1:50 scale Volvo FH Globetrotter (6x2) tractor unit with 3 axle, tanker trailer, customised in the well-known livery of Welsh haulier Mansel Davies & Son Ltd.
The models have been produced exclusively for Search Impex by WSI Collectibles as a certificated Limited Edition (205 pieces).
It was back in 1875, as the lead mines near Llanfyrnach closed down, that John Davies faced an uncertain future. Refusing to be beaten by circumstances, he set himself up as a local lime, coal and grain merchant in Llanfyrnach railway sidings - and the business that would ultimately become the Mansel Davies Group was born.
As the fledgling business grew, John’s youngest son, Mansel joined the business in 1895 and father and son worked together from the railway sidings, distributing the lime, coal and grain that came in by train from Whitland across the local area. Over the ensuing years horse and cart distribution slowly, but surely, gave way to motorised transport as the era of trucks gathered pace. Mansel was joined in the business by his son Stanley who until then had been a salesman for a feed company and in turn, in 1959, Stanley’s son Kaye (the present day Group Chairman) joined the business. Having completed National Service and also an apprenticeship as a motor mechanic, Kaye Mansel Davies took up the reins of the business in 1963.
The reform of the railways under Beeching impacted greatly on the business. The branchline to Llanfyrnach was closed – meaning the coal, animal feed and fertiliser supplies no longer got further than Whitland. To overcome this break in the supply chain, Mansel Davies invested in additional trucks to go and collect goods that were once brought in on the railway – coal from the South Wales coalfields and beyond, animal feeds from Liverpool and fertiliser from Avonmouth. On arriving back at the old station yard in Llanfyrnach , the trucks were off loaded and the local distribution network would kick in as before, with Mansel Davies distributing these commodities throughout the old county of Dyfed – now Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire.
The “family dynasty” expanded further when Stephen Mansel Davies, Kaye’s son, joined the business after leaving school in 1979. As the demands of running their own fleet grew, Mansel Davies made the decision to acquire a Volvo truck franchise – initially to provide parts and servicing for their own trucks but also to help keep the area’s other vital haulage services on the road. Since then, the Volvo franchise side of the business has grown steadily and now includes Volvo and Isuzu truck sales as well as a complete parts and servicing business.
Today, the Mansel Davies Group of companies employs over 300 people, many from the same families and it takes pride in being one of the largest employers in North Pembrokeshire. It remains very much a family concern and with Stephen’s daughter, Sasha, joining the business in 2015, it is now in its 6th generation. Whilst still primarily focused on West Wales, the operation has evolved greatly over time to respond to the needs of its customers and the Mansel Davies fleet travels throughout the UK and also into Europe. Distribution of animal feeds and lime remains an important aspect of the business, as does collection and delivery of milk. Mansel Davies operates a fleet of tankers (rigids and artics) and has grown to become the largest milk haulier in Wales, collecting 1.5 million litres of milk from over 450 farms each day, and distributing it throughout the UK on behalf of 8 primary milk buyers. The tankers also carry edible oils, cream and milk fractions, such as whey.
Models, available from Search Impex, are priced at £158 each (including UK delivery & VAT).
For details of availability of this and other models, collectors can visit the Search Impex website at www.search-impex.co.uk or call on 01332 873555.