FR Company Lorries

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The pioneer of FR Company lorry transport was Ian Smart. His family owned a cotton waste manufactory in Manchester which had an Albion Lorry which he was able to borrow to transport items to and from the FR. For a picture see FRM No. 240 page 876.[1]

The FR Company owned a series of lorries from the 1960s. In 1964 the Society White Rose Group, of which Ian Smart was chairman, announced the acquisition of a 1957 Leyland Comet 350 diesel lorry with a rather battered cab. This was to be run as the Company lorrry and be maintained and operated by the Group.[2] In 1967 the FR Company acquired a Leyland Rover Type 1B reg. JX9002 and disposed of BMC reg YUG831.[3] The picture below taken during the FRS Bristol Area Group Working Week, 16 to 23-Sep 1972 is of the later FR Company Lorry UYG 776F in Minffordd Yard with a load of rails. Ron Lester is on the right. Note the carriage washing plant by the gantry. This was never used.

By 1978 the Company lorry was an ERF 64GXB, registration number PMA752H.[4] The White Rose Group continued to operate the FR Co's own vehicles from 1964 until 1980. With the advent of tachograph's and drivers' hours regulations a change was made to using hired vehicles from Salford Van Hire. This continued until about 1997. A typical FR lorry driver's year would involve about 10,000 miles of travelling all over the country, sometimes including overnight driving or spending nights away in the cab. Large amounts of waste oil were collected, machine tools, trackwork and many other items. The pool of volunteer drivers diminished until John Malton was the last one.


  1. ^ "Ian Smart 1920 -2018", Ffestiniog Railway Magazine, Issue 240, page(s): 906
  2. ^ Ffestiniog Railway Magazine, Issue 25, page(s): 22
  3. ^ Ffestiniog Railway Magazine, Issue 38, page(s): 8
  4. ^ "Letter: Rail Recovery elsewhere", Ffestiniog Railway Magazine, Issue 240, page(s): 927