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Livestock haulage firm closing down

PUBLISHED: 18:36 19 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:27 12 July 2010

Calling it a day - Ronald and Richard (John) Hume.

Calling it a day - Ronald and Richard (John) Hume.

ONE of East Anglia's longest established livestock haulage firms is closing after being run by the same family for three generations.

F W Hume and Sons, of Denmark Bridge, Palgrave, will close on April 4 on the retirement of the present proprietors, Ronald and Richard (John) Hume.

ONE of East Anglia's longest established livestock haulage firms is closing after being run by the same family for three generations.

F W Hume and Sons, of Denmark Bridge, Palgrave, will close on April 4 on the retirement of the present proprietors, Ronald and Richard (John) Hume.

They have been unable to find successors for the firm which was started by their grandfather and which has carried livestock all over the UK.

Most of the drivers have found other jobs, and 10 of the firm's 11 lorries have already been sold to local customers, mostly to transport their own livestock.

Ronald Hume, 71, who lives at Brome, near Eye, said his grandfather had started the firm using horses and carts and had bought his first motorised transporter, a Model T Ford, from Kerridges of Needham Market.

“We took over from our father more than 20 years ago and the business has changed a lot since then. We have to complete so many forms whenever we transport animals these days.

“We used to move 12-15,000 pigs a week but we don't do so many now because not so many are being kept. Two or three of our customers are going out of business at the moment because of the high price of feed.”

Mr Hume said the business had been run on traditional lines, with farmers able to contact his brother or himself 24 hours a day.

The first lorries left the yard at 4am and drivers sometimes did not return until 6pm and then they had the task of washing down and disinfecting the vehicles ready for the next morning.

However, the work was not attracting many new people. “It is a dirty job and a smelly job but the drivers we have had have been marvellous,” he said. One had been with the firm for 40 years and others had been employed for between 20 and 30 years.

John Hume added that the soaring cost of fuel was a consideration, but it had not prompted their decision to call it a day.

“We made the decision in October last year. Really the fuel didn't come into the equation so much then,” he said.

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