HISTORY OF BROUGHTON TRANSPORT
The business began in 1866, James Mortimer and his wife Amelia grew vegetables and sold them in Broughton Gifford and surrounding areas on a door to door basis using a donkey and cart. This remained the core business until the early 1970’s.
Over the years, as the business grew, the donkey was replaced by Shire Horses. Alongside the vegetable business a small farm was operated. After James passed away several other sibling’s took over the business and ran the two businesses.
In the early 1920’s the name “D. Mortimer & Son’s” came into use.
The first flatbed lorry was purchased in 1939 and the horses were then used solely for the farm.
During the 1970’s the haulage aspect of the business gradually evolved… Firstly bringing potatoes from Cornwall and Pembrokeshire in the spring and early summer, and during other months mainly from Cambridgeshire and Eastern Counties. To avoid running vehicles empty on the outward journey’s, other haulage work was undertaken. The first articulated lorry, a Scania, was purchased in October 1978.
This was really the start of our Haulage business as it is today and our fleet was gradually built up to 25 tractor units. Initially the trailers were flat-bed, then taut liners and now refrigerated trailers.
During the late 70’s & 80’s pan-fried chips became increasingly popular with the catering trade, and this opened up new markets for the business. The bulk of these chips were processed in Holland, we purchased from De Fritespecialist of Venlo in Holland. Besides what we purchased for resale by D. Mortimer & Sons, we had the contract for distributing their chips to other wholesale markets throughout the south, west, north and midlands, D. Mortimer & Sons were considered to the be largest importer of pan-fried chips into the U.K.
This trade instigated the well-known brand “Eat More Chips”. However now we also use “Eat More Fruit” which is more apt in this current climate, as we now deliver Fruit & Veg daily for a number of different growers and manufacturers into Europe and the UK.
In 2009 another service was added to the Haulage business, with the purchase of two low-loader trailers, for transportation of Heavy Machinery.
D. Mortimer & Sons partially closed down the haulage business on a temporary basis, with some staff being retained to fulfil existing contracts.
The Haulage business re-opened as a limited company in March 2013 with a new name “Broughton Transport Solutions”, and is managed by Toby Ovens, the eighth generation of the family.
The name “D. Mortimer & Sons” is now used solely by the farming enterprise, which continues to be run by Jonathan and Greta.