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My days as a driver

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Stitcher

Guest
vvvv.jpegThis is a photo of the mine refered to in this post.
I remember delivering to every coal mine in England and Wales over the years. I had a smallish lorry one day and found a man and his family broken down. I was going past their house and towed them home. Because I would not accept anything for the favour they told me to always knock their door when I was in the area. He worked at the CWM Colliery and I once had to deliver a very large rubber belt to the Pit-Head Stores. It was late in the day and the storeman said I would have to unload it myself, then he smiled. I undid the chains and reveresd slowly then stood on the brakes. The belt which was wound tightly on a wooden spool started to roll towards the end of the lorry. It was an eight wheeler with a bit of an overhang and when the belt got just past the rear axle , the weight of it tipped the lorry up. I went twenty feet into the air and the belt shot acros the stores yard. then the front of the lorry came down so hard that both mirrors and screen wipers broke off. I was very shook up by the impact but I laughed at what had happened. When I got back to the little office the man could see the lorry was empty and signed the paperwork. I never heard a word about it from that day to this. I went to previously mentioned mans house and they gave me a meal and a cup of tea, he later told me that the stores staff had to cut the belt to required lengths and roll them up as best they could.
Image (2).jpg---Image (6).jpg---kjh.jpeg---nnnn.jpeg
I also made regular deliveries to the pits in or near these S.Wales villages. Ynyshir 1965, Tonypandy 1960, Tonypandy again, 1955 and another view of Ynyshir 1965.
 
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Wendy

Guest
Lovely story stitcher my hubby drove lorries early 70's and some stories make my hair curl.:D
 
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Stitcher

Guest
Wendy, most people do not believe the things I say but I can assure you they are true. When I worked on the door at The Tower Ballroom, I dragged a man down from one of the palm trees around the dancefloor. It turned out he was a well known man who used to star in a beer advert on telly.
 

anthea

master brummie
Stitcher, I liked your story and those people were very hospitable towards you, well you had done them a favour after all. My uncle used to drive a large van and made deliveries of toys etc around the countryside. If I was on holiday from school he would take me with him - I enjoyed the outing and also his sandwiches which my aunt had prepared for his lunch! Anthea:)
 
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Stitcher

Guest
Yes Anthea, I know what you mean because I used to take my son with me as soon as he could use the toilet alone I have a few pics of him with some of the waggons i drove.
 

nickcc101

master brummie
Wendy, most people do not believe the things I say but I can assure you they are true. When I worked on the door at The Tower Ballroom, I dragged a man down from one of the palm trees around the dancefloor. It turned out he was a well known man who used to star in a beer advert on telly.
Used to do the weekend run from the Tower on either the inner circle or the outer circle routes. Used to be Sandwell coaches before they were bought out by Stockland coaches. Charged 2/6d per ticket. O happy days.
 

Lloyd

master brummie
Brilliant story, Stitcher - made me think of this - wasn't you by any chance??

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fy0CJWadJk"]YouTube - Unloading a Big Excavator[/ame]
 

motorman-mike

Brum visitor who stayed.
Trevor, glad you started this thread, your tales of your days on the lorries are fascinating. Have you got any photos of the many lorries you drove over the years. When I was a kid, the folks next door ran a snack van on a layby on the A36 about 3 miles outside Bath. Six blokes could sit inside it but many took their stuff back to the lorry. I would spend many happy hours especially in the school holidays sat in there listening to the drivers. I got to know their lorries well. Tate & Lyle ran in twos with AEC Mammoth Major canvas backed 8 leggers, Fina Petrol with Leyland Octopus tankers and British Road Services with allsorts but mainly Bedfords. There was the oldest Scammell artic tanker I had ever seen that had a wooden cab, down the tank was a giant word Formaldehide. That one used to come from a glue works in Bristol and smelt awfull. Then there was lorries from a firm called Pitters that were Commer 2 strokes. You could hear em coming a mile off. Cleveland Petrol came in with short Maudsley tankers whist the Shell boys had Leyland Comet artics. There were so many more, too many to list. Looking back at the food available then it was very simple compared to today, nothing cooked, only cheese or ham rolls, pork pies, jam doughnuts and lardy cakes (dripping cakes in Brum), tea, coffee, milk or squash - oh and Smiths Crisps. I got my taste for Flag Sauce on the leftover pork pies. I had a ABC of British Road Services book so I knew from the code on the cab doors which depot the lorry came from. Later on when I tried a bit of lorry driving with a Ford Thames Trader I found I liked buses better (as you know). Keep them stories coming.
Mike
 
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Wendy

Guest
My husband worked at Distillers in Colehill. This is a photo of me in the cab in 1972. I would go with him on a day out on my day off. The vehicle was an AEC Mandator. He later worked in the Oil Industry. I will sort out the other photo's I have of various lorries.
 

nickcc101

master brummie
My husband worked at Distillers in Colehill. This is a photo of me in the cab in 1972. I would go with him on a day out on my day off. The vehicle was an AEC Mandator. He later worked in the Oil Industry. I will sort out the other photo's I have of various lorries.
I used to work for a Bedford garage in Station rd Coleshill and repaired Distillers vehicles, early 1971, before returning to work for Shell Kingsbury.
I remember taking one of Distillers AEC tractor/trailers for mot at Garrison lane. As i crossed over the duel carrigeway on the Coleshill road the gearbox failed and i had to be towed back to the garage.:D I,m sure i did not see you in the cab Wendy because if i had i would have remembered.
 
S

Stitcher

Guest
Blimey Wendy, I bet he was happy having you for a mate. Although it was always hard work and the lorries were knackers compared to todays luxurious vehicles, it was an ineresting and I found rewarding job. The job satisfaction was good as well. In my years on the road I met many people and all but a small handful were very nice.
 
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Wendy

Guest
You are both kind but it was a long time ago.:beam: Michael tells me that Distillers was a cream job not really hard work and the vehicles were very good compared to some he drove before. They were even allowed in the 'Tap Room' at the breweries. The worst wind up for me was when he was delivering to Ansells and set it up for a cab search. I was frozen to the spot when these two uniform men got in the cab. I looked up an there on the gantry were a crowd of guys laughing. I still wonder why I married him!:D
 

nickcc101

master brummie
I remember in the early sixties going out to a breakdown at Whitbreads brewery. A senior mechanic and two apprentices (i was one of the apprentices) had to change a back road spring on one of the dray wagons. After we had finished, the Whitbread staff pointed us in the direction of a stand pipe in the middle of this large building and told us to help ourselves. Of course we all did and could hardly walk after, how the senior mechanic was able to drive us back to work i will never know.
 
S

Stitcher

Guest
2.jpgWhen I was a driver for a Scottish Co. with a yard in Tysely, I was sent to S.Wales with a load of timber on a Flat-bed six wheeler. For some reason I went over the Malverns and through Ledbury. I was in 'doze mode' as I went along Ledbury Hight St. and the load hit one of the overhanging buildings and slid off the back of the lorry. That caused quite a lot of trouble because the shortest diversion was quite a long one.
I have downloaded the picture from Google, I doubt it is the building involved but it will give those who do not know Ledbury a clue as to what I have said. The overhang was obviously on my left when the incident happened.
 
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Wendy

Guest
Michael worked for a short time delivering tyres. He picked up a loaded truck from Dunlop for delivery at London Docks. While traveling along the motorway the load started to slip pavement side. He stopped on the services, a container driver tried to straighten it up by backing up to the side and pushing the load, Michael tightened the ropes, it seemed OK so off he went. You guessed it it soon started to move again. By the time he got to London he was having to drive around lamp posts and avoid pedestrians. He was lucky not to get stopped. When he reached the docks he just loosened the ropes and the lot came crashing down. He said the reason was the tyres were for export and were wrapped in paper so they did not hold like rubber..........he didn't stay with the company long!:D
 
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Stitcher

Guest
Nice story Wendy, I loaded at Dunlops a few times and I remember one time a man who was helping to throw the tyres well, not throw, they used to rolll them along the lorry towards the driver who then had to stack them. This man asked me where I was going and I told him "three drops around the Blackpool area". He said quietly, "if you are interested I will put ten extra tyres on and give an address in Preston where a man will buy them." I did not do it but as I went onto the weigh bridge to come out of Dunlops I was sent to another deck where the load was removed and checked. They could not believe the count was correct and expected me to re-load my lorry. I refused and eventually they put a gang to work doing it for me. I always looked for the man who I think tried to set me up but I never saw him again.
 
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Wendy

Guest
Yes Stitcher, I know a lot of dodgy things went on but it wasn't worth getting involved. Michael had a lot of problems when he was in the oil industry with fuel theft. He knew all the tricks as he had seen it when he was a driver, he often gave drivers a second chance if caught but that was all. He once caught a driver at the back of his tanker with two full buckets of diesel (he owned a diesel Land Rover). He told me he could hardly keep his face straight, he told him if he saw it again he would be fired!
I bet the guy who tried to stitch you got caught eventually!
 
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