1980s: The decade that cemented family-run heritage

The 1980s are still iconic to this very day, Generation X shaped the era of nostalgia, pop culture and political conservatism. Although, in amongst this decade of flamboyance, new music and neon colours – the UK saw a Royal Wedding, and conflict both overseas and on home soil.

That said, for ARJ as a business, although entering our second decade – the 80s brought about good times, but also some incredibly challenging times, ones which would have a lasting impact on the direction of travel of our beloved company.


1982: The Sons of ARJ

In 1982, Alan R Jones and Sons welcomed Alan’s second son to the ranks of the business. Joining in the spring of 1982, Ian who was 19 years of age, followed in his father and elder brother’s footsteps.

In the initial few years of his joining the team, Ian drove a 7.5 tonne Renault flatbed and continued to support the business to conduct the haulage jobs and required works for the companies they worked with, until he passed and secured his HGV licence in 1984.

The 1980s were a vital turning point in the heritage of ARJ, marking the first year all three Joneses worked together, this family-run heritage is still something that runs true and resonates in our business activity to this very day.


The Mid 80s…

Over the next few years, ARJ ran up to five vehicles, significantly growing its fleet from the used Bedford TK bought in 1971!

As a result of hard work and commitment, much like the 80s much-loved mixtape, the business continued to undertake a mixture of general haulage jobs and support the movement of abnormal loads for the bridge-building company.

That said, the 80s were a time of economic volatility and like many businesses across the country, this is when ARJ began to fall on hard times… As a result of bad debts and poor trading conditions, the business continued to wade through the challenging waters as best it could.


1987: The turning point of the decade

As the business began to turn a corner financially and the light was beginning to shine at the end of the tunnel, the business suffered a catastrophic loss. Alan R Jones passed away suddenly in April 1987.

After a period of reflection, the family came to the decision to honour Alan’s memory and keep the business going – the sons, along with the support of their mother, Alan’s beloved wife, Margaret, worked on further developing the business.

During this time, the business was run from a yard alongside the family home in the village of Nash. As the business began to regain traction and thrive, it grew its fleet to seven rigid vehicles that were built up and on a daily haulage service to London.

The success of the haulage service across the channel and to the Big Smoke also resulted in a development at the yard in Nash, and a small warehouse/workshop began construction. This was the beginning of what has ultimately become the award-winning warehousing and logistics service that you see today.


As the second, most difficult decade draws to a close the family-run aspect of Alan R Jones and Sons is at the core of the business’ activity then, now and into the future.

Driven by a commitment to make the business a success, the Joneses continued to build upon the foundations set by their father to create the legacy we see today.

Next month, we will be looking at ARJ in the 90s (no acid wash jeans, we promise!), and the development of a relationship with a distribution business that still stands strong almost 30 years later.

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