Before girls names

The Eddie Stobart fleet has become very well known, mainly due to each vehicle being given a girls’ name, and the cult of ‘Eddie spotting’ that’s gone with it. But it hasn’t always been the case, as Bob Tuck found out.

We have to thank L Heritage Commercials reader Howard Nugent for suggesting we have a look through the archives of his good friend Gordon Innes. Although he’s long been retired, many folk — mainly from the Carlisle area — who bought a new commercial vehicle might well have bought them through Gordon, as he was in vehicle sales with various marques of truck for many years. From his time in sales, Gordon has managed to save a few notes and photographs of just some of the vehicles he sold.

Gordon was a native of Annan but he recalls heading for Carlisle about 1957. when County Garage — the Ford dealer — was looking for someone to sell the newly launched Thames Trader range. Of course, Gordon sold all manner of Ford motors and some of these were photographed when they were delivered new. “The photographs might well have been taken by Ron Styth,” says Gordon. “I worked with Ron as he was employed by Bow maker, and many sales of the day were done on finance through his company.”

It’s a long time back for Gordon to recall tco many details of individual transactions but two photographs from his collection which caught our eye were of the D Series Ford six-wheeled tipper K A O 233D, in the livery of Eddie Stobart. Gordon’s notes state that the vehicle was supplied in October 1966 which is obviously the time before ‘young’ Edward Stobart took over the haulage side of his father’s business and began personalising the vehicles with individual girls’ names.

The only thing Gordon can recall about this sale was that It was one of his last — while working for County Garage: “I was working my notice with County as I was leaving to sell Bedford for SMT. And I’m sure that sale to Eddie Stobart was in the last week I was there.” We hope to come back to Gordon’s archives in a later issue if we can unearth more nuggets like this.

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