Made in Preston, the website about Preston, Lancashire

Atkinsons Vehicles

Atkinson Truck

Atkinson Vehicle at the British Commercial Vehicle Museum.


Atkinsons Vehicles of Walton Le Dale used the distinctive circled 'A' logo on the radiator. The company was purchased by Seddon of Oldham.

The factory site in Walton Le Dale is now an edge of town shopping centre. The factory in Winery Lane was a fairly small one next to Ribble Paper Mills, which has also gone.

Edward Atkinson started his own vehicle maintenance business in Frenchwood, Preston, and later moved to a garage in Kendal Street, near to the Corn Exchange in Preston. He could work on internal combustion and steam vehicles of any make around the year 1900 and this stood him in good stead to use the best solutions for his later design activity.

In 1916 they launched their first steam vehicle and within 5 years had a range of 9 vehicles which were highly acclaimed. In the early 30's diesel was becoming popular and 2 diesel designs were launched. In the mid-30's a London garage owner, WG Allen, bought the company and retained the name. The company moved to Marsh Lane to larger premises. Largish orders from the government in the war kept the company busy. In 1948 the company moved to Walton Le Dale for a planned build rate of 300 units a year. By 1960 it had reached 1100 and by 1970 plans for 2000 a year were laid with a workforce of 800.

In 1969 ERF and Foden started a bidding war to buy Atkinson and were later pipped by Seddon of Oldham. The economic disruption of the 1970's made business difficult and an offer from International Harvester for Seddon-Atkinson was accepted in 1974. ENASA a Spanish company later bought Seddon Atkinson and IVECO of Italy took over ENASA.

I read on one website that Seddon Atkinson lorries are now made in Spain and only specialised vehicles are made in the UK. I need to find out more, the IVECO website is difficult to understand.

Reference: Seddon Atkinson, World Trucks No.3, by Pat Kennett, Patrick Stephens Ltd 1978. ISBN 0 85059 308 5.

Football Memories:

Atkinson Vehicles (in white) v Fishwick Rangers (in red). 1964. Dave Hughlock, now living in California, scores for Atkinsons. They just couldn't catch him. The playing fields behind the Shawes Arms which is just beyond the hedge. Bus going down London Road hill. Dave sent us this photo, he left the UK not long after the match and comes back for each guild.

Atkinsons Vehicles v Fishwick Rangers 1964

More about the lorries

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15 February, 2016 Contact the site author