated vehicle at an auction sale when Mountfords closed down, thus beginning the long task of restoring it to its former glory.

It was rebuilt to a very high standard in our own Longridge workshops and emerged three years later in 1985 to take part in the Tyne -Tees Rally and has appeared at various rallies all over the country ever since.

In 1996/7 i decided that the cab needed a repaint but Alan Dixon pointed out to me that the the cab floor and and some of the frame was rotten and would need replacing before the repaint.

So what in my mind was going to be a just quick repaint of the old girl became almost a full cab refurbishment, rebuild and paint job which had to be completed before it went on the London to Brighton road run.     

In July 2005, after covering many miles on the rally circuit, disaster struck the old girl when she knocked out No 5 big end on the way down to a rally near Shrewsbury due to oil starvation caused by a piece of silicone jointing compound coming loose and blocking the oil way.

Subsequently the Gardner 6LW engine was removed and sent to Paul Gardner Engineering where it was re-manufactured to perfection and at the same time the opportunity was taken to re-bush the main front bogie suspension king-post.

All this work resulted in the vehicle being off the road for a period of 12 months but it duly emerged in 2006 to begin it’s rally career again.

As a foot note this was the very last engine to be rebuilt by Gardner’s and thus has a very special place in the history of that famous company”

The original order form dated the 16th of August 1939.

Scammell Rigid 8 Reg No FJH 102 is seen here in the late 1950’s when in use by Mountford Bros with a load of steel beams which must be approaching 100 foot in length.

Another shot showing a load of manufactured steel being delivered in the late 1950’s when Scammell Rigid 8 Reg No FJH 102 was owned by Mountford Brothers of Bucknall Stoke on Trent.

Mountford Brothers certainly put the vehicle to good use over the years while they owned it.

Seen here at Shelton Bar steel works in Stoke-on Trent the huge site in its heyday covered around 400 acres, employed 10,000 in the steelworks, had five coal mines, a complete railway system, and a by-products processing factory.

Mountford Brothers moving another load on Scammell Rigid 8 Reg No FJH 102 from Shelton Bar steel works in Stoke-on Trent

September 1982 and the late Tom Riding purchased the Scammell after it come up for auction at Mountford Brothers (Haulage Contractors) Ltd in Stoke on Trent. 

September 1982 and the Scammell Rigid 8, Reg FJH 102, is pictured in the yard of Mountford Brothers (Haulage Contractors) Ltd Stoke on Trent shortly before collection by Tom Riding.

September 1992 and the mobile crane in the yard at Mountford Brothers (Haulage Contractors) Ltd Stoke on Trent prepares to lift the Scammell onto Tom Riding’s trailer for it’s journey to Longridge. 

September 1982 and Riding’s driver Stuart Ainsworth (left) looks on as the derelict Scammell is lifted on to the trailer in the yard of Mountford Brothers (Haulage Contractors) Ltd Stoke on Trent for it’s journey to Longridge.  

Seddon Atkinson 400 Series 4×2 tractor unit Reg No GAT 247T ‘Earl Marischal’ was used for the job when Tom Riding and Stuart Ainsworth went down to Stoke on Trent to collect the derelict Scammell which Tom had bought for restoration.

Mr Mountford is shown at the rear of the vehicle lending a helping hand to load it up.

At the time he said it had been such a good vehicle for him that he was reluctant to see it go when it had finished work so for 16 years after it came off the road it was stored it in the yard and was used for fuel storage tanks on its back.

Driver Stuart Ainsworth is seen securing the Scammell to the trailer after it was loaded onto the trailer which was hauled by Seddon Atkinson 400 Series 4×2 tractor unit Reg No GAT 247T ‘Earl Marischal’ for it’s journey back to Longridge.

Seen here shortly after being unloaded in Riding’s depot at Longridge ready for it’s  painstaking three year long restoration programme. 

This photograph shows state of the cab interior after Tom Riding got it back to Longridge before the start of three long years restoration work in Riding’s workshops.

Another pre-restoration shot taken in October 1982 shows the sorry state of the chassis after Tom Riding got it back to Longridge.

Compare this with the picture below taken 12 months later.

November 1983, twelve months on from the previous picture, and after many hours work the restoration of the Scammell Rigid 8 at Longridge is well and truly underway.

A close up view of part of the chassis taken in November 1983 after it had undergone many man hours of restoration work of the highest standard in W & J Riding’s workshop at Longridge. 

After three years hard work the restoration of the Scammell Rigid 8 was finally completed in 1985.

The goal which had been set was to have it ready for that years Tyne -Tees Rally.

Seen here fresh out of the paint shop and ready for the road the picture above was taken outside Longridge depot just before the off on the weekend of the rally in 1985.

Seen here at the 1985 Tyne Tees Rally Scammell Rigid 8 is pictured taking a mid rally break at Chester-Le-Street.

The old gentleman wearing the flat cap stood in front of the vehicle is the late Mr Jim Riding, founder of W & J Riding..

At 85 years old, he had taken the time out to go on the rally along with his son Tom and was quite proud of his efforts in restoring the Scammell to its former glory.

Seen here on it’s second outing in 1985 Scammell Rigid 8 Reg No FJH 102 ‘Locomotion’ is pictured on the Stray at Harrogate at the end of its first Trans Pennine Rally.

The late Tom Riding can be seen on the far left of the picture having a chat with Andrew Warring.

 Photograph courtesy of Robert Cheetham

Scammell Rigid 8 Reg No FJH 102 ‘Locomotion’ is seen here attending another rally in 1985 not long after a three year restoration programme which saw Tom Riding restore the vehicle to all of it’s former glory.

1986 and the Scammell is seen here after arriving at Donnington Park Castle Donington Derby during an event held during one of the circuits truck racing weekends they had back in the day. 

Seddon Atkinson 401 tractor unit Reg No D70 XBV is seen here in Battersea Park London in acting as tender vehicle for Tom Riding’s Scammell Rigid 8 – FJH 102, ‘Locomotion’.

This picture was taken Saturday the 30th of April 1988 the evening before Tom drove it in the London to Brighton Historic Commercial Vehicle run on Sunday the 1st of May 1988.

Photograph courtesy of the late Peter Davison

Sunday the 1st of May 1988 and the late Tom Riding is seen here at the wheel of his Scammell Rigid 8 as he heads down to Brighton for the annual London to Brighton Commercial Vehicle run.

Toms good friend John Dickson Simpson, who was enjoying the ride down, took the photo unbeknown to Tom with comforts in short supply with the Gardner 6LW blowing your brains out.

This was a favorite Scammell picture of the late Tom Riding who recalled below…….

“Seen here in the rain just before dusk we were heading home from the Trans Pennine rally, which had finished at Harrogate, travelling down my favorite road the A59.

I was driving with my late brother James in the the passenger seat and Cumberland John sat on the bonnet.

The photograph was taken by Alan Dixon who drove for us for many years and has rallied the old girl ever since i restored it.

As a joiner by trade, he rebuilt the cab when the timbers started to rot and he also replaced the floor when i refitted the engine in 2006, happy days”.

In 2005 disaster struck the Gardner 6LW engine when it knocked out No 5 big end on the way down to a rally near Shrewsbury in Shropshire.

The cab was taken off and the engine removed and sent to Paul Gardner Engineering for a complete rebuild to as new standard.

The picture above shows the engine in the process of rebuilding with the late Tom Riding operating the block and tackle while Mr Paul Gardner (right) is locating the front cylinder block.

The late Tom Riding is seen here taking a close interest whilst the rear block is positioned during the rebuilding of the Gardner 6LW engine.

The late Tom Riding recalled…….

“The man operating the overhead crane is Mr Eddie Rayner who spent his whole career as an engineer with the various Gardner companies and he was very helpful to our company over many years.

The fitter on the right who is building the engine is Mr John Ashton.

In 1970, when working for Pelican Engineering of Leeds, he had rebuilt a badly damaged 6LXB engine for me and 35 years later i was delighted whilst working for Paul Gardner Ltd he was given the job of rebuilding my 6LW how’s that for continuity?”

With the cab having to be taken off to remove the Gardner engine the cab also had a major rebuild at the same time.   

The late Tom Riding pictured with the newly rebuilt Gardner 6LW engine back at Longridge shortly before installation.

The engine still needed dressing ie the air compressor needed fitting as did the flywheel and clutch housing.

While the engine was removed Tom Riding decided to rebush the front bogie brackets and is pictured here while struggling to jack out the main bush.

Tom had to design and make the puller but as you can see even with the use of two Lake end Elliot jacks that the bushes didn’t want to come out.

2006 and with engine and the restored cab refitted the 2nd restoration of the Scammell is almost complete ready for the next Trans Pennine rally.

On the left is Jim Blezard, Ridings fleet engineer, helping Tom during the Scammell’s second rebuild in 2006.

Tom always said if he was stuck in the desert with one man he would want it to be Jim Blezard.

Another in a series of pictures taken during the Scammell’s second rebuild in 2006 showing the late Tom Riding looking on as work continues on the refitting of the cab.  

With the 2006 rebuild now complete the Scammell looked immaculate after emerging from the garage.  

With the Scammell having just been loaded up and ready for the off to the Historic Commercial Vehicle Society’s London to Brighton run Ian Tyson (left) and the late Bill Lambert take time out for a photograph.

With the Gardner 6LW engine totally rebuilt it was full steam ahead as Scammell Rigid 8 Reg No FJH 102 ‘Locomotion’ heads towards Harrogate during the annual Trans Pennine Rally.

 Note the nice dummy load of reels of paper on the back which actually doubles as living accommodation.

Scammell Rigid 8 Reg No FJH 102 ‘Locomotion’ arrives at the Stray in Harrogate after completing the 2011 Trans Pennine Rally which started at the M62 Birch Services near Manchester.

Photograph courtesy of Mike Richardson.

Another of the late Tom Riding’s favorite pictures shows him at the wheel along with Alan Dixon as the Scammell  heads home to Longridge via the A59 near Skipton in North Yorkshire after appearing at the 2011 Trans Pennine Vehicle Rally.

Photograph courtesy of Mike Richardson.

Locomotion heads for Sweden.

In 2017 the late Tom Riding recalled the time he sent his Scammell across the North Sea over to Sweden.

“In 2004, whilst i was doing some shopping in Sainsbury’s on Greenwich Peninsular, i received a phone call from the late Geoff Whittle who at the time was the fleet engineer for W.H. Bowker of Blackburn.

He asked me if i would be prepared to let my Scammell go to the Pärlrallyt in Helsingborg Sweden which was sponsored by Volvo.

At the time i thought it didn’t seem a bad idea so i arranged my friend Alan Dixon to take it across in August 2004″.

Tom Riding’s Scammell Rigid 8, driven by Alan Dixon, is pictured here on the 13th of August 2004 coming off the ferry at 6.30 am after the overnight crossing to Gothenburg Sweden.

After a visit to the Volvo factory Alan Dixon drove the Scammell down to Helsingborg and took this picture during a break in the road run.

After a visit to the Volvo factory the Scammell is seen here at the rally in Helsingborg.

In this final picture, taken in Sweden in 2004, Tom Riding’s Scammell is seen here with the three vintage lorries that W. H. Bowker owned and sent on the rally.

From left to right…
1967 Atkinson Mk 1 unit fitted with the legendary Gardner 180 engine.
1939 Scammell Rigid 8 fitted with a Gardner 6LW engine.

 1937 Leyland TSC 9 Beaver fitted with the Leyland 8.6 litre engine.
# Some years later this 1937 Leyland TSC 9 Beaver was completely destroyed in the disastrous warehouse fire at W. H. Bowkers depot in Bamber Bridge.

A 1920s Thorneycroft fitted with manually operated tipping gear.
Photographs courtesy of Alan Dixon.