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Workers said my grandfather was best haulage boss

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: December 08, 2013

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I HAVE only just managed to catch up reading all my back dated copies of The Bugle.

It was while I was reading the July 18 edition, that I found an article on page 13 (lucky for me!) highlighting a new book on local haulage firms.

My grandfather (my mom's father) started from very humble beginnings and just after the First World War set up the successful road haulage company of Joseph Ashman (Joe to everyone that knew him).

It was situated on the now very busy Oldbury Road between Blackheath and Whiteheath.

Sadly it closed in the 1980s.

Unfortunately, my grandfather died prematurely at only 64 years of age, when his business was at the height of its success.

He was a workaholic and was the first person to be there in a morning and last to leave in the evening whatever the weather.

He always suffered with a bad chest, and could never wear a shirt buttoned up with a tie (he said he couldn't breathe).

Because of his stoicism to his business he was in the fortunate position to own several cars of which he would lend at any time to any of his workers if they needed transport.

My grandfather was generous to a fault, but wouldn't suffer fools gladly and certainly wouldn't allow ladies to work there because he didn't want them confronted with bad language.

He gave my mom and her sister, and his two daughters a position but they worked from home.

His son and grandsons had jobs within his garage.

Everyone who knew Joe Ashman spoke very highly of him, particularly his workers. They always said he was the best gaffer to work for.

His lorries and drivers transported haulage materials the length and breadth of the country.

Sometimes there was confusion because there was another haulage company locally also known as H. Ashman.

I would be fascinated to hear from any one of your readers who knew anyone who had dealings with Joe Ashman, because sadly as time marches on there will be no one to remember.

Mrs Lynne Parsons,

Ivy Cottage,

Old Worcester Road,

Hartlebury, Worcs.

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