Richard and Anne Preston

Richard Preston, who co-founded haulage firm Prestons of Potto with his wife Anne, has died, aged 81.

He started the business, now run by son and MD David, in 1957 as a successor to his father’s threshing contractor business, which was set up in 1936.

Richard, who along with Anne remained chairman at the firm, died on 30 December after a short battle with leukaemia.

Anne, who was awarded an MBE, told local media that her husband was an amazing man.

“The best thing about him was his wonderful smile and ability to get on with young and old and from all walks of life,” she said.

Today, the business is a Pall-Ex and Harlequin Logistics member with a turnover approaching £20m. As well as a head office near Northallerton at what used to be the Potto village railway station, it has depots in Stockton-on-Tees, Knottingley and St Neots.

Recent high-profile work has included the Olympic Stadium and London’s Shard building.

Richard Preston's funeral took place on Saturday 10 January.