Beresford Transport by Mick Darlington

Its funny how when you get talking to people you end up finding out more than you bargained for. I take regular deliveries of JCB’s that are destined for Russia, but come to me for checking and prepping before heading off to the docks. This means I have a lot of dealings with Brit European as I recieve 10 of there trucks every day. As you do you get chatting to the drives for a few minutes, one day i got chatting to a good old boy by the name of Mick Darlington, a true gent of the road.  We got talking and as I said I ended up finding out more than  bargained for. It turns out Mick has had a full career on the road as an employed driver and also as an Owner Driver. Mick’s career started at the well remembered Beresfords Transport from Stoke on Trent and 3 days after getting his license was at the helm of this old girl and about to set off for Italy with a load of whiskey!

Mick Darlington (25)

It turns out that Mick has spent a good chunk of his career as a continental driver. Going from Beresfords, to Morcap, to Fret Francais, to Brit European as well as running his own trucks across the water as well.

I love the fact that back in the good old days there were so many British built trucks heading off to all foreign climbs. We all know the Guys, Scammells, Seddons, Leylands and ERF’s that used to even get as far as the Middle East, but then again that was a time when having something built in Britain was some thing to be proud of! Mr Darlington has plenty of experience of driving some of Cheshire’s finest on the wrong side of the road. This set of pics of a B series ERF on the snowy roads of Austria. You just cant beat photo’s like this and you won’t ever be able to recreate them, they are just classics. I almost got romantic there didn’t I!!

Mick Darlington (30)

Mick Darlington (29)

Any ideas who this driver is with Mick in Austria?

Mick Darlington (31)

Mick Darlington (32)

Beresfords were at the time well in at JCB and were one of the main hauliers doing the continental JCB work before Brit European took over and, from what I read, took the fun out of the job and made it not so lucrative as perhaps it once was. Beresford ran 2 x Seddon Atkinsons painted up in JCB colours to show there loyalty to the Staffordshire digger makers. Mick seen here some where across the water, but can you tell me where? It looks warm where ever it is.

Mick Darlington (28)

There is more to come from Mick’s photo’s but I dont want to use them up all at once!! You’ll just have to keep checking the blog to see when I do the next installment. I need to do some more research about Fret Francais, so if you can tell me any thing send me an email; ben@truckblog.co.uk

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27 thoughts on “Beresford Transport by Mick Darlington

  1. Have a lot of info on Beresfords especially through the 80’s . Will have an answer to your questions hopefully as I have fleet lists from that period. Great pictures btw.

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    • Mick,
      Just been sent the link to this blog, have seen Mick sphotos before but , not this blog, remember meeting you a number of times when I was with my Dad (Wheeler) and you yours, sadly neither weith us now, but the memories live on.
      i’m now working for Scania in Stoke (sales)
      Would love to see your photos – if you want them scanning so you can post on the net, I would gladly do them for you
      Best regards
      Ant

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  2. my dad jim stubbs use to work on beresford with mick and the picture in question wanting to no which driver it was with mick is ray morris who as sadly passed away

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  3. mick is a old mate of mine & before i got my class1 when i was about 20 yrs old i used to go on trips across the water with him,the bubble back series 1 erf in the photo was the first truck i ever drove as mick let me practice when off road(happy days).i remember one trip coming off the boat with jcb’s on and as the boat rocked in the water the jcb’s hit the top deck ripping the roofs off them.

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  4. I Worked for Berresford in the 70s -80s, I worked mainley on the continent and run regulary with Les Smith (sad loss) visited him in Macmillan before he passed away..I also run with Ray Morris again sad loss.
    Phil ask jim Stubbs about the wine shampoo at the bake house??
    Regulary run into Comarts drivers.. Monk, & Goldy ..Later Morcap.
    I drove the first Berresford JCB liveried Vehicle, a S reg ERF “B” series, massive cab pulled by a 240 gardner.
    I hear that Mick Salt owns a bar in America !!
    The drivers who worked for the stoke companies were a great bunch of lads, times were different then “log books” how many stopped at the place called c’ernuff ?? when you parked up the, first thing you said was thats cernuff!!!….log books were great.
    My 5 min of fame was in the Truck mag in 78 featuring my B series ERF, taking a load of crocks to Bremen meeting Les Smith on the return journey,we collected steele coils for Michlin stoke.

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  5. I spent a couple of years relining brakes and clutches at T&M Autoparts on Victoria Road (’77-79)- Beresfords were one of our biggest customers, and their relines always got priority. I mentioned on one occasion to the maintenance engineer that I was hoping to go grape-picking in France again; he said he’d sort something out for me. Next thing, there was a call telling me to be at the yard on Sunday morning, and to ask for Mick Salt. I duly turned up, and Mick said ‘I’m going to Italy, but I can drop you at Macon. Any use?’ We ran down with Mick in his Seddon-Atkinson, and another driver in a Scania; the load was JCBs, IIRC.
    That would have been September 1978.
    Brian

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  6. Hi to Mick Smith , Phil Stubbs and Alan Aveyard I have hundreds of pictures of Beresford trucks mainly from the 80’s with some older ones including for Mick and Phil the trucks your fathers drove. Alan I have the LDD from Truck amongst my pictures and would be great to hear from you all with a view to exchange pictures and stories etc . I am very much a Beresford enthusiast and used to meet Jack Kelly in his 111 Scania at Blackwall tunnel on a Sunday afternoon or Monday evening . I also visited Tunstall a few times to meet Mr Beresford take pictures a Great Company with great memories .

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  7. Great pictures. My Uncle worked for Beresford in the 1970’s. I spent some time with him in Europe in the summer of 1975. It was a great adventure for a 12 year old. I was convinced his reg was GRE 878N as in the top photo. His name was Jim West (sadly now passed away). Does anyone know of him or could confirm he drove this vehicle?

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  8. I remember a Jock West, if i am correct he was living in Belgium at the time. He like all the drivers at the time taught me alot.
    Mark, what about all the bacon butties you made on the way to italy and nearly been left in Nice?
    Phil ask jim about some of his nights at the ramp in london thats where he let me astray, ive never been the same since.

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  9. Just been serching the web for Beresford as my Dad would of worked for them from 72 till 76 His name was Albert or may have been known as Burt or Squeak
    any body remember him

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  10. We have been and still are next door neighbours to Beresford Transport now Beresford Trading Estate for many years, Ken Beresford still calls in about once a month to say hello and many drivers who deliver to us today say it brings back many memories.

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  11. Do I remember Beresfords ? Certainly do with fond memories, my first continental run to Pavia Italy with J C B’s back in 1980, those were the days when we swopped the permits on the borders – books into Italy and the single permit into France, I was lodging at The Farmers Arms at the time when most of the lads used go for a jar after work, as like a lot of the older guys I remember a lot of their names but forgot the name of the driver who used to drive the only Belguim cab ERF! someone will know though, ahh, fond memories, Les Ellis

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    • hi steve I work with mick brough’s lad Elliot driving for fedex I know gogsey well…he was a mechanic on fedex for some year but just recently retired from the spanners but I hear he’s doing a few days driving on sainsburys do you remember my dad jim

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      • hi phil,
        yes i remember your dad jim if i am right… he did uk for a while and then went on the continent.
        a true professional driver.When you see Gogsey say hello from me ask him if he remembers when he went to fetch a truck for service on nights he started the truck and a block sat up and said “where we going mate!” I don`t know who was more scared the bloke sleeping off the beer in the truck( gogsey had cream on his face) or gogsey!!!! Ha Ha!!!
        jim would of known stan dukes.lenny durbar.mick salt,
        Great happy days………great company

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  12. Mick I am the late fred edge youngest son my farther worked for Mr beresford he did driving and later on in life in the garage and then tyre store if you would of snapped him in half he was like a stick of rock he was so respectful of the beresford family I worked at beeches garage with Phil Walters is father worked with my dad I went to college with Roland ford and often popped in to the garage to see my dad noing a lot of faces but not names allan walldridge goggsy was family friend it seems a life time ago now I would often go in the recovery truck with my dad later on I worked with John pie on hallcion nice to see photoes they have put a smile on my face thanks for memories A Edge

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  13. I worked for culls transport in Fenton in late 80s and then pandoro. A lot of the Beresford
    lads went to pandoro after they shut down. Good bunch. Any ex pandoro drivers on here?
    I’m Mark Atkins. I now own a small trucking company in the US.

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