When Reginald Holt established Clarendon Haulage in 1950, he was continuing a family tradition which dated back to the days when horsepower was quite literally the number of horses attached to your cart.
Reg’s father (Alfred) and Grandfather (John James) ran a haulage business from their base in Ribchester until 1949 when the UK road transport industry was nationalised and the company was swallowed up into the British Road Services operations.
On finishing his National Service with the RAF in 1950, Reg found the industry had become highly regulated, with independent hauliers restricted to operating within a 25 mile radius of base.
Undeterred, he borrowed the funds from his father to buy his first wagon, a 4 wheel Thorneycroft which he purchased in Darwen to ensure his 25-mile licence would enable him to include Manchester in his operating area. It proved to be a successful strategy, and Reg soon bought another vehicle, employed his first full time driver and in 1954 after the road transport regulations were relaxed, moved the business into the Ribchester yard which had been used by his father and grandfather.
From the early days of delivering animal food product to farms throughout Lancashire’s Ribble Valley and providing collection and delivery services for Ribchester’s two cotton mills, Reg guided the business through a steady, gradual growth, both in industries served and in the fleet, introducing more vehicles to handle the growing business and establishing a regular fleet renewal policy to ensure reliability.
By 2000 it was determined that the Ribchester yard was no longer large enough for the business, so the operation was moved to the current Mellor Brook site on the edge of Blackburn, with its better links to the motorway network and easier access for clients.
The company passed into the hands of sons Allan and Stephen when Reg retired, maintaining the family credentials of the Clarendon Haulage business; and the family tradition continues with Allan’s son and daughter (Paul and Amy) and Stephen’s son (Ben) now involved in the business.
And to bring the Clarendon Haulage story up to date, today’s fleet is made up of 20 modern 44 tonne articulated curtain sided vehicles providing fast, UK-wide road haulage services to customers in a wide range of industries.
We’ve come a long way from the one vehicle operation of 1950, but we’ve maintained the same family values which have built the business into today’s position of respect within the road transport industry. It’s in our blood after all!