Wm Armstrong History
Wm Armstrong History : 1970 to 2000
Wm Armstrong History : 2000 to Today
History of Wm Armstrong Group

The Early Years | 1927 - 1939

In 1927 William Armstrong, a farm labourer, acquired a 25 acre smallholding at Newtown, Irthington near Brampton and so founded his haulage firm. Today, the third generation of the Armstrong family is running the business. Livestock lorries based at the Longtown depot can carry 35 cows compared with William Armstrong's original Model T Ford that could only carry one cow and a co-operative one at that! While he was never to make his fortune moving single cows he saw the opportunity for retailing coal brought from the nearly Hallbankgate drift mine which he sold for around the equivalent of 6p a cwt.

It was the arrival of the Nestle and Angle Swiss Condensed Milk Company in Carlisle in 1928 that really established the business. The 1928 agreement was that Armstrongs would bring nine churns of milk into the dairy every day - for the sum of 10 shillings (50p) and William received a cheque for 15 for the loads carried in September 1928 with which he opened a bank account.

Milk was rapidly becoming the backbone of the business but the Model T Ford did not carry enough churns as farmers began to produce more milk for the enlarged market. A Model A Ford and a Chevrolet followed but in 1936 came a new Bedford, which together with a second hand Bedford was the Armstrong fleet for 11 years, hauling feed on top of churns and also carrying sand and gravel.

At this time the Milk Marketing Board was formed and Armstrongs worked for them until de-regulation in 1994. Runs with livestock were as far afield as Hawick, Newcastle and Darlington. Petrol rationing meant that during the war the longer distances had to be curtailed and the two lorries were given first call to the Home Guard.

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