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Family Affiars - Illustrated Histories of Haulage Contractors from Somerset & Dorset by Michael Marshall

The principal industry of the neighbouring rural counties of Somerset and Dorset, has for centuries been in farming. Indeed it was due to agriculture that a number of companies started-out as hauliers, but it is the one common source of traffic, the transport of agricultural goods, that they have all played a part in.

Second in importance has been the exploitation of the mineral resources from the ground such as the quarrying industry centred around the Mendips in Somerset and the Isles of Portland and Purbeck in Dorset. Also the sand and gravel pits at Moreton and Wareham and the extraction of Ball Clays at Furzebrook, which are more inconspicuous to visitors.

To the casual observer, there appears to be little other industry in these two predominantly rustic counties, that would provide enough work for the myriad of small to medium size transport contractors that once existed across the region. However there were other forms of industry in the earlier part of the twentieth century - brickworks, potteries and commercial ports - that have virtually vanished or are not so readily apparent today - These all played their part in providing traffic, which lead to the establishment of many local haulage concerns. Between then and now a World War came and went as did a brief period of nationalisation - a process bred out of blinkered political dogma. Manufacturing output rose, full employment was a reality and the haulage industry thrived.

Today, a much different picture is painted. A significant reduction in the country's industrial output over the last thirty years, increased fuel and road taxation costs, aggressive competition and other factors - all these had a marked effect on the number of transport contractors still operating. Many sold out to large organisations, others just ceased trading and so it is that of the dozen or so companies in this volume, only three are still in business in 2004, the remainder being names now consigned to history.

The book is the result of years of research by author Michael Marshall and is packed with rare and unpublished images of the finest that Britain could build including Foden and Sentinel steamers plus the latest from the likes of Volvo, ERF and DAF. Quarry plant & machinery also feature in this book in the stories of Perry & Perry, Hine Bros. & Evemys (Asham Quarry). Companies featured include Bird Bros., J.H. Clapcott, D.H. Cuff & Blandord Transport; Day Bros; Evemys & Asham Quarry; Hine Bros., Patten Bros., Perry & Perry including Yandle & Bishop and Weymouth Haulage Co; F. Read & Sons; D.W.Taylor, Taymix Transport Ltd & Translact Ltd.

Approx 300 b&w photos plus 16 pages of colour. hardback, portrait format printed on 150 gsm gloss paper. Another high quality book from Roundoak.

Code No. 010791, 196 pages, ISBN 187156543X, $81.00

This item is listed under the following subjects:

Truck   Steam  
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