Page last updated at 13:53 GMT, Tuesday, 12 October 2010 14:53 UK
Taylors of Martley - the history of the logistics firm
Ian Speak from Bibby Distribution
Ian Speak from Bibby Distribution, the new owners

You see their lorries all over the country - Taylors of Martley is one of Worcestershire's most iconic businesses.

The company, now known as TM Logistics, was formed during World War 2 by Eddie Taylor.

He used to collect the stone from Penny Hill Quarry and take it to Brize Norton, for the RAF to build runways.

To keep up with demand, he bought a second lorry, and his wife would swap vehicles with him on Worcester bridge.

The business really took off in the early sixties when he decided to buy a third lorry, and took on staff.

BBC Hereford & Worcester's Dave Bradley has fond memories of those early days: "I recall when I was a lad going on the wagons during school holidays or when I had first started work - it was a great way of seeing the country.

We would often set out on Monday morning, go to Heysham Head and drop something off, pick up another load from Robertsons in Carlisle, or drive to Scotland, pick up some tin cans and then bring them back to the Metal Box at Worcester
Dave Bradley

"Don Taylor (Eddie's son), Jim Corbett, Bill Rice and Lionel Minchin are people I remember used to drive for them.

"We would often set out on Monday morning, go to Heysham Head and drop something off, pick up another load from Robertsons in Carlisle, or drive to Scotland, pick up some tin cans and then bring them back to the Metal Box at Worcester."

Dance Band

Edgar (or Eddie as he preferred to be called) was also a keen cricketer and took dozens of wickets each season for Martley, Wichenford and Clifton-on-Teme.

During World War 2, he formed a dance band as a bet he could learn music in two weeks, and was fondly remembered in the BBC Hereford & Worcester series, Harvesting The Past: "He borrowed a donkey and cart from a neighbour to take his band to Clifton-on-Teme.

"When they came out of the The Lion Inn, somebody had painted the donkey into a zebra!

"On another occasion, the donkey was taken out of the shafts of the cart, taken around the other side of an iron railing fence and reconnected with the cart.

"This time when they came out of the pub the cart and the donkey had an iron fence in between."

He used the money raised from the dance band to donate to returning servicemen.

"Edgar was sitting by the fire entertaining revellers when the damson wine got to him, and he tumbled into the fire, accordion and all!

"Everyone was laughing so much that his trousers got rather badly burned before he was rescued."

Success never changed the true character of the man - he remained alert, mischievous and full of vitality to the end of his days.
David Cropp in Martley at the Millennium

Many people remember Eddie as 'The Doc' - you can read the full story, which involves a local farmer with a bad tooth and a pair of pliers in Martley at the Millennium.

Eventually it was Eddie's son, Don, who was to be at the helm of the business after his father retired.

Family Firm

It was during the next few years that Taylors flourished.

Edgar Taylor died in July 1994, at the age of 84, having lived his whole life in the village.

"Success never changed the true character of the man," explains David Cropp in Martley at the Millennium, "He remained alert, mischievous and full of vitality to the end of his days."

TM Logistics former site at Marley in Worcestershire
Their offices in Martley stand empty after moving to Worcester last week

Former employee, Les Wall, said: "He was a very fine fellow and a very good boss.

"In fact you could never wish to meet a better man."

TM Logistics have since diversified into warehousing, distribution and vehicle hire at 20 sites, employ a workforce of over 400, managing multi-million pound contracts for some of the world's biggest brands.

In 2007, the company turned over £30.15 million under Eddie's grandson Stephen Taylor.

You can read Stephen's account of the growth of the company in this article in The Manufacturer.

In February 2003, the company won an Investors In People award and went on to work for Nissan, Jaguar and Honda.




SEE ALSO
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