DORLUX DAYS

After the continental work started to get too much, I fancied getting back onto U.K work, so off I popped to Dorlux beds In Club Lane Halifax back to a company I had worked at before in the late 60s, and early 70s, alongside my friend the late Phil (Stan the man) Brownridge…

The fleet was all Bedford TKs Pantechs and Luton vans, at this point, I left the artics alone for a while…

We tramped all over the nation with these little motors, and had some great times, when drivers met up at various parking spots, some of which I will name later on….

The company was owned by one man, a Mr.Sykes, a decent sort he was too, the job was to die for, once you were in there you never left, it was just one long holiday and piss up, I can honestly say, I have never had such an easy job ever, and I’ve had quite a few in my time.

We were out all week delivering to all the bed shops nationwide including Northern Ireland, and our transport manager was a true diamond, ..Mr. Pritchard, top man.

BELOW :- Some of the fleet in the yard at Club Lane, I wish I had taken more pictures in hindsight now.

This livery of chocolate and cream replaced the old 60s livery of pastel blue and red, where ever you were on the road, you would always see a Dorlux wagon in some corner of the country, there was always a bed shop in every town and city.

 BELOW: This is not my pic, but I was parked up overnight here in the Dorlux wagon at Lymington Road in Torquay..I came across this by chance..two of my old companies.

We didn’t need a sleeper cab, because we just went in the back and slept on a nice big double mattress, there was no rush, no mobiles no boss pushing you, nobody asked where have you been or how long will it take to do this or that, we just took our time, met up for breakfast, met up on the lorry parks at night and went out on the town, a few drinks a nice meal a good old laugh, and maybe a bird or two if we were lucky..lol…

 
Dorlux beds
Barry Hodgson writes: Your recent mention of dodgy night outs at New Island cafe reminded me of an amusing incident with a Dorlux driver. Not sure if you remember Stephen Barnett, he was better known as action man because before he got his Dorlux uniform he always wore khaki camouflage coloured jackets. One early evening after parking up at Birch services and paying for his parking ticket on a dodgy he made his way to the exit slip road. His luck seemed to be in for after only a couple of minutes a Mercedes car pulled up and offered him a lift. It was none other than Ian Sykes, managing director of Dorlux, with the distinctive reg of PCP 1P. Ian immediately recognized the lad so stopped to give him a lift. Unfortunately the lad had no idea who the driver was and Ian never let on as Stephen's tongue went into overdrive with an acute case of verbal diarrhoea, informing him about all the perks and fiddles and how easy it was to top his wage with the mileage bonus etc. Even when Ian dropped him off in Sowerby Bridge near to his home the lad never twigged on. Action man was only in his mid 20's and was a bit naive in many respects, luckily for him he didn't tell Ian anything he didn't already know and found the incident rather amusing. Next morning Ian had a quiet word with transport manager Trevor Shackleton advising that the lad should be more discreet in the future. After receiving a rolicking Action Man's escapade soon spread all around the yard with everyone finding it highly comical and the lad got teased constantly for several weeks. It could have been a scene from Under Cover Boss. I took this picture in the yard at Club Lane, the Bedford TK with the Bed bubble on top was assigned to Dave Buick.

 

BARRY HODGSON WRITES:

The orange and purple livery were delivered to Dorlux in four different batches.

The first and second set were all “L” registered in batches of three. TCP 502L (29) Eric Firth, TCP 503L (30) Tony Crawshaw & TCP 504L (31) Roy Lofts followed by TJX 453L (32) Derek Winterbottom, TJX 454L (33) Eric Adamson & TJX 455L (34) Brian Winters.

Next were a batch of four “M” registrations WCP 513M (35) Malcolm Curry, WCP 514M (36) John Mitton, WCP 515M (37) Tony Wedgwood & WCP 516M (38) Simon Kay. and finally a batch of three “P” registrations NBA 863P (39) David Spencer, NBA 864P (40) Paul Rochford & NBA 865P (41) Barry Hodgson.

Fleet numbers for some reason were discontinued when the cream & chocolate livery was introduced in 1977 with several “S” registrations. The orange / purple vehicles were hastily all repainted in the new colours and any remaining blue/red vans were condemned to the scrap heap.

Sadly from this date onwards I have only a handful of records on Dorlux vehicles but the fleet grow enormously, not only with new vehicles but with several 2nd hand vans from a number of defunct firms. Footnote: TCP 503L was the only van with a splitter gearbox. WCP 513M – WCP 516 were all TK sleeper cabs.

Dorlux body on duty in Ireland
Dorlux halifax
Barry Moony's Trailer in later years
Barry's Renault at Dorlux.
Dorlux beds
Dorlux
Dorlux Halifax