W H Dash
My father, Bill Dash, started driving his own lorry during the Second World War, picking up
work wherever he could. Due to war damage, building materials were in very short
supply. As a result the demand for asbestos soared and my father secured a contract at the Atlas Stone Cement Company in Meldreth. There was so much need for transport that another
lorry was purchased and this was driven by Bernard Kenzie, father of Cyril and Peter of
Kenzie’s Coaches fame in Shepreth.
As time went on other vehicles were added to bring the fleet up to six. They went all over
the UK, mainly to building sites and farms. Here are the names of the drivers who worked
for my father at The Atlas. I apologise if I have missed anyone out.
Fred Rogers, John Bullen, Tom Jude, Ron Lowe, Bill Catley, Ken Truett, Peter Creek, Dave
Clarke, Bob Arnold and Alan Pluck, who drove a Bedford TK number plate 578 ECE which was his
second lorry and clocked up around 93,000 miles before going onto WPU 622 F KM unit.
When he left the firm on 1 September 1973 he had done another 156,000 miles. The other
drivers were Bert and Tom Workman, Harold Plumb, Ray Cole, Frank Goodbody, John
Bottrell and Ted Hopwood, who died in an accident in 1948 near the Bedford Lodge Stables,
Another growing company in the area was The Farmers Fertilizer based in Royston near the
station. My father had two vehicles there driven by Bill Pateman and Eric Walbey. This was
back-breaking work as in the early days lorries were loaded and unloaded by hand before
fork lift trucks came on the scene. They delivered to farms all over East Anglia, sometimes
doing two loads a day. Bill and Eric were genuine hardworking men who really earned their weekly
By the late seventies/early eighties demand for asbestos was dwindling and The Atlas
Stone Cement Company was taken over by Eternit from Belgium. The Farmers Fertilizer
Company ceased trading to become part of a housing development so my father closed his
haulage business after many successful years of trading.
From the forties through to the early eighties the maroon Bedford lorries were an established part of the Meldreth community. The haulage business was based at Westacre , which is now an attractive housing development on Whitecroft Road.