This family-run firm decided to celebrate its 100th anniversary just a little early. And it was done in style, with this full-on Volvo FH16-750 heading up the fleet
By James Stephenson
PHOTOGRAPHY STEVE McCANN
SE Broscombe of Huddersfield is one of the UK’s longest established hauliers. With its 100th anniversary on the horizon, the firm decided to buy and customise one very special truck. The result is this fantastic FH16-750 Volvo – the flagship of a mixed fleet, emblazoned in a livery of claret and gold.
The company was established in 1915 by Sarah Elizabeth Broscombe, who used horses and carts to move products from a local chemical plant and foundries. The firm evolved to use trucks, and was passed down through generations of the family. In the 1970s, Sam Broscombe was the man in charge, and he lived along the road from Tom Brooke, an owner-driver, and his son Adrian. Sam passed away and his son Stuart inherited the business.
He was looking for a partner to work with and a deal was struck with Tom for half the company. Adrian, who runs the firm today, remembers those days well. “It was 1977 and I had just left school,” he says, “and I was all set for coming to work for my Dad, but he was having none of it! He told me to learn a trade first, then I could come and work with him.
“It’s the best advice I’ve ever been given – I became an apprentice mechanic at Reliance Garage, an ERF dealer, and I learned so much more than if I’d simply gone straight into the family business.”
But even when Ade was time-served, his Dad still wouldn’t allow him to join. “I worked at a scrap firm in Bradford, then for Rowntrees as a mechanic. Only when their plant closed down did Dad say I could come and work for him. It took 15 years, but the experience I got working in different places was priceless.”
When Stuart Broscombe became ill and passed away, another partner joined the firm – Peter Ellam. Ade’s father retired 16 years ago, with Peter doing the same in 2004. This left Ade and wife Diane to purchase the remaining shares. Today, the company is owned and operated solely by the Brooke family, who have retained the historic SE Broscombe name.
As featured in the February 2014 issue of Trucking. Buy the magazine here