|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
|Industry||Integrated Transport Logistics|
Pickfords is a moving company based in the United Kingdom, part of the Moving Services Group UK and a member of the British Association of Removers - one of the world's largest removal company networks. The business is believed to have been founded in the 17th century, making it one of the UK's oldest functioning companies. The Pickfords family of Adlington, South of Manchester, and later of nearby Poynton, first entered the wagon trade in the 17th century.
The business evolved through mergers with the firm moving into heavy haulage in the 20th century as steam powered and the Diesel haulage took off as industry expanded. The firm adsorbed many firms and was nationalised in the middle part of the 20th century along with most of the industry. The Modern firm is no longer involved in Heavy haulage
History[edit | edit source]
Origins[edit | edit source]
The earliest record is of a William Pickford, a carrier who worked south of Manchester in 1630. In 1646 a north-country yeoman by the name of Thomas Pickford had his lands confiscated by Parliament for gun-running and supporting the Cavaliers]] during the English Civil War.
By 1695 the Pickfords' family were engaged in supplying quarry stone by packhorse for the construction of turnpike roads; instead of the packhorses returning with empty loads, they carried goods for third parties.
In 1756 the company relocated to London and in 1776 it invented the fly wagon which could travel from London to Manchester in the then fast speed of four and a half days. A year later it bought the carrier business of William Bass, a Staffordshire haulier who carried ale for a local brewer. With the funds Bass went on to form a brewery which still bears his name today (But is owned by Coors of the USA).
In the 1779 it entered the canal industry as well (from which it withdrew in 1850). In the 19th century, it operated wagons on other companies' railway tracks, but this was contentious, and eventually this service was eliminated.
In 1816 the company was close to bankruptcy after many years of decline. The Pickford family sold out to a number of businessmen led by Joseph Baxendale, whose family become instrumental in running the company for over a century. For being late in delivering a miller's iron shaft, Pickford's was involved in the famous English contract law case, Hadley v. Baxendale (1848), where the court held the company was not liable for unforeseeable losses resulting from Pickford's lateness in delivering goods.
In the 20th century the company switched to road haulage. During this time it formed a rivalry with fellow hauliers Carter Paterson with whom they later merged with Beans Express and London Parcel Delivery Company (amongst others) in 1912, although both kept their separate names for a period.
In 1907 they order two Commer cars.
In 1920 the company was sold again, to Hays Wharf Limited, on the back of a burgeoning post-World War I home removals business - Pickfords still continued to operate under that name. In turn Hays Wharf was taken over by the four main British railway companies in 1934 and was subsequently nationalised in 1947 as part of British Road Services and what would become the National Freight Corporation (NFC) in the 1969.
In 1921 Pickfords atart carrying petrol in bulk tankers. (A restored Tractor unit and tanker can be seen in Pickfords colours at some classic vehicle events).
By 1922 Pickfords are trying out Heavy trucks with Petrol engines from the Swiss firm Saurer Motor Company, and have introduced pneumatic tyres on removal van fleet.
In 1940 Pickfords move (evacuate) the BBC from London to Bristol.
Nationalisation occurs in 1947. As British Road Services formed.
BRS (Pickfords) Ltd formed as an operating division of BRS in 1953.
1963 see the National Transport commission dismantled and become part of the Transport Holding Company. Which in 1969 becomes the National Freight Corporation owned by the Government. NFC is latter sold off in the 1980s as part of the Privatisation plan by Mrs Thatcher.
Heavy Haulage[edit | edit source]
In 1942 the Heavy Haulage division moves Mulberry harbour sections (temporary harbour) to sea launching sites prior to them being towed across the channel for the "D-day" landings.
As part of the NFC they were involved in a wide range of haulage activities including heavy haulage (moving oversize loads) during the 1950s to 80s. The company absorbed several well known haulage companies during this period but then withdrew from this sector. A number of former Pickfords vehicles have been preserved and can be seen at events, demonstrating moving outsize loads along with the earlier steam tractors(photo above).
Globalisation[edit | edit source]
The National Freight Consortium, as it was subsequently re-named, was privatised via a sale to employees in 1982 and Pickfords was subsequently sold to the American company Allied Van Lines in a deal worth $400 million, The company was then sold again becoming part of Sirva in 2002.
In 2008 Sirva hit financial difficulties and the Pickfords business was to be sold to the Anglo-American company TEAM Group. But this deal fell through and the companies UK and Irish operations was sold to a Private Investor and became part of the Moving Services Group UK.
Allied Pickfords is a quality assured company with over 800 branches globally. Allied Pickfords is now the world's largest global network.
The UK Operations are now based in a new HQ in Wembley London.
Subsidiaries[edit | edit source]
Allied Pickfords Australia[edit | edit source]
Allied Pickfords Australia is the largest moving company in Australia. Allied Pickfords’ Australian operations commenced in 1982, when British-based company Pickfords purchased Downard Transport Industries in Australia to form Downard Pickfords. In 1991, the name of the company was then changed to Allied Pickfords.
Pickfords Fleet (Heavy Haulage)[edit | edit source]
|ALR 177B||Atkinson||Atkinson Semi-Bonneted||?||M3444||Ballasted Tractor|
|AMH 540H||Atkinson||Viewline||?||M5727||Ballast tractor|
|EMD 518J||Atkinson||Viewline||55 GTW||M6728||1971|
|TSY 332||Diamond T||?||?||M4052||at Wirall Transport Museum|
|EGG 160||Diamond T||M20||?||M6020|
|VM 2110||Fowler||no. 17105||ATLAS||?||Road Locomotive|
|UYL 810S||GUY||Big J4T||?||M6734|
|VYK 911S||MAN||320||?||M ?|
|VXD 530||Scammell||Junior Constructor 6x4||? ton||M2070||Resolute in Paul Hammond collection|
|VXD 532 ?||Scammell||Junior Constructor 6x4||? ton||M2073|
|VXD 551||Scammell||Scammell Highwayman 4x2||?ton||M ?|
|PUC 471||Scammell||Constructor||? ton||M ?|
|PUC 472||Scammell||Constructor||? ton||M ?|
|PUC 473||Scammell||Constructor||? ton||M ?|
|PUC 474||Scammell||Constructor||? ton||M ?|
|PUC 475||Scammell||Constructor||? ton||M1011||To add||1955 - Only survivor of 5 in fleet|
|EYF 886J||Scammell||Samson ?||85 GTW||M1752||1971|
|ESJ 622||Scammell||Constructor||? ton||M2301||Now in Tony Jordan collection|
|UDL 664||Scammell||Constructor||? ton||M ?||In preservation (not in Pickfords colours)|
|876 BGJ||Scammell||Super Constructor 6x6||? ton||M2595||To add|
|GXV 657||Scammell||Scammell ?||? ton||M4227|
|SDJ 803F||Scammell||Contractor||? ton||M5 ?|
|SYO 385F||Scammell||Contractor 6x4||240 ton||M5035 ?||One of fleet of 6 custom built for HH in 1960s|
|VLH 427G||Scammell||Contractor 6x4||125 ton||M5676||One of several bought new by Pickfords in 1969|
|WYO 293H||Scammell||Contractor 6x4||240 ton||M6206||One of fleet of 6 custom built for HH in 1960s|
|XUU 925T||Scammell||Contractor Mk II 6x4||240 ton||M ?||One of 2 built for Pickfords in 1970s (4 more built)|
|XUU 919T||Scammell||Contractor MkII 6x4||240 ton||M ?||One of 2 built for Pickfords in 1970s (4 more built)|
|XUU 908T||Scammell||Crusader 6x4||M9532|
|579 EYO||Scammell||Super Highwayman||65 ton||M3023||One of 3 built for pickfords|
|HYH 32||Scammell||20LA||Capacity ?||M4667||Ballast Tractor|
Photo on CCMV.fotopic.net
|NXP 568||Scammell||20LA 4x2||?||M8637||1954|
|NGF 120||Scammell||20LA||4x2||M750||Ballast Tractor|
|G958 ARJ||Volvo||F12 8x4||?||?||Ballasted Tractor|
|Please add any missing vehicles|
|To add a new entry see EDIT button in top left of this table. |
please create a page (link) for any individual vehicles own article by linking the reg or serial number using reg number or fleet number in the relevant column. Then once saved click the red link to start the new page and add more detailed info on that vehicles own page.
|Reg no.||Make||Model no.||Capacity ?||Fleet no.||Type of unit|
Former Pickfords Heavy Haulage fleet vehicles[edit | edit source]
A number of former Pickfords Heavy Haulage vehicles are in preservation in the UK. These an be seen at events such as Great Dorset Steam Fair, demonstrating moving large loads. Several specialist Trailers in Pickfords colours are also preserved.
Specialist books on heavy haulage feature photos of the moving of special loads by Pickfords and other Heavy Haulage Contractors.
- Loads moved include Turbinia the 1894 built steam turbine powered launch moved to a new home in Newcastle's discovery museum in 1994 by Pickfords Volvo F12 G958 ARJ.
- In the 1980s they moved several LU rail cars
See also[edit | edit source]
- Collecting related
- Collectable Models - a number of Pickfords vehicle models have been produced by Corgi and others.
- Shows and Meets
- Clubs Listing
- Bibliography List of Books
References[edit | edit source]
- (Pickfords web site) Pickfords history from 1630 to 2005, A Complete History of Pickfords Moving and Storage
- SIRVA Signs Definitive Agreement to sell Pickfords Moving operations to TEAM Group
- Company history 2008
- Allied Pickfords Network
- Allied Pickfords - Removals, Furniture Removals, Moving House, Removal Company
- High Wide & Heavy (Book), by David Lee p28
[edit | edit source]
- Pickfords web site
- Allied Pickfords Australian web site
- Pickfords Yesterday (history)
- Interstate Removals Brisbane
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