Haulage boss Ray Hingley celebrates 50 years on the roads - PICTURES and VIDEO
His lorries have long been a familiar sight on the roads of the Black Country.
And the boss of A. Hingley Transport celebrated nearly 50 years in business by showing off some of his vintage collection of vehicles on the busy A449.
Ray Hingley, 67, celebrated his birthday on July 13 and, to kick-start the festivities, he lined up his collection of 14 vintage lorries in Stourton, near Stourbridge where he lives.
WATCH the lorry load of celebrations
Passers-by were delighted at the colourful display, with some even stopping to admire the collection.
Mr Hingley said the restoration of vintage lorries was both his career and passion, which he had been enjoying since he was just a teenager.
Mr Hingley, standing proudly next to a 1949 Atkinson eight-wheeler, said: “It’s in my blood - my living and my hobby.
"My wife and I even had our wedding photo on the back of one of the trucks, and our 40th wedding anniversary too.
“We’re doing up out 14th truck now.
“And I just wanted to say thank you to all the people who stopped to look at them and appreciated them on my birthday.”
The Hingley family own a collection of vintage trucks spanning from 1929 to 1926, based at A Hingley Transport in Brierley Hill.
Ray works with his family - two brothers Alan and Keith, wife Tina and sons Alex and Ray - to restore them.
The 100-strong team at the firm is also made up of his sister Andrea, other family members, and good friends.
A Hingley Ltd is a well-known family hauliers business in the Black Country area, set up by Ray’s father Arthur in 1968, and made a limited company by his sons in 1969.
The businessman died about 20 years ago, leaving the company in the capable hands of his three sons.
Ray added: “It’s a family business and we’ll be keeping it in the family. My sons help out at the moment and we think it will go long into the future.”
The brothers already have plans to enjoy a 50th anniversary celebration for the firm next year, with the possible restoration of another lorry, as well as other festivities.
Back in 2013, for their 45th anniversary, the company painted a new premium lorry in their blue livery colours. A matching trailer was also made-up to accompany the unit around the UK making its daily deliveries.
Today, Ray works at the firm full time in vehicle recovery and Hingley Trailers, Keith works in the day-to-day of the transport business, with Alan heading the company as managing director.
Business began all those years ago with just a single truck in the late 1960s and over the years has expanded from its general haulage roots, into what is now the largest private steel carrying transport company in the West Midlands.
Ray has spoken of how proud he is to still see the company thriving.
He added: “We are well known steel hauliers in the Black Country. It’s a labour of love doing up our lorries, a labour of hours.
“It’s our life.”
This isn’t the Hingley family’s first truck-themed birthday celebration.
On his 65th birthday brother Alan Hingley was gifted a Mk V AEC tractor unit, restored to its former glory by Ray himself - with help from the fitting shop and experienced painters.
Alan was brought up driving a Mk V for a living was delighted to see the old lorry.