Heritage Commercials

BRIAN HARRIS TRANSPORT AN APPRECIATION

This article is not intended to be an exhaustive history of Brian Harris Transport Ltd and its predecessor Harris & Miners, but more of a photographic appreciation from a lorry enthusiast’s point of view in the 1980s and 90s. The traditional fleet of British vehicles that the firm ran were a draw for many road transport enthusiasts, including myself, with a fleet where the lorries were given names relating to their native Dartmoor area. Many carried names taken from the chorus of the Devon folk song ‘Widecombe Fair’, including Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney, Peter Davy, Daniel Whiddon and Uncle Tom Cobley and all. It was a sad day in March 2001 when Brian Harris decided to call it a day and auction-off his remaining fleet.

The story begins in 1946 when the business was started by Brian’s father, (Sydney) Jerry Harris and his uncle, Sam Miners, in the Dartmoor village of Widecombe-in-the-Moor. Sam had worked for his brother Bill who had an established haulage firm of W.F Miners & Sons. He left the employ of his brother and in-partnership with Jerry Harris formed Harris & Miners with two Ford 7V V8’s and a Commer petrol-engined lorry. Loads consisted of sand and fruit from Avonmouth Docks.

In 1942, Jerry married Margaret Nosworthy and on 6th September 1943 they were blessed with the birth of a son, Brian. Harris & Miners got their first long distance customer in 1947, when they commenced hauling for Candy & Co. from Heathfield, who made tiled fireplace surrounds. The first load to Scotland was ‘Devon Grate’ fire surrounds for Candy to Glasgow in 1948. This business relationship was to last nearly 50 years and with it began

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