Old truck makers, number 1: Thrifty Bespoke Lorries Ltd. (1921-1924)

Laurie Dealer is always on the look out for the rare and when a funnel turned up in a dredger just of the Dorset coast it reminded Laurie Dealer of an old engineer, who was willing to try and build anything...on the cheap. 

Manufacturer: Thrifty Bespoke Lorries Ltd, West Coker, Som.

Timespan: 1921-1924

Vehicles built: 1 (Price new: £2 s.3 d.8; RV: unknown)

By A. Chalker, first published in Western Gazette in 1924.

Cheapskate engineer Eric Shoemaker, founder of Thrifty Bespoke Lorries, built his first wagon by welding together metal table legs, dustbins, an Aga, a steel funnel, and pram wheels.

Weighing 2.3-tonnes and dubbed Nora I, his wife Nora, launched it ship style with a beer bottle. Nora I sped towards Weymouth, a seaside town five miles away, from his hilltop factory at 09.17 on a Monday.

Forgoing any steering mechanism to reduce costs Shoemaker clung in dismay to Nora I as it demolished two houses, bent a signpost, and narrowly missed several bystanders before careering through the docks and into the sea at 10.12.

According to on-lookers Shoemaker made good his escape on the 37 bus, which left Weymouth bound for Yeovil at 10.27. It is not known if he paid his fare.

This remains the only known picture of Nora I.

Norbert Dentressangle wins Biasi contract

Norbert Dentressangle Transport Services has won a distribution contract with heating industry product supplier Biasi UK.

The logistics company will collect palletised products including boilers and radiators from Biasi's Walsall, West Midlands manufacturing plant. It will then consolidate loads at its nearby Rowley Regis facility.

Paul Taylor, logistics manager at Biasi UK, tells MT: "The contract is a rolling one and we were impressed by cost and reliability after a trial with Norbert Dentressangle."

Biasi will use Norbert Dentressangle's multi-site network, shared-user fleet and track-and-trace IT system.

Taylor says: "In order for us to provide an excellent service to our customers, we are heavily reliant upon an efficient transport solution.

"Norbert's dedicated IT system ensures that our engineers and retailers are kept updated with much more accurate delivery time information, and will be immediately alerted to any issues if they occur."

Aspray24 had previously run the contract from mid 2007, and prior to this, GA Transport held the deal, adds Taylor.