Albion

Back in 2013 the late Tom Riding reflected on the introduction of Albion Reiver's into the W & J Riding fleet.


"Except for an early Albion Chieftain in 1955 we had no other Albion in our fleet until the arrival of an Albion Reiver in 1961.


The Reiver made good sense to us as it was still the period of the carriers license and the ULW of a vehicle was all important.


The rigid Leyland Beaver was 5 ton 15 cwt unladen and could legally carry eight tons were as the Albion Reiver with an ULW of 6 ton 10 cwt could carry twelve and a half tons which made economic sense.


The draw-bar trailer off the Leyland Beaver at three tons ULW could be moved up to four tons ULW which would allow you to use a Leyland Comet in its place but all this was subject to applying to the authority to facilitate these changes.


We only had five Albion Reiver's in our fleet with the first two Model Re25's having air /hydraulic brakes while the last three, Model Re29's, had full air brakes which were far superior.


In 1965 we chose to buy the tilt cab Super Albion Clydesdale due to the fact that it became available before the Super Comet with this type of cab, simple as that.


We had the first built Super Albion Clydesdale that came off the production line at Scotland where i personally travelled to and collected it myself in September 1965".



Albion Chieftain four wheeler Reg No UTC 899 was purchased brand new in 1955 shortly after de-nationalisation.


 This machine was fitted out as was normal at that time with a Fowler of Leyland cab and body.


 Driven by Ken Lancaster it was on similar work to an 'S' Type Bedford four wheeler operated by Riding's at that time but was only retained on the fleet for five years.


Registered new to Riding's in 1961 Albion Riever RE25 six wheeler flat Reg No 400 STD Fleet No 57 was driven from new by the late Harry Margerison.


 The late Tom Riding recalled below.....


 "This was our first Albion Riever with a 20 foot body and air over hydraulic brakes.


 It was also our first experience of the Leyland 400 engine and in those early days they could pull the cylinder liners down into the sump for fun but eventually Leyland did solve the problem also notice what was our first attempt at the gold roundel livery on the doors".


Albion Riever RE25 six wheeler flat Reg No 500 UTC Fleet No 58 was purchased in 1961 and driven from new by the late Donald Thornton.


 This particular Riever was fitted with air over hydraulic brakes while this and subsequent Reiver's all had 24 foot bodies.


 The late Tom Riding recalled.....


 "This particular machine must have been a late Friday afternoon build at the factory because it was absolutely plagued with trouble it's entire life while in our fleet".


Two of a kind parked in the depot at Longridge in 1962.


On the left is 1961 registered Albion Riever RE25 six wheeler flat Reg No 400 STD Fleet No 57 while on the right is 1961 registered Albion Riever RE25 six wheeler flat Reg No 500 UTC Fleet No 58


Albion Riever RE29 six wheeler flat Reg No 670 WTD, new in 1961, was one of five Albion Riever's in the fleet at that time.


The late Tom Riding continued.....


 "These vehicles had full air brakes which were ok and much better than the first two RE25's which had air over hydraulic brakes.


This particular machine had been sent back into Leyland experimental dept in 1965 were it was fitted with a Leyland designed and manufactured rotary fuel injection pump.


 As i remember it wasn't a great success as it used to open itself up and start smoking and in fact it got a GV 9 coming out of Gateshead for this very reason.


It was eventually taken off the engine and the project came to an end. 


Our old fleet engineer still has the original rotary pump".


Another shot of Albion Riever RE29 six wheeler Reg No 670 WTD Fleet No 60 which was registered new to W & J Riding in 1961.


 It is seen here after loading up at the ICI warehouse at Marske on Teesside with Alan Hall pictured at the wheel.


Photograph courtesy of John Atkinson.

 

Pictured here parked up in the depot at Longridge in 1962 is Albion Riever RE29 six wheeler flat Reg No 700 XTB Fleet No 33.


This was another one out of a total of five Albion Riever's in the Riding fleet at that time note the long range fuel tank.


Albion Super Clydesdale four wheeler Reg No RTE 770C Fleet No 38 (Chassis No 57302K) was the first 16 ton rigid Albion with a tilt cab to enter service with the fleet.


Purchased new as a basic chassis /cab through local Albion agents Gilbraiths Commercials of Chorley on the 25th of September 1965 at a cost of £2,440 it was first registered for road use the following week on the 1st of October.


 Powered by a Leyland 400 engine the late Tom Riding traveled up to Scotland and collected it in person from the Albion factory in Scotstoun.


 After six years service RTE 770C was sold on the 21st of December 1971 for £700 plus vat to an ex Riding driver by the name of Mr Ken Lancaster of 152 Lancaster Road Cabus who traded as K & L Transport of Garstang.


Photograph courtesy of the late Roger Kenney.


Albion Super Clydesdale four wheeler Reg No TTF 250D Fleet No 44 (Chassis No 57315C) was driven by Harry Dinsdale  and is pictured here when brand new in February 1966.


Purchased new from local Albion agents Gilbraith Commercials of Chorley on the 19th of January 1966 at a cost of £2,674 it was first registered for the road on the 1st of February 1966.


 With the law changing to 16 tons on two axles around that time Riding's could at last carry 10 tons legally with ease.


During 1966 a number of these Super Clydesdale's started to arrive as Albion came out with the Ergomatic cab before Leyland launched the Ergomatic on their Super Comet.


After six years in the fleet TTF 250D was sold on to a Mr H. Gammon of Hesketh Bank Tarleton for the sum of £850.


A close up shot of Albion Super Clydesdale four wheeler Reg No TTF 250D Fleet No 44 on it's very first trip out.


Pictured here when brand new in February 1966, and driven by Harry Dinsdale, it was one of a number of Albion Clydesdale's introduced into the fleet that year.


Albion Super Clydesdale four wheeler Reg No UTF 120D Fleet No 19 (Chassis No 57324J) was purchased new from Albion agents Gilbraith Commercials of Chorley on the 17th of February 1966 at a cost of £2,675 and was first registered on the 4th of March 1966. 


Before the vehicle entered service the wheelbase was shortened from it's original 17 foot 6 inches to 16 foot with three feet cut off the chassis overhang in Riding's own workshops at Longridge.


Pictured above parked up on rough ground in Gateshead it was driven by Eric Hodgson with the photograph taken in winter, because the late Jim Riding used to cover the chrome bumpers with grease to stop the salt from ruining the chrome plating during the winter months.


After six years service in the Riding fleet UTF 120D was sold on to Wilkinson's Florists of Longridge on the 15th of August 1972 for the sum of £750. 


 Photograph courtesy of Geoff Milne.


This Albion Super Clydesdale four wheeler Reg No UTJ 110D Fleet No 17 (Chassis No 57322C) was purchased new on the 14th of February 1966 from Albion agents Gilbraiths of Chorley at a cost of £2,674 and was first registered for road use a month later on the 15th of March.


 It originally came with a 19 foot 6 inch wheelbase but was shorted in Riding's own workshops down to a 16 foot wheelbase, with a 24 foot overhaul body.


After being in service with Riding's for just over nine years it was sold on to S Hartley of Whittingham on the 17th of February 1975 for the sum of £600. 


An excellent picture of Albion Super Clydesdale four wheeler Reg NO VTB 130D Fleet No 18 (Chassis No 57328E).


 VTB 130D was a brand new addition to the fleet on the 15th of March 1966 at a cost of £2,394 10s and was originally purchased new from Albion as just a basic cab and chassis.


After fitting a flat body and painting at Longridge the final on the road cost came to a total of £2,674 4s 6d.


VTB 130D was in service with Riding's for seven years after which time it was sold on to R.J. Wells of Great Ecclestone on the 1st of February 1973 for the sum of £700 plus vat.


Albion Super Clydesdale four wheeler Reg No VTE 590D Fleet No 20 (Chassis No 57335H) was purchased brand new from Albion agents Gilbraiths Ltd at Chorley on the 29th of March 1966 at a cost of £2,703 and entered service with the fleet on the 1st May that year.


 After being involved in a minor front end collision the trade mark Albion front panel had, by this time, been replaced with an interchangeable Leyland front panel as was the norm due to Leyland panels being more readily available.


After seven years service VTR 590D was sold on to S Hartley & Sons of Whittingham on the 15th of April 1973 for the sum of £600 plus 8% vat.


Photograph courtesy of the late Roger Kenney.


An impressive line up of Five Albion Super Clydesdale's and three tilt cab Leyland Beaver's parked up for the weekend in the yard at Longridge in 1967.


Within a short period of time, after this picture was taken, the arrival of the Atkinsons, at the rate of one a month would see an end to Leyland's dominance within the Riding fleet.


Albion Super Clydesdale four wheeler Reg No BTD 210E Fleet No 21 (Chassis No 57385J) was purchased new from Albion agents Gilbraiths of Chorley on 12th of February 1967 at a cost £2,688 and was one of a number that gave good service over the years.


After eight years service it was sold on in March 1975 for £770 to Mr Knight of Fulwood near Preston.


 This particular photograph was taken by Tom Riding's brother, the late James H Riding, who passed away in February 1993 aged 65.


Another shot of Albion Super Clydesdale four wheeler Reg No BTD 210E Fleet No 21.


Seen here in later years towards the end of it's working life at Riding's it is now sporting a Leyland front grill which would have replaced the original Albion one due to corrosion. 


Albion Super Clydesdale four wheeler Reg No UTC 290H Fleet No 28 (Chassis No 57515J) was powered by a Leyland 0/401 engine in line with an Albion six speed gearbox.


Purchased new from Albion agents Gilbraiths of Chorley on the 20th of September 1969 at a cost of £2,581 9s 0d it was first registered for road use on the 5th of October that year.


Seen here when three years old in 1972 it is being used a a float in a procession during the local Grimsargh Field Day, an annual event which the whole village enjoys.


Walking alongside at the rear of the lorry is Tom Riding's wife Margaret who is keeping a close eye on one of their three daughters who was one of the precious cargo.


After eight years in the Riding fleet UTC 290H was sold on to local vehicle dealer Syd Hartley of Whittingham on the 8th of August 1977 for the sum of £700. 


Albion Super Clydesdale four wheeler Reg No UTC 290H Fleet No 28 is pictured here in later days parked in the depot at Longridge.


After being damaged in minor shunt in the depot the trade mark Albion front panel had by this time been replaced with an interchangeable Leyland front panel.


Purchased new on the 20th of September 1969 at a cost of £2,581 9s 0d it remained in service with Riding's for nine years until it was sold on in August 1977 to local dealer Sydney Hartley for £700 plus vat.


Photograph courtesy of the late Roger Kenney.


Albion Super Clydesdale four wheeler Reg No UTE 340H Fleet No 40 (Chassis No 57513D) was purchased new from local Albion agents Gilbraiths of Chorley on the 29th of August 1969 at a cost of £2,854 but was not registered until some two moths later new on the 1st of November 1969.


It is seen here in Riding's South Bank depot on Teesside with driver Jimmy Ashcroft taking time out for a photograph.


 Note the very classy towing hook that Riding's used to make in house and fit to all their Ergomatic's.


Reg No UTE 310H Fleet No 30 (Chassis No 57513C), of which we have no photograph, was another Albion Super Clydesdale that was also new on the same day as UTE 340H..


These were the last Ergomatic cabbed Albion Clydesdale four wheeler's to be purchased by W & J Riding.


After eight years service UTE 340H was sold to a Mr J Bradley of Fulwood Preston on the 18th of July 1977 for the sum of £833 plus 8% Vat.



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