Classic commercial vehicles

Posted by Chris Graham on 19th February 2021

David Reed reports on last summer’s very successful Derbyshire Road Run, organised for classic commercial vehicles.

Classic commercial vehicles

Classic commercial vehicles: Entrants at the start of the Derbyshire Road Run, in Buxton.

The 2020 Derbyshire Road Run for classic commercial vehicles attracted a good turnout, despite the Covid-related troubles, and the participants enjoyed a superb route that started and finished in the Derbyshire town of Buxton.

The event, which took place last August, was organised by Andy and Julie Dyson, and the route took in the scenic delights of the A5012 Via Gellia Road from Cromford, before heading to Asbourne, then on towards Leek and Macclesfield, before returning back across the moors to Buxton on the A5004, otherwise known as The Long Hill.

“We thought that only a handful of vehicles would turn up but, in the end, were absolutely amazed by the response,” Julie said. Around 30 vehicles began the run in Buxton, but the whole event was organised very informally, with participants leaving for home at various, convenient points along the route.

Here are some photographs illustrating the variety of vehicles that took part on the day.

For a money-saving subscription to Classic & Vintage Commercials magazine, simply click here

Classic commercial vehicles

1961 Foden S20 Ballast Tractor with S21 cab (due to the original being broken-up). It started life as a 50-tonne, heavy-haulage tractor unit in the Manchester-based Walter Denton fleet. It subsequently stood in woodlands in the Bristol area for 18 years, before being bought for preservation with Adrian Bailey of Sandbach, passing to Richard Cox in 2008.


Classic commercial vehicles

1963 Dodge Kew was exported to Malta in 1967, and used on cement haulage. It came back to the UK in 2012, and was restored by Maurice Fearn, with the 2014 Llandudno Rally being its first event.


Classic commercial vehicles

1984 Seddon Atkinson 401 was new to the United States Air Force (in the UK), before passing to David G Davies of Glossop, where it was used on general haulage. It passed to David Bellamy of Pontefract in 2017, then to Leonard Hilton in 2020, and was painted into Wards’ of Lepton livery.


Classic commercial vehicles

1978 Foden S83. It was new to Tarmac as a tipper, and was based at Clitheroe, passing to Slinter Mining of Cromford in Derbyshire three years later. It was used on delivery work as a tipper, until the tipping body was removed and a HiAb fitted, after which it was used as a yard-lifter. By 2012, it was out of use and in poor condition, being bought by Steve Fletcher for restoration.


Classic commercial vehicles

1965 Leyland Comet is thought to have been new to the Milk Marketing Board, before passing to Wellworthy Transport. It then spent 20 years as a winch lorry at a glider club. Restored by Christopher Garlick of Buxton over a two-year period.


Classic commercial vehicles

1974 Atkinson Borderer worked for Arthur Sanderson in the Teesside area, before ending-up as a shunter in Birmingham. It was then bought by Charlie Dobson in 2003, restored and later moved to Scotland, from where it was bought by Mark Kennedy in around 2014, returning to the road in 2019.


Classic commercial vehicles

This 1976 Leyland Reiver was bought by Giblin Brothers of Manchester, but put straight into storage. It was registered in 1979, but still didn’t work until 1987, when it was bought by John Devine of Manchester and operated for nine years, passing to a farmer near Oldham. It later passed to Andrew Garlick of Buxton, being bought by Ian and Sean Marshall of Bakewell in February 2014, and then returned to the Garlicks, being re-restored by Andrew’s son, Glen.


1974 ERF A Series was new to Calor Gas as a tanker in the south of England, before passing on to the fairgrounds with John Downes, with whom it pulled a golden gallopers ride. It was then used by a dealer as a breakdown for a number of years, before eventually passing into preservation in Northern Ireland with Donnellys of Armagh. Sold at Cheffins auctions in July 2017 to Chris Beaumont of Glossop, and subsequently restored mechanically.


1980 ERF B Series. Little is known about this one’s history, other than that it was used by Fyffes Bananas on dock work. It eventually ended up in the Coventry area, and was bought by Jeff Rowley in 2016 and restored.


1975 Atkinson Borderer. This 45-ton tractor originally pulled emergency gear for Mines Rescue, and served at Barnsley Main until the early 1990s. It ended up with Kevin Dennis and was partly restored, passing to Gary Kershaw of Wakefield who put it back on the road in 2003 and, later, to R&L Beckett of Doncaster. It has since changed hands again.


1973 AEC Marshal 2TGM6RS was new to Gladys May Mills of Gornal Wood, Dudley, being used for 11 years and one of four consecutive-registered Marshalls. In 1984, it was bought by Mitchell Hickman of Stourbridge and dry-stored for a number of years before being used as a beavertail to transport his army vehicles, and then going into storage again in 1998. Acquired by Paul and Susan Sheldon of Bakewell in March 2000, with remedial work on the cab being carried out along with minor adjustments to the drive line and linkages. The chassis was extended for the reinstatement of the flat body, the vehicle being completed in August 2000. It passed to Robert Wildgoose of Ambergate in 2017.


1998 ERF EC11 is now a ballast box unit in the colours of TDG. Unfortunately, no other history is known.


1968 Bedford TK is thought to have ben new to the Royal Navy, being released in 1978, and acquiring, as happened then, a ‘new’1979 T-registration – DRB 490T. The current, correct-for-age plate was fitted in the mid-1990s. After a couple of owners, it ended up in an Ilkeston scrapyard, from where it was bought in 2014.


1969 Atkinson Mk1 was new to Pye Transport, but used under contract to BP Chemicals in its colours, before being turned into a breakdown vehicle. It passed to Paul Dangerfield of Stroud, and was restored, later passing to Ambrose Wood of Bollington.


Classic commercial vehicles

1963 Ford Thames Trader originated in the London area, eventually passing to John Murphy and then John Riley, in 2005.


Subscribe & Save today!

Subscribe to Tractor & Machinery today and pay just £3.44 an issue!