There comes a time when we must all say goodbye to our loved ones, and in 2012 the road transport industry lost several great servants. Gone but not forgotten, the legacy of these industry veterans will live on in our memories, Motor Transport pays tribute to some of the figures who are no longer with us.
Stan Robinson (1942-2012)
A legendary Staffordshire haulage boss, Stan Robinson set up the eponymous firm in 1970, embarking on a long and successful journey which saw the company, among other things, win Haulier of the Year at the 1999 Motor Transport Awards and more recently develop their own 33.5m longer heavier vehicle.
Steve Cope, transport director at Stan Robinson (Stafford), says: "He was like a father to us, he put everyone else at the company before himself. We will never forget him and he will be very sadly missed."
Andy Boyle, MD at ABE Ledbury, says: "Stan was physically a big man, and big in stature in the haulage industry. He punched above his weight and was never scared to take on the big boys in the industry. Stan was a great character, everybody in the industry will miss him.
A customised DAF has since been made in his honour, with images of Stan the Man and a timeline of the Robinson families time in road haulage.
Brian Harris (1944-2012)
Brian Harris Transport may have closed in 2001, but affection for its founder Brian Harris continued long after the company’s closure. Famed for its Devon to Scotland service, the business started life as Harris and Miners in 1936, founded by Brian’s father Sydney ‘Jerry’ Harris. After his father’s death in 1978, Brian took charge of the firm, leading to the birth of Brian Harris Transport.
John Morris, transport manager at Mervyn Thomas, says: “Brian was a very well-respected man, both in Devon and the rest of the country. I am sorry to hear of the loss of another gentleman and character in the haulage community.”
Des Ponsonby, MD of Corporate Solutions (Logistics), says: “When I first started driving, the M5 ran from Bromsgrove to Tewkesbury. Bristol took just over three hours from Birmingham; Devon to Scotland was some punch back then! RIP to a true gentleman of the industry.”
Peter Foden (1930-2012)
Born in Blackpool on 24th February 1930, Edwin Peter Foden CBE, was the former chairman of ERF Trucks and chief executive of ERF Holdings. He was the last of the Cheshire family dynasty of Fodens to be actively involved with the truck industry, and grew his business ERF Trucks from being a family business into a major force in the British truck industry.
The son of Edwin Richard Foden, one of the founders of ERF and whose initials were incorporated into the company’s name, Peter Foden originally joined the firm after the war as an apprentice.
He became a director of ERF at 20 after the death of his father in 1950. Following the unexpected death of the then MD Dennis Foden in 1960, Peter Foden took control of ERF. In 1996, ERF Trucks was sold to Western Star of Canada and on 31 December Peter Foden retired from his position as chairman and chief executive of ERF Holdings.
Steve Maguire (1954-2012)
Started in 1979 by Steve Maguire and his brother Paul, Maguires of Cheltenham. The haulage firm ceased trading in 2003, but Steve diversified and the name continued with the launch of Premium Collectable Models (PCM) in the same year. PCM truck models became highly collectable, and many high profile operators commissioned replicas from Maguire.