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Text Box: Troy Family
Text Box: E.Troy Ltd ( page 3 )

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Jersey

June 20

As lorries were in short supply just after World War 2 many of them were ex military Bedford and Austin trucks surplus to the services and adapted for E.Troy’s work.

At the family business of E.Troy the staff were mostly permanent employees for the coal and haulage business and when large contracts requiring all the lorries to be used at the same time then casual drivers were hired.

The casual drivers were usually men who were known to my father and contacted by him. Some used to turn up at the stores early morning to see if any job was on for the day or days especially when they knew certain cargo boats had arrived in Jersey. In those days a group of men looking for work would accumulate at the old weighbridge weighing site which was in front of George Troy & sons office on the New North quay. These were casual dockers taken on for loading ships during the potato and tomato seasons. If needed my father or uncle Frank would select anyone who could drive from these workers to help out.

Some of the makes of lorry that I knew in my time there were:-

1 Fordson V7 flat

3 Bedford OYD flat (ex-military)

1 Bedford S flat

1 Bedford J5 tipper

1 Bedford A3 tipper

1 Commer BF flat

2 Commer N series tippers

1 Commer superpoise tipper

4 Austin K2 flat (3 ex-military)

1 Austin K2 tipper

1 Austin K series tipper

2 Morris Commercial tippers

1 Morris WEK 60 tipper 3.8 diesel

1 Morris 140 FFK flat with hydraulic tailboard

These lorries were modified and had helper springs fitted. This is a double layer of springs to enable the flat back lorries to carry up to seven ton or more.

The tipper lorries had rises fitted which is an extension of the sides of about 18 to 24 inches to be able to carry a larger volume of loose coal, coke etc.

Deliveries to town households were through the front door and emptied under peoples stairs so you can see how difficult this was for us with the large bags.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Website administrator Maurice R. Troy

E.Troy Ltd sold coke ( steamed coal) but because of the lightness of coke the 1 cwt bags were very large to carry on your back and  difficult to load/unload  the lorries as you can see opposite let alone deliveries in confined places like under their stairs.

E. Troy Ltd Continued…….page 3

 

This page shows some interesting pictures of the lorries that E. Troy owned. My brother Dennis recently found and passed most of these on to me and we both have driven almost all of these lorries ourselves.

Most of the drivers were permanent long term employees and casual drivers were hired for large contract jobs where necessary.

The lorries were maintained by Dennis Wilden’s garage in Devonshire Place then in later years by Le Brocq’s garage in Aquilla road.

Many of the lorries were ex-army imported by Mr. Ozouf at Scott’s motors which were situated at the old train yard near Green Street cemetery.

If you have any comments you would like to add about anything on this website please contact the website administrator.

 

 

 

maurice@troyfamily.co.uk

My father in one of his new Commer N series tippers.

Advert from the 75th anniversary of the Jersey Evening Post. E. Troy were celebrating their 77th anniversary that year in 1965

Note:

 

 

My new troyfamily co.nz

 

 web site has started .

The haulage side of the business was as important as the coal business.

 

We had a huge variety of jobs we did such as driving up and down the very steep Ronez quarry fully loaded which was exciting in these old lorries with drum brakes. Many of us used to keep our drivers door open as a precaution. Delivering concrete blocks and slabs were done manually one at a time. Once a speeding tractor and trailer collided with me in the wet on the St Peter’s valley bend at Tesson Chapel. Mr Bower’s back tractor wheel lodged between my engine and front wheel on my Commer when I was fully loaded with blocks and two Granite product employees in my cab. He braked hard just as he took the bend. Luckily no injuries and he was cautioned at a parish hall enquiry we attended later that week.  After bending the twisted metal I was able to continue with my front wing flapping in the wind.

Being in my very early twenties I really enjoyed this time of my life, probably the best job I ever did in my lifetime. Went on to a career in building and telecoms but the companionship of these men working in all weathers and the excitement of driving these older lorries some times by the skin of our teeth with insecure loads in those days was a real thrill that I will never forget.

 

My brothers Richard, Dennis and myself all spent time working in the family business and hope you enjoy this brief look at times past.

Updated every 3 months .

Last update April 2020

 

In the new E.Troy office in the sixties was retired plasterer Mr. Ted Lees who was a lovely man who kept the drivers on their toes. Coming back late on a Saturday night after coal rounds he would be extremely fussy that all the money tallied up. I remember Mick who always had a few drinks on the way back searching through all his pockets pulling money out and Ted making him account down to the last penny. When addressing envelopes he would line them up with a licked stamp placed on them and rapidly thump the row with his fist really hard which made everything on the desk jump. Everyone would jump as it was unexpected. Once the back wall of the coal store had to be plastered because it backed on to a house wall in Dorset Street the home of Mr. Ted Luxton where it felt like an earthquake when the escalator unloaded a shipment of coal. Ted Lees in his seventies did the job with us helping.  When ending sentences he would frequently say “and that” which stuck in my mind. What a great man he was to know.

 

 

Pictures of the lorries and the men I worked with in the sixties.

 

Percy Boizard worked for my father for years till he retired and drove an Austin K2 tipper Number 1 which he looked after as if it was his vehicle. Then the new Morris WEK 60 3.8 diesel number 12 was bought and Percy loved this first diesel lorry we had and did not like anyone else driving it I remember. Percy had a one son called Martin who was involved in the motor trade in Jersey and sadly died tragically. They lived just off Grouville hill near the fountain. More later on.

Bob Carlyon another long time employee who I knew very well as I worked with him the most on the coal rounds. Bob usually drove the army Austin K2 number 5 which was relevant as he was a driver in the army in WW2 and told me stories of when they drove in convoys and being the last was hard to keep up. Bob brought up a daughter and a son alone and lived in a flat above the E.Troy office. More later.

George Catlenet drove a Commer tipper till this second hand Bedford A3 tipper number 2 was purchased and painted in the E.Troy livery. George like Percy were drivers and although helped bag the coal by hand they did not do deliveries but tended to be on the haulage side of the business. A few years after George retired this is the Bedford that I could not come up Queens road in as it was over loaded with wet clay from La Coie hotel building extension. Did it in the end, explain more later.

Mick Jesty was a mountain of a man and a real happy person to work with. He did coal delivery and hauledge driving any lorry but for deliveries he had the Austin K2 number 7 purchased from Fuel Supplies and adapted with helper springs. This had twin wheels at the back and looked a smart lorry with it’s name board on the cab. Sadly Mick died too young, more later.

Bill Hobbs was a really nice guy who drove one of the two Commer N series tippers number 9 and lived in Great Union road on the corner of Albert street in one of the houses that used to be owned by E.Troy. Bill was elderly at the time I worked with him and on one occasion I had to take over the driving of his Commer as he found the steering too heavy. It was continuous two day driving when unloading a coal boat delivery. He later drove the newer Commer Superpoise tipper.

Henry Du Parcq another gentleman who drove the Austin K2 number 4 on the haulage side delivering imported goods to shops around St Helier. He later drove the extra long Commer BF flat number 6 that had no lock on it and I found the least popular to drive. You had to remember the overhang when turning in tight places. More on this later.

Andre Louis a permanent employee drove all the lorries depending the job required. He had the nickname Jumbo because he would throw himself into any job without complaining. Here carting imported meat supplies for the island to the abattoirs in Austin K2 number 5. All imported meat was carried by us and loaded/unloaded by hand. Andre had a serious accident while loading leaking 50 gallon oil drums on his lorry on Victoria pier. More later. 

Eugene Le Clercq here driving one of the Commer N series tippers number 10. Note the size of the risers fitted that doubled the load almost. Number 10 had new rubber collapsible molded mudguards on the front which caught you out if climbing down from the cab from the roof. I had a nasty accident at the Tesson Mill bends in St Peters valley with a speeding tractor and trailer. Not my fault, more on this page.

Chris Garland in the Austin K2 number 11 who was more of a casual driver and used frequently. A pleasant bloke to work with and the Irish accent and dark hair made him memorable to me. Number 11 was sold off when some later lorries were bought. Note the army tyres that were from 1945 and still good in the sixties. More on this later.

An unknown driver to me but could be Jimmy Godfrey who worked for my father before the German Occupation. He is mentioned on page 1 when my father rescued the woman in the house fire at Fauvic. This picture taken 1939 is one of my fathers lorries that were all confiscated by the Germans during the occupation of Jersey by them. Not sure of the make of this lorry.

Above. One of dad’s pre war cars. This is his Bullnose Morris.

E.Troy’s 1931 Ford BB lorry.

Uncle Frank loading coal from the ship using swinging basket in 1946.

 

This Ford had the Ford engine from my fathers Ford car in it.

Bill Rabasse around 1955 with the old number 2 which was one of two Morris Commercials E. Troy had.

My favorite lorries to drive were the big Bedford S flat, the Austin K2 ex-army both of which I did my coal rounds with, then the Morris 140 FFK flat with hydraulic tailboard which I even managed to pick up (manually) and move my crashed Renault 750 with it one Sunday morning with two of my friends (Roger and Graham), the Bedford, J3 tipper in fact all of them.

 

My uncle Frank had a brand new big Wolseley 6/110 Mk2  automatic car and a house up New St Johns road desperately needed two cwt of coal late on a Saturday evening. He told me to put two bags in his car boot and take them to the customer. This was the first automatic car I drove and remember saying to him “Do you trust me with your car”

Lots of pictures down this page

My father’s employees were like friends to me from an early age as I remember Percy and Bob helping my dad dig our garden at Samares avenue to prepare a lawn for us when I was about eight years old. At that age sometimes in the school holidays my father took me to work with him in his lorry on certain jobs. I clearly remember the excitement going to bed knowing I was going to have to get up at six thirty am to go and collect the lorry with him. He took me to the New North quay where he loaded imported meat then to the abattoirs to unload. I would stay in the cab the whole time and on one occasion remember an abattoir man called Charlie giving me a bar of chocolate through the open window. Later in life discovered he was Valerie’s step uncle who worked there. I also remember being taken on a coal delivery run in the country with my dad in the mid-fifties where I again stayed in the cab all the time. I watched as he visited farms and he used to have a good chat with all the people who seemed like friends really. I particularly remember stopping in the lanes near Oaklands in Trinity and waiting in the warm cab with the rain beating down wondering how wet, cold and dirty my poor dad would be. When I was thirteen and my father had had a scare with his heart I used to go to the stores with him and watch the lorries. We used to go in Mr. and Mrs. Arthurs house and she would give dad a cup of tea and me some lemonade and a biscuit. Also Mrs. Reid on the other side of the E.Troy new office would do the same at times.

 

Percy was very fussy about getting dirty I seem to remember because when we bagged coal by hand he used to have a handkerchief over his nose and mouth which was wise really and I later did the same. The sun light shone in through the skylight in the roof of the dark store and particles of coal dust could be seen in the beam and I remember Percy would avoid this area even though the dust was everywhere which made us laugh. He was at the cinema once with his wife when the large youths behind him were noisy and kept kicking his seat. He told them to be quiet several times but it made no difference and they answered him back, so he stood up turned around and smacked the noisy one in the mouth which ended it. He told me he was just the right height for him and he had had enough and could not help himself doing it.

 

Bob told me stories of when he was in the army as a driver and how the worst position to be in while on convoy in active service was the last lorry. He was at times and apparently it was hard to keep up with the others and you knew that the enemy used to pick them off first. He was a very nice man and always serious I noticed so I always thought he must have had a hard time in life. He brought up his two children alone.

George was a character known by his sayings as when confronted by my father about anything he would say very quickly “What, when where” before answering which must have been a habit. Also when I reversed a lorry under his direction he would say “Back, back” which I found funny.

Mick reminded me of a large cowboy on TV at the time called Cheyenne Body and was as big as him. I have seen Mick walking around in a snow shower just in a vest on his top. I think the hair on his shoulders kept him warm. He could pick up an open 1 cwt bag of coal and put it on the lorry when normally it was a two man job. Mick was found dead in his room in Great Union road while only in his fifties which was very sad.

Andre “Jumbo” Louis was a happy comical man who I liked to work with, he always seemed happy to me and wanted to please everyone. I think he was easily taken advantage of unfortunately. I remember taking a ton of coke to St Matthews Catholic Church in St Mary with him and he insisted on unloading it by himself which led to me being overtaken by him running with the bag on his back to carry more bags  than me. We had a laugh. One day after work his Mini had a puncture and he had no jack. He called me over and held the rear of the car in the air while I changed his wheel. One day he was loading 50 gallon drums of cooking oil on to his lorry on Victoria pier and while maneuvering the barrels he slipped and seriously hurt himself, I believe a barrel fell on him. The barrels were craned on from the ship four at a time then the driver had to maneuver the barrels by hand to load his lorry. One of the barrels had been leaking which caused the fall and it went to a court case so he could rightly receive compensation.

Henry was a quiet chap and he drove the awkward extra-long Commer BF flat lorry number 6 (the one with no lock when turning) and one day while washing down the lorry it was noticed the chassis just behind the cab had a large split formed in it. I cannot recall what happened to the lorry but it was not used anymore or repaired by us.

There were lots of others that I could mention but chaps like Alfred (Butch) Beckford who I worked with who was in his late thirties and bet me he could run and jump on the back of the Austin K2 in one go hands free and to my amazement did it. Another Peter **** (won’t say name as he was sacked) who lived up Mont a labbe tucked the lorry behind his house one day when he was supposed to be working and was spotted by my brother Dennis. He was also stealing.

John Murphy (nickname Devonshire John) a great Irishman who was a casual driver had a collision with me in my Austin A40 car at eight one winter evening. He was not working for E.Troy at the time but was using someone else’s lorry. Where Green Street meets the bottom of Mount Bingham I just moved forward at the yellow line when his lorry with no lights on clipped and smashed my headlight with his back wheel. When he got out I was able to smell the alcohol on him, he had just come out the Seaforth hotel and needless to say we did not call the police. We had a laugh next time we saw each other. 

 

Unloading a shipment of coal my fully loaded Commer tipper number 10 faded and stopped in Kensington Place one day and I flagged Dennis my brother down as he passed in Commer number 9. He said wait till his next load and he will bring a rope to tow me. Well the two Commers fully loaded being towed must have looked great and although it did not start with the tow Wilden’s garage got it back up and running very quickly. I still hear the terrific sound of Dennis’s lorry’s powerful engine exhaust when towing me through town.

These lorries rear side wing mirrors on the cabs were only the size of a woman’s compact mirror that she would carry in her purse.

 

It was not till I drove Jersey builders Thames Trader years later that had huge mirrors that I realized what a disadvantage we had all had.

One day our big Morris 140 FFK with the big hydraulic tailboard stopped to reverse into an entrance but unseen by the driver a little Mini car had stopped right close behind it. When the driver began to reverse the huge hydraulic tail board pistons crushed the bonnet right up to the windscreen The lady in the mini actual froze in fright as the huge tailboard came towards her car and it took quite some time to remove her from the car to calm her down.

 

I loved driving this long wheel base around St Helier’s small streets as it was always great fun.

One time I transported all the imported concrete coloured roof tiles from the docks to the scout hall being built in St Martin. They were in creates with an approximate weight of nearly ten ton and defiantly seemed too heavy for the flat Austin lorry I had that day. They had to be off loaded by hand to three builders who were to stack them meaning I handled every tile passing three at a time to them from the back of the lorry which was tiring on my back as you can imagine. We could be called to jobs at two in the afternoon such as the Gas employers needing soiled cleared from the trenches they were digging in St Helier. I remember going to Bath Street which had been closed and the excess soil had to be cleared for the road to open. Two Gas employees and myself had to load with shovels where the surplus soil was left along the length of the road and when loaded the road was able to open. It was too late to dump the soil so the lorry had to be left overnight loaded which is something we always avoided if possible as it is bad for the lorry springs. I remember this job because one of the older chaps said to me when loading the lorry “slow down son, this is not a race”. Also one day E. Troy was hired and I went to a house in Queens Lane St Helier where I was booked to take a load of rubbish away. It is a very narrow lane and I had the Bedford J3 tipper which I had to move several times when cars wanted to pass. The chap opened the garage and garden up and said “clear it up mate” then went off. I had to load all sorts of heavy, dirty stuff sweep up and left it really clean before taking it all to the dump. So you can see it was all manual work in those days not like today.