Collings’ firm in 1950s

Bryan Mead came across this photograph of staff at tractor and agricultural machinery suppliers H A Collings of Biggleswade, and he kindly shared it with Memory Lane.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 23rd November 2012, 1:11 pm

Bryan worked for the company at the time the photograph was taken and he believes the year was approximately 1955-56.

This would have been around two years after H A Collings became a limited company and opened a big new workshop on the junction of Shortmead Street and Sun Street although Bryan says: “I think it was taken just before we moved into our new building, which is now Preens”.

This would possibly date the photograph to around 1953 instead.

Bryan can be seen in the centre of the middle row.

The company was founded by Herbert Alec Collings who was one of the seven sons of Lewis Herbert Collings.

The Collings family came to the town in 1920 and took over The Motor, Tractor and Agricultural Business at 28 Shortmead Street.

A showroom and depot with repair facilities for Allis Chalmer tractors was subsequently opened at 152 Shortmead Street in 1935 which then went on to expand in the early 1950s.

Bryan is able to name most of his work colleagues. Were you one of them?

In the back row are Bill Hitchcock, Maurice Albone, Don Horsford, Ron Collings, Tommy Thompson, Bill Coldham, Bob Surkitt, John -, and Tom Russell.

In the middle row are Bob -, Mick Smith, Dave Davey, Eric Sparrow, Bryan Mead, Jack Giddings, Dave -, Jim -, Gordon Dilley and ?.

In the front row are Terry Hutchinson, ?, Chalkey White, Jim Seymor, Herbert Alec Collings himself, Alec Reid, ?, Jim Cooper and John Ashwell.

The company eventually closed with a sale of tractors and agricultural machinery in 1970 making them a strong presence in Biggleswade for many years, serving the many local farmers and market gardeners of Chronicle Country.