The Dickens connection

The tale of the haulier and the author

In the dark days of the early 1940s, Cullimore Group vehicles were called upon to support the construction of military airfields in the South West of England. The vehicles were operating away from home, alongside those from a number of other sources.

Due to wartime shortages and restrictions, the vehicles could no longer be identified by their distinctive green livery. Moreton C Cullimore had held a long admiration of Charles Dickens’ works, and hit upon the idea of applying the name of a Dickens character to each truck.

As things gradually returned to normal after 1945, the traditional livery re-emerged and the practice of naming the vehicles lapsed. Moreton, however retained his fascination with Dickens and needed little persuasion by son, Roger, to revive the tradition in the early 1960s. Names were quickly applied to the whole fleet and over the years, this custom has continued to attract interest far and wide.

The tradition continues today; all Cullimore vehicles, large and small, and even the individual items of plant equipment, proudly display Dickensian names. Naturally, some names fit better than others: Oliver Twist could be nothing other than a truck mixer, while well-placed confidence saw the ready-mix plant at Netherhills christened Great Expectations when it was opened nearly 30 years ago.

Green continues to be the fleet colour, although in 1961 following discussions with Foden, the two-tone livery, red bumpers (boards) instead of chrome and red chassis instead of black, became the fleet hallmark for the future, giving an appearance both attractive and distinctive.

A selection of pictures is available in our online gallery. Contact us for further information on the Dickensian link and our vehicles’ heritage.