History

The company celebrated its 50th birthday in 2007. A measure of the company’s success is that from an annual turnover of £2,500-£3,500 in 1957 it had increased to over seven figures by 2007.

Now run by David and Jed Farrer, sons of the original founders, Eric and Nan Farrer, E & N Farrer has gone from strength to strength since they took over in 1990. That was when Eric retired after blazing a trail of unqualified success since he first bought a BMC 4-wheel tipper wagon on the 6th June 1957, costing him £2,200 and with a capacity to carry nine tons.

Eric was demobbed from the Royal Artillery following the war, where he had served in India in charge of a contingent of wagon drivers pulling heavy guns. Back in “civvy street” he started driving vehicles for various firms in Brampton and Carlisle, recognising a further opportunity when Wimpeys moved into Spadeadam in 1956 to construct the Blue Streak rocket site. “That was the time” he says, “when I realised we should start our own haulage business as the project was forecast to take two and a half years during which time local firms with lorries would be working flat out transporting materials to and from the site.

“I went to the local quarry three times to ask about the possibility of acquiring a contract to transport material. On the third visit I finally got a ‘Yes’. “That was when I bought the new BMC tipper truck which ran successfully for five years. Ten years later in 1967 we were running three vehicles and then in 1968 we acquired three more vehicles, making six in all.

“This happened when we took over the sand and gravel section of T W Nixon & Sons of Brampton – and included a selection of plant and machinery including a Whitlock excavator and Priestman Dragline Navvy for dredging river beds and removing sand and gravel.

“Our original depot was based behind our home in Brampton and space was becoming increasingly restricted. “A move to Brewery Yard, Brampton, proved to be the solution which served the company well until – in 1995 – the family bought the present depot at Carlisle Airport; a spacious hanger ideal for operations.

During the first part of the Farrer success story Eric drove the tipper and Nan saw to the office work. Now their two sons similarly share the duties – whether managing logistics in the office and seeing to the administration of this thriving firm or loading wagons or – as the trained mechanics they are – working on vehicles in the hanger bays.

They both see the future, despite its obstacles, as holding opportunity for those who seek it. As David says, “The only way is to look forward and progress, basically, we are comfortable with being a local family haulage firm, have been for a long time and hope to be for a long time yet.”

“We have to be optimistic for the future,” agrees Jed. “These are fiercely competitive times, but we are a progressive company and we have an enthusiastic workforce that is more than capable of keeping up with the times.”
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