Accidents Happen (2)
Accidents happen all the time in the haulage industry and unfortunately over the years W & J Riding suffered their fair share.
Below is another selection of various incidents which Tom Riding documented from the mid 1950's through to when he retired from the company in 1995.
Tragedy at Eastriggs
Early in 1970 Atkinson Mk II 4x2 tractor unit Reg No UTB 370H Fleet No 32 'Illustrious' was travelling on the A75 near Eastriggs in Scotland hauling a Crane Fruehauf four in line trailer carrying 16 tons of plastic pellets in tote bins to Stranraer on Riding's Wilton -Kilroot service when it was involved in a terrible accident through no fault of it's driver Jack Moon.
A van carrying two young work men going home from work pulled out of a line of on coming traffic and ran head on into UTB 370H which caused it to crash into a large solid oak tree at the side of the road.
The van was complete wrecked and sadly the two men in the van were killed.
The cab of the Atkinson was completely destroyed by the impact but miraculously driver Jack Moon came out of the carnage with just a broken hip joint which unfortunately still causes him some discomfort to this day.
Unfortunately the impact with the tree knocked off the compressor which smashed the front of the crankcase.
Fortunately Tom Riding sourced an old Gardner 150 crankcase with the thick steel backed main bearings.
Pelican Engineering of Leeds line bored the case and fitted a new set of thin wall shells.
Following that the reliable Gardner engine ran faultlessly for the rest of its life.
Accident at Ormesby Bank
On the 30th of October 1970 Atkinson Mk I Silver Knight 4X2 tractor unit Reg No NTB 600G, which was used on the Teesside trunk, was heading home on the A171 at Ormesby Bank in the early hours loaded with drums of chemicals.
A car travelling in the opposite direction hit the drivers side of the Atkinson resulting in extensive damage to the offside of the cab and steering mechanism.
Unfortunately the driver of the car was killed in the accident.
The damage sustained to the front offside of Atkinson Mk I Silver Knight 4X2 tractor unit Reg No NTB 600G after it was hit by a car travelling in the opposite direction.
As a result of the following investigation it was found that Riding's driver was in no way to blame for the accident in which the unfortunate car driver was killed.
Atkinson Mk I Silver Knight 4X2 tractor unit Reg No NTB 600G was powered by Gardner 180 6LXB engine and was registered new on the 11th of September 1968 at a cost of £3,787 plus vat.
After being repaired in the workshops at Longridge NTB 600G went on to serve Riding's for another eight years until it was eventually sold on to T R Taylor of Melling near Liverpool for £1,600 plus vat on the 4th of October 1976.
Accident at Kirkcowen
Halfpenny Brow Accident
On leaving Preston early one morning to go up empty to Teesside the driver lost control going down Halfpenny Brow which resulted in the cab being severely damaged.
Atkinson Mk I Silver Knight 4x2 tractor unit Reg No RTF 810C Fleet No 13 was powered by a Gardner 150 engine in line with a David Brown 10 speed splitter gearbox.
Registered new to Riding's on the 19th of October 1965 at a cost of £3,406 16s 9d it was assigned unlucky Fleet No 13.
It was driven from new by the late Donald Thornton, however, on the morning of the accident the driver was Les Wilson.
On leaving Preston early morning to go up empty to Teesside Les lost control going down Halfpenny Brow which resulted in the cab being severely damaged.
After the impact Les finished up sitting in the road with the wrecked Atkinson all around him.
Pictured above in the depot after being recovered the vehicle was totally rebuilt at Longridge and due to suspicious minds it's fleet number was changed to No 70.
Seen here in the depot at Longridge after being recovered after the accident is another shot of Atkinson Mk I Silver Knight 4x2 tractor unit Reg No RTF 810C Fleet No 13.
After being totally rebuilt by Riding's at Longridge it remained in the fleet for a total of eight years until 1973 after which time it was sold on to R. Atkinson & Sons of Preston for an unknown amount.
Photographs courtesy of Jack Draper.
Collision at West Marten
On the 29th of June 1978 Atkinson Borderer 4x2 tractor unit Reg No YWG 496K Fleet No 52 'Valiant' hauling a fully loaded tandem axle trailer was heading for home on the A59 just West of West Marten in North Yorkshire when it's driver of lost control on a left hand bend.
This resulted in the whole rig turning on its side and sliding down the road until it came into contact with a Seddon Atkinson unit and tipping trailer, belonging to Cowgills Transport of Skipton, heading in the opposite direction.
Riding's driver was injured in the accident badly damaging his leg and he never drove heavies again.
The driver of Riding's Atkinson was very lucky to escape with his life after accident which left his vehicle embedded in the front of Cowgills tractor unit and tipper trailer.
Atkinson Borderer Reg No YWG 496K Fleet No 52 'Valiant', involved in the accident, was originally new on the 1st March 1972 to TDG Group 'Monkland Motors' of Airdrie, at a cost of £5,366.
Tom Riding had purchased it from them in March 1975 for £2,781 along with nine other Atkinson Borderer tractor unit's.
As a result of the accident YWG 496K was a total write off and the remains were broken up and scrapped.
Roll Over at Glen Luce
In the late 1970's Atkinson Mk II 4x2 tractor unit Reg No ATC 400J Fleet No 74 'Dependable' came to grief on the A75 near Glen Luce in Scotland.
Driven by Jim Taylor he had collected the fully loaded trailer from Cairn Ryan on Riding's Kilroot inter factory service with Wilton.
Unfortunately while negotiating the bend he was presumably applying a little too much speed which caused the whole outfit to lose it's footing not far into his journey back to Longridge.
Roll Over at Skipton
Atkinson Borderer tractor unit Reg No TTB 90M hauling a tandem axle forty foot trailer carrying a full load of steel H section girders came to grief while negotiating the roundabout at the eastern end of the A59 Skipton by-pass.
Fortunately no one was hurt in the accident but it did cause some major traffic disruption during the recovery operations which took place later in the day.
Atkinson Borderer Reg No TTB 90M Fleet No 22 which was involved in the accident at Skipton, was registered new on the 1st of February 1974.
It was one of a batch of seven Cummins powered Atkinson's that Riding's bought due to Gardner not being able to supply enough eight cylinder engines at the time.
Each one had a Cummins 250 engine in line with a Fuller gear box and Kirkstall hub reduction axle.
Accident at Keadby Bridge
In June 1974 Frank O'Conner was driving Atkinson Mk II 4x2 tractor unit Reg No UTF 460H when the steel coil it was carrying broke loose at Keadby Bridge near Scunthorpe and finished up on the adjacent railway line.
Before Riding's had a fleet of new coil carriers they made some metal frames which sat on a platform trailer to hold the steel coils in place.
However on this occasion, unbeknown to the driver, a chain link holding the frame had been crushed.
When negotiating the right hand bend at Keadby Bridge, along side the railway, one of the two chains holding the frame broke and the 15 ton steel coil was flung onto the railway line.
Fortunately no one was hurt in the incident.
Atkinson Mk II 4x2 tractor unit Reg No UTF 460H Fleet No 71 is seen here parked on the A18 at Keadby Bridge with police in attendance shortly after the incident.
Driven by Frank O'Conner UTF 460H had been registered new to Riding's five years earlier on the 1st of December 1969 at a cost of £4,287.5p plus vat.
Seddon Atkinson 401 Series 4x2 tractor unit Reg No C50 OBV Fleet No 72 'Vulcan' was powered by a Gardner 6LYT 16 litre 320 engine.
Registered new on the 1st of June 1986 at a cost of £27,468 plus vat it was driven from new by Alan Bretherton.
The picture above shows it at Longridge after being recovered following an accident coming out of Edinburgh when it went off the road into a ditch.
The damage included a badly bent chassis resulting in the vehicle being totally written off and scrapped.
Fortunately the Gardner 6LYT 320 engine was saved and later transferred into Seddon Atkinson 401 Series tractor unit Reg No D400 SRN.