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Walter Edmundson (Haulage) Ltd celebrates 80 years in business.

18th February, 2014

Walter Edmundson (Haulage) Ltd celebrates 80 years in business.


1934  Walter Edmundson Ltd. was registered as a private limited company

With the coming of the Second World War, timber became rationed.  The timber trade became almost inoperable due to restrictions on imports.  Walter Edmundson turned his activities to Storage, and was greatly involved with the Ministry of Food.  He also launched C.R.S. (Carton Recovery Service) in Preston to preserve stocks of paper.

Post War  Walter returned to timber merchanting, whilst keeping his links to the Storage industry.  His premises were the first storage premises in the Preston area for such household names as Bird's Eye Frozen Foods, Coco-Cola, Persil etc, and in the mid 50's stored new transit cases for the U.K.A.E.A.

Walter Edmundson's first venture into Road Haulage was by the acquisition of Mitchell Bros. of Darwen, but this was short-lived, due to the Nationalisation of Road Haulage in 1948.

1955  With John Edmundson now having joined his father in the business, they re-entered the road haulage industry in a very small way.  At this time, the Company purchased it's present operating base in Preston.

Preston Dock was at its peak of success at this period in time, and Walter Edmundson Limited became Preston agents for Companies servicing Northern and Southern Ireland with the handling of ships from Larne, Belfast, Dublin & Waterford.  Edmundson's represented In Preston companies like Northern Ireland Eggs Ltd., Ulster Ferry Transport Ltd., and Jenkinson & Archer Ltd.,(J.&A. Line of Dublin) who later became part of the George Bell (Bell-Line) empire.  Preston dock, at this time was said to be busier than both Liverpool & Manchester ports.

1960's  There came a call for bigger and faster vessels to serve Ireland, and preferably from non-tidal ports.  Preston then lost out to Liverpool & Fleetwood, and the ever increasing popularity of the Scottish ports at the top end of the M6.  Sadly Preston dock eventually had to close.  It is today, a thriving marina.

1966 A company called Ronaldsway Airport Agencies Ltd. was formed in the Isle of Man to handle airfreight at Ronaldsway airport.  Walter Edmundson Ltd. soon joined forces with  Ronaldsway Airport Agencies Ltd., and formed Ronagency (Shipping) Ltd., abandoning their airfreight activities in favour of seaborne freight.  The Isle of man office to this day handles road deliveries around the Island from clients  who have airfreighted their cargo directly to Ronaldsway airport.

The company opened up Glasson Dock for unit load operations by the construction of two 25 tonne cranes at the small port.  Walter Edmundson died two weeks before the Glasson Dock operation started.

Soon there was more than one ship  required, and at the peak, four ships were chartered, including the M.V. Parkesgate  which John Edmundsons's wife had the pleasure of sponsoring at her launch in the Solent.

Walter Edmundson Ltd., continued to carry out the haulage operation for Ronagency (Shipping) Ltd., and later took control of the Company in it's entirety, John Edmundson becoming Chairman.

Late 60's  / Early 70's  Traditional methods of Lift On/Lift Off containerised shipping were by now being superseded by Roll On/Roll Off (RORO) vessels.

The Isle of Man became embraced in this new method of handling cargo.  Ronagency (Shipping) Ltd., Walter Edmundson Ltd., and a few small private investors formed Manx Line, and purchased M.V Monte Castillo from Navier Aznar of Spain.  She was refitted in Leith and emerged as Manx Viking.This seaborne operation became embroiled in the massive organisation that was Sealink, and Sealink eventually acquired Manx Line, itself becoming a part of Sea Containers empire shortly afterwards.  Sealink became privatised, and merged with Isle of Man Steam Packet Co. Ltd.

2004 The business of Walter Edmundson (Haulage) Ltd and Edmundson Ronagency was acquired by Manx Independent Carriers to create the largest transport business on the Isle of Man with more than 65 people emplyed locally and a further 50 employed in the UK. The combined fleet of vehicles and trailers numbered more than 180 pieces of equipment. The company was and remains one of the largest shippers of goods on the Isle of Man Steam Packets vessels.

2014 Whilst the Edmundson business is now marketed under the parent Manx Independent Carriers banner on the Isle of Man, it still trades in its own right from its 66,000 sq ft depot at Skelmersdale, Lancashire from where some 15 trucks and 100 trailers are based, supported by 50 staff members. There are not many businesses that have survived a World War and several economic recessions and are still succesfully trading.


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