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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).

Thornaby Depot

Located on Magister Road in Thornaby on Teesside with a rear gate onto Martinet Road the depot opened in the late 1970’s when Tom Riding found it necessary to move from the old North East depot on Middlesbrough Road South Bank after a compulsory purchase order due to road huge road building improvements for the A66.  

The depot had previously been used by fellow Transport Development Group company Econofreight who moved out to Eston Grange and was ideally located for the huge amount of ICI work from their Wilton plant.

Today the depot is long gone and now covered with housing.

The front entrance to Thornaby depot which was on Magister Road with the office located in  portacabin on the right as you passed through the gate. 

The rear gate entrance to Thornaby depot which was located off Martinet Road.

One of the long gone former aircraft hangers, from when it was RAF Thornaby airfield, can be seen in the picture.

Another shot of the rear gate entrance looking towards Martinet Road with a few off the old type ICI plas bins stored in the yard on the right.

An ICI Seddon Atkinson tractor unit and trailer loading up with empty plas bins in the front entrance to the depot off Magister Road with driver Jimmy Rentons Rover P6 parked up next to the gate.

Another yard shot looking South towards the Magister Road entrance the blue building at the far end were the premises of Ford dealers Nesham of Teesside.

Inside the warehouse at Thornaby depot in 1985 with the gate to the rear entrance off Martinet Road seen just outside the door. 

Seddon Atkinson 400 Series 4×2 tractor unit Reg No NBV 110T Fleet No 37 ‘ Valiant’ (Chassis FC 34808) was received new form the manufacturer Atkinson Vehicles Ltd on the 21st of September 1978 and was first registered for road use on the 1st of November 1978.

Powered by a Gardner eight cylinder 240 engine it was driven from new by John Kellet and is pictured here parked up in the depot at Thornaby in 1983 after undergoing a complete overhaul and facelift.

NBV 110T remained in the fleet for a total of nine years until it was broken up and scrapped in February 1987 with it’s Gardner 8LXB engine removed and many of it’s other parts used elsewhere.  

Seddon Atkinson 400 Series 4×2 tractor unit Reg No SCK 913T Fleet No 62 ‘Pegasus’ (Chassis No 68295) was purchased second hand from L.J. & M.D. Transport of Fleetwood along with a 300 Series tractor unit Reg No KFR 893W.  

Shortly before Tom Riding sadly passed away in July 2019 he recalled….

“Originally registered new on the 1st of June 1979 i bought SCK 913T on the 12th of September 1984 when it was five years old at a bargain price of only £1,000 plus vat due to the Rolls Royce 265 engine having serious trouble.
 
However we slotted a Cummins NT 250 engine into it, had Geoff Yates of Preston convert it into a sleeper cab, and it was back on the road with the whole project costing in total £4,302.
 
Seen here in Thornaby depot and driven by Reg Nuttall it was used on the general haulage fleet for a further four years after which time i sold it on the 28th of June 1988 to a Mr A Robinson of Woodlands Avenue Immingham for the sum of £2,500 plus vat which turned out to be a rather good investment”.

Seen here in Thornaby and driven by Kevin Jordan Seddon Atkinson 400 Series 4×2 tractor unit Reg No LFR 310T Fleet No 73 ‘North Star’ (Chassis No 33984) was powered by an eight cylinder Gardner 8LXB 240 engine.

Purchased new from Atkinson Vehicles Ltd on the 24th of May 1978 at a cost of £18,613 plus 8% vat it was not registered until three months later on the 1st of September 1978.

After nine years service in the Riding fleet LFR 310T was sold on to Downhams Haulage of Featherstone Pontefract on the 30th of August 1987 for the sum of £2,850 plus vat.

Seddon Atkinson 400 Series 4×2 tractor unit Reg No GAT 246T Fleet No 44 ‘Mons Meg’.

Registered new on the 1st of July 1979 it was purchased second-hand on the 1st of July 1982 from Yardley Commercial Vehicles of Kidderminster at a cost of £9,250 plus vat.

A further £3,189 was spent installing pumping equipment to the vehicle and before it entered service it was painted in a bright yellow livery and subsequently operated on the Solrec Contract for a number of years. 

It is pictured here in Thornaby after returning to the general haulage fleet having being repainted in Riding’s familiar livery.

After a total of nine years service with Ridings GAT 246T was finally sold on to a Mr J Williams of Blackrod on the 13th of June 1988 for £3,000 plus vat.

Driven by Steve Martin and based at Thornaby Seddon Atkinson 400 Series 4×2 tractor unit Reg No JUE 510V Fleet No 54 ‘Mercury’ shows it loaded with a heavy load of plate steel from Motherwell while parked in the yard at Thornaby.

Registered new on the 14th of September 1979 it was purchased second hand from Tom Riding’s very good dealer friend Syd Hartley on the 31st of January 1983 for £7,200 plus vat.

It was scrapped eight years later on the 6th of August 1987 with the Gardner engine sold on for export for £2,100.

1979 registered Seddon Atkinson 400 Series 4×2 tractor unit Reg No JFK 388V Fleet No 17 ‘Highland Chieftain’ is seen here towards the end of it’s working life with Riding’s.

It is pictured here here on shunting duties at Thornaby depot in 1990 while coupled to a ICI liveried Pontypool nylon tanker.

After twelve years service JFK 388V was finally withdrawn from the fleet in January 1991 and scrapped.

Seddon Atkinson 400 Series 4×2 tractor unit Reg No NVT 456W was registered new on the 1st of September 1980 and operated by Norman Billington of Garstang on contract to W & J Riding.

Seen here in the yard at Riding’s Thornaby depot it is coupled to one of Riding’s own 40 foot tandem axle trailers.

Powered by a Rolls Royce Eagle engine you will notice it does not bare a fleet number or a name, unlike Riding’s in house fleet vehicles.

Registered new on the 1st of January 1982 Seddon Atkinson 400 Series 4×2 tractor unit Reg No EMB 304X was purchased second hand from Translitre of Burton on Trent on the 4th of April 1986 at a cost of £4,250.

Owned and used intensively for three years by Tunnel Glucose trunking between Glasgow and London it was taken up to Longridge depot given a complete overhaul and had the standard spec of the time which was a Cummins 290 Big Cam engine in line with a Fuller box and Rockwell rear axle.

Pictured here loaded with ICI plas bins while parked in Thornaby depot it remained on the general haulage fleet for four years until it was sold back to Translitre of Burton on Trent for £1,600 plus vat on the 7th June 1990 who broke it up for scrap.

 

One of a number of photographs taken by the late Tom Riding in 1985 showing four out of a total of eight brand new Carmichael 2000 cubic foot non tipping tri-axle powder tankers all in ICI livery.

They are seen here parked in the depot along side the fence adjacent to Magister Road while awaiting the start of the movement of Nylon chip from Wilton on Teesside to Pontypool in South Wales. 

A pair of brand new Carmichael 2000 cubic ft non tipping tri-axle powder tanks photographed by the late Tom Riding while parked up at Thornaby depot in 1985.

They awaiting the start of the movement of Nylon chip from Wilton to Pontypool.

Altogether eight of these brand new tankers, all in ICI livery, were bought for this contract in 1985 which was quite an investment by Riding’s at the time..

Seddon Atkinson 401 Series 4×2 tractor unit Reg No B800 YFR Fleet No 75 ‘Great Western’.

Registered new on the 1st of March 1985, at a cost of £28,412 and powered by a Gardner 300 8LXCT engine it is seen here with the first load of nylon chip delivered in a brand new ICI liveried bulk tanker from ICI Wilton Middlesbrough to ICI Pontypool works.

Previously this product had been transported in tall tote bins by ICI’s in house fleet, but once Riding’s acquired the contract from the 1st of April 1985 it became a night and day operation which went on for many years.

Thornaby based driver, Terry Mclaughlin, is seen second from left in the boiler suit.

Seddon Atkinson 401 4X2 tractor unit Reg No B380 YRN Fleet No 86 ‘Great Northern’ which was fitted with a Gardner 8LXCT 300 engine.

Purchased new by Riding’s on the 17th of February 1985 at a cost of £25,412 and was first registered for road use on the 1st of March 1985.

Driven from new by Joe Keir, and based at Thornaby where this picture was taken, this particular tractor unit was normally involved on the Wilton – Pontypool movement of Nylon chip running in tandem with Seddon Atkinson 401 Reg No B800 YFR Fleet No 75 ‘Great Western’ driven by Terry Mclaughlin  

Seddon Atkinson 401 4×2 tractor unit Reg No C430 CFR Fleet No 87 ‘Great Eastern’ (Chassis No 79481) was powered by a Gardner 6LYT320 16 litre engine and purchased brand new on the 29th of July 1985 direct from Seddon Atkinson Motors Ltd Oldham at a cost of £26,496 plus vat with an extra £2,387 spent on parts added including blowing equipment after delivery.
 
Based at Thornaby depot, where the above picture was taken in 1986, it was not registered for road use until the 1st of September 1985 and was used primarily on moving nylon chip in ICI liveried bulk tankers from ICI Wilton to ICI Pontypool works.
 
After nine years service C430 CFR was sold on to J.C. Commercials of Bootle on the 25th of July 1994 for the sum of £2,500 plus vat.    

Pictured here at Thornaby in November 1985 is another of the eight ICI liveried Carmichael 2000 cubic foot non tipping tri-axle powder tankers Riding’s bought at the beginning of 1985.

Fueling up is Seddon Atkinson 401 4X2 tractor unit Reg No C300 HFV Fleet No 63 ‘Great Britain’ was registered new on the 1st of October 1985 at a cost of £26,496 plus vat.

It was originally fitted with a Gardner 6LYT 320 16 litre engine but unusually for some reason it was removed in February 1994 and replaced with a Cummins E290 big cam unit.

Based at Riding’s Thornaby depot it was driven by Jimmy Renton who can be seen in the picture on the left.

Seddon Atkinson 401 Series 4×2 tractor unit Reg No C610 NRN Fleet No 11 ‘Cdeur-De-Lion’ was a brand new addition to the fleet on the 1st of June 1986 at a cost £27,468.90p plus vat.

Pictured here in Thornaby depot, where it was based, it was driven from new by Kevin Jorden who drove for Riding’s for over 30 years. 

C610 NRN was eventually sold to JC commercials of Bootle on the 13th of February 1995 for £2,250 plus vat

A visitor to Thornaby back in 1986 was Michael Spencer Haulage of Keighley when he delivered a load of plastic powder in bags for the ‘rip and tip’ operations in a Scania 112M.

Michael drove for Riding’s before he went on his own and set up his own haulage business. 

The very first ERF 4×2 tractor unit to enter service with W & J Riding was Reg No F540 THG Fleet No 102 ‘Skiddaw’ an ERF E10 powered by a Cummins L10 325 engine.

Purchased new from ERF Ltd at Sandbach on the 31st of August 1988 it cost £29,841 plus vat and was first registered for road use on the 1st of October 1988.  

Based at Riding’s Thornaby depot it is pictured fueling up while coupled up to a tri-axle Carmichael bulk powder tanker trailer. 

The late Tom Riding recalled below….

“The tanker trailers were built by Carmichael of Worcester and weighted fractionally under 5 tons.

This gave us an incredible payload of 27 tons which was the main reason we got the job of moving terephthalic acid  powder from ICI WIlton to Eastman Kodak at Workington.

Four tractor units and eight tankers were used on the job with each loaded tanker dropped on a tipping ramp and tipped by gravity.

Under normal circumstances we did a load every 3 hours which amounted to a total of 56 loads a week.“.

The second ERF E10 4×2 tractor unit to enter service with Riding’s on the 1st of October 1988 was Reg No F810 TCK Fleet No 103 ‘Cross Fell’.

This particular photograph was one of a series of ICI publicity photographs taken in and around the long gone terephthalic acid plant at Wilton on Teesside.
 
Based at Thornaby depot in ICI livery, the outfit was used continuously for transporting terephthalic acid powder from ICI WIlton on Teesside to Eastman Kodak at Workington in Cumbria.
Thornaby 1989 and ERF E10 4×2 tractor unit Reg No F670 BHG Fleet No No 53 ‘Robert the Bruce’ was purchased new from ERF on the 20th of March 1989 at a cost of £30,056 and was registered for road use on the 1st of May 1989.
 
One of a batch of ERF E10 tractor units bought at the time with Cummins L10 325 engines it was driven from new by Joe Gannon.
 
Utilised on general duties it was also equipped with tipping and blowing gear for when hauling non tipping powder tankers.
 
After eight years service with Riding’s F670 BHG was eventually sold to D.G. Taylor Commercial Vehicles on the 27th of March 1997 for an unknown amount.

Thornaby based driver Jean Claude Newman is seen here in the cab of Foden Reg No M870 RRN Fleet No12 ‘Great Central’ which was purchased new from Foden agents Manchester Truck Centre on Duncan Street Salford on the 25th of August 1994 at a cost of £39,750 plus vat.

Thornaby based drivers Jean Claud Newman and Mick Richardson who were both allocated Foden tractor units are seen here in the depot at Thornaby in 1994.

Thornaby based driver Joe Kier looks on as a Bell Line container load of sugar is discharged at Rowntrees.
 

The tri-axle tipping container trailer is coupled up to Thornaby based Seddon Atkinson Stratocruiser 4×2 tractor unit Reg No G30 WVT Fleet No 75 ‘Sir Geraint’ which was registered new to ANC Parcels on the 1st of August 1989.

Powered by a Cummins L10 325 engine Tom Riding bought it second hand on the 24th of April 1992 when three years old from local dealer Syd Hartley for £13,500 plus vat.

Originally new to ANC Parcels the opportunity arose for Tom Riding to buy four of these vehicles, which he duly did. 

On the 27th of January 1998 after being in service with Riding’s for a total of six years G30 WVT was sold on to J.C. Commercials of Liverpool for £2,000 plus vat.

Based at Thornaby depot and driven from new by Jimmy Renton ERF EC12 4X2 tractor unit Reg No L380 MEO Fleet No 26  ‘Sanspareil’, was powered by a Perkins E12 TX325 engine.

Purchased new by Riding’s in December 1993 at a cost of £37,295 plus vat, it was assigned to hauling this 54.5 cubic metre capacity Carmichael tanker on the Wilton – Pontypool movement of Nylon chip.