In 1907 Edward and Harry Atkinson joined forces with George Hunt to set up a company called Atkinson & Co in Frenchwood Avenue, Preston. Soon out growing these premises they moved to Kendal Street. The company repaired motor and steam wagons. In 1916 the Atkinson brothers decided to build a wagon of their own design. The company went through good and bad times during and after the First world war. Edward Atkinson died in 1932 and W.G Allen bought the business and renamed it Atkinson Lorries (1932) Ltd. They started producing diesel lorries, these lorries had Gardner engines, Kirkstall axles and David Brown gearboxes. The company moved to bigger premises on Marsh Lane, Preston, finally moving and settling at the famous Winery Lane site Walton Le Dale,Preston in 1947. Atkinson lorries wore many famous liveries W.H Bowker Ltd, Sutton of St Helens, Pollack, Gibb's of Fraserburgh, Northern Ireland Trailers,W & J Riding of Longridge and of course John Killingbeck of Blackburn.
Reference: Alan Sleight, 'Big Al's Truck Stop' (http://www.users.totalise.co.uk/thetyke/id30.htm). Accessed June 2002.
From mid-1970 Atkinson Lorries Ltd., based at Walton-le-Dale in Lancashire, fought off an auction-like series of take-over bids by ERF and Fodens of Sandbach. During months of protracted campaigning by the prospective suitors, an unpredictable factor in the eventual outcome was the position of Leyland. This giant held a 20% share holding in Atkinson, which they regarded as a serious rival in the premium heavyweight market. Leyland remained silent until October when they backed a bid by a new contender, Seddon Diesel Vehicles of Oldham, many of whose models complemented those in the Atkinson range. Thus was created Seddon-Atkinson, which in turn was acquired by International Harvester, and is now part of Iveco. Even after the mergers, Atkinson customers continued to place the celebrated ringed A badge on new Seddon Atkinsons and twenty-five years after the original take-over, the famous logo, supplied by Seddon-Atkinson, is regularly encountered on our roads.
Reference: National Transport Museum of Ireland, Commercial Vehicles of Atkinson and articulated tractors (http://www.nationaltransportmuseum.org/cv008.html). Accessed June 2002.
The Shareholders' Committee, chaired by A.G. Horsnail, fought for the continued independence of Atkinson. Horsnail was asked by the Modern Records Centre to write an aticle on his experiences. This was subsequently published in 'Business Archives' 44 (1978)
Reference: Catalogue to the collection.