I used to think this photograph was taken on Leven Bank near Yarm on Teesside but Malcolm Simpson knows the road as being the route between Fishburn and Coxhoe in County Durham which was used by big loads to avoid driving through the awkward centre of Sedgefield. Siddle had a short phase during the mid-1950s of painting his vehicles in this superb cream-based livery but subsequently reverted to his well known garage door opener trolley Office Red. He later told me the reason whybut Ill save that story for another time. The Scammell Mountaineer RUP 900 which picked up the nickname ofOld Smokey worked hard for Cooks but its seen here waiting for a double head on this particular incline.
Cooks moved a large number of these girders from Teesside to the site of what would be the Hownsgill works at Consett. Gross train weight of the outfit was about 100 tons and it can be seen that the load is supported on a pair of 24-wheel tank transporter trailers acting as bogies . After Cooks, this Scammell was bought by Jack Hill at Botley, Southampton and was kept hard at work. In the late 1980s, one of these old Cook trailers was spotted still in one piece being used for internal purposes at the RDL site at Port Clarence on Teesside. The photographer Bobby garage door opener trolley went ontobe the top heavy haulage driver at Barton-based GCS Johnson.
After the Cook business passed into the Tayforth organisation about 1964, the other mate seen here Raymond Cook -went on to start up Elddis Caravans in Consett and after that business was sold, he was to later form Compass Caravans in Langley Park. They may share occupancy ofthe cab, but the contribution ofthe driver's mate is often overlooked when the performance of an outfit is recalled. Onetime mate before he became a driver is Malcolm Simpson, whotells BobTuck that the role ofthe 'professional mate' is something that should never be forgotten. Especially if like Malcolm they worked for Consett's finest: Siddle C Cook. He didnt know it at the time but December 1965 would see the life of 20-year-old Malcolm Simpson turned on its garage door opener trolley