Essex Carriers Ltd.

Memories of Frank Lazell

In 1952 National Parcels and Goods Services became Essex Carriers and operated out of premises based at Tarpots Corner as described by Bob Barber. The following are further photographs supplied by Frank Lazell who joined the company in 1960, initially as a van boy, and worked his way up to become depot superintendent before leaving what was by then Atlas Express.



In 1955 Essex Carriers had a meal at the Tarpots Hotel to celebrate the renovations to their offices and yard. This is a copy of the programme of the day.
F. Lazell
F. Lazell
F. Lazell
One of Essex Carriers fleet was their very own fire engine and in this photograph we see Mr. Richard Brittain, Managing Director of the company sitting proudly on the machine.
F. Lazell
Essex Carriers were very keen on developing links with the local community. We see here of their lorries parked outside Glanfields factory on the London Road Benfleet, all decked out for entering a local carnival.
F. Lazell
The staff all entered into the spirit of these occasions and here we see Mr. Brittain on a float, far right of the photo.
F. Lazell
Carrying on the tradition of transporting unusual items, we see in this photograph one of Essex Carriers lorries loaded with a model of SS Rotterdam, the flagship of the Holland-America Line. Termed at the time as 'The World's Largest Ship's Model Bound for the World's Longest Pier' - Southend!
F. Lazell
Transporting bigger boats was still a major part of the business, and here we have one of the lorries travelling towards Southend. Again the detail is in the background. Behind the vehicle we can see a row of buildings - still there today - the well known flats on the London Road, opposite Tattersall Gardens. This helps us to pinpoint the exact location.
F. Lazell
This photo shows a van leaving the company depot and we note it is still using the exit onto the London Road. Whilst we do not know the date the picture was taken, we can place it in the late 1950's as the livery shows it to be an Essex carrier, as in 1960 Frank Lazell tells us Atlas Express of Basildon acquired the business. Again the photo was taken looking towards Pitsea and we can see in the left hand background a sign for a cafe on the site of the present day Tesco express. We think this may be a cafe called The Busy Bee, but would welcome any comments from those who remember it.
F. Lazell
Opening of the new office block by WPS Ormond Esq Licensing Authority for the Eastern Traffic Area
Bob Barber
Essex Carriers depot

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  • I was the manager of Eurofreight Ltd. (Trukair Division) at Southend Airport. As a member of the Atlas Express Group, we had close ties with Essex Carriers, who were agents of Atlas Express before they became part of the Atlas Group. When Dick Brittain retired for the sake of continuity they used the name ‘Atlas Essex’ for a while before using the name Atlas Express. I often visited the depot checking packages and collecting as much as I could in my Saab 96 estate car. Used to make a run every Saturday morning so we could despatch as much as possible on flights over the weekend. On the subject of the fire engine, I remember Dick Brittain telling me that when he sold out to Atlas Express he could no longer ask staff the clean the brasswork and had to have it chrome plated. Shame. Happy memories. Great bunch of guys worked there

    By Graham Jennings (17/11/2023)
  • I remember Essex Carriers very well as a big employer at Tarpots. I was a driver for the later Atlas Express trained by Frank Lazell on the Southend round. I drove artics on what they called Kent Bulk and then Night Trunking for several years prior to the move to Basildon.

    By Brian J Baker (06/12/2015)
  • I worked for Atlas Express for about 9 years, don’t remember the dates, probably early to mid 80s. At the time I left their employment they were in the process of moving to a brand new purpose built depot in Cortauld Road. A short time after moving they were bought out and taken over by a large company named Bunzl. 

    By Don Joy (23/09/2015)
  • The Bedford van in the bottom picture went on the road in 1964. It was made to do the Braintree round and I was told it would be mine. Its weight was 2 ton 19.1/2 cwt without spare wheel, so I could drive it being under 21 but I left the company. I think Atlas Express took over EC in around 1962. I used to go with the night trunk driver Johny Hodges with an artic after work every Friday, first to the Atlas depot at Rotherhithe, swop trailer then to Dunstable, swop trailer back to Rotherhithe swop trailer and back to Benfleet.  I don’t remember Atlas ever having a depot in Basildon!! Yes the cafe was called the Busy Bee and later they sold Robin Reliant cars there.

    By Dave Fitzpatrick (26/04/2014)

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