A HAULAGE firm that started life as a husband and wife team transporting churns of milk is celebrating its 75th anniversary.
Sam and Jessie Bargh began delivering milk from farmers to dairies from their home in Claughton in 1935.
Last month, SJ Bargh Ltd, a founding member of Palletforce, celebrated its 75th anniversary by opening a five-acre operating site in Lancaster.
The Lancashire-based company also showed its continuing commitment to its long association with Palletforce by investing £90,000 in three new vehicles for Britain’s leading palletised distribution network.
Michael Conroy, Chief Executive of Palletforce, said: "Over the past 75 years SJ Bargh has grown without losing any of the commitment to hard work and good service that makes them so successful.
"Seventy five years in business is a remarkable achievement for any firm and reaching this milestone is testament to the dedication and professionalism at SJ Bargh."
SJ Bargh Managing Director Stuart Cornthwaite said: "The secret to our success and longevity is simple – hard work and dedication."
Stuart joined the company 41 years ago as a fitter before moving on to become a driver, and 16 years ago he took over the helm as MD.
He is not the only SJ Bargh employee to have remained loyal to the firm – two drivers from the farm collection side of the business recently celebrated their 25th and 27th anniversaries with the company.
Stuart believes it is SJ Bargh’s fair approach to business and employment that has inspired such loyalty.
"I like to think we are a fair, genuine business," said Stuart.
"Our ethics in terms of business and staff are right and we’ve had a lot of loyal staff work for us for a long time.
"We’re also fortunate to work in an industry with constant demand – the milk industry has given us continuous business but you’ve got to be prepared to work 24/7, 365 days a year."
Over the past 75 years SJ Bargh has grown to become the leading milk haulier in the north west of England and has added general haulage and warehousing to their services.
In 1961, around the time Sam passed away, the business had grown so much it needed more space and moved to a base in Caton.
Since then, milk churns have been replaced by tankers and SJ Bargh has expanded to Endon and Chester.
Now operating a fleet of 190 vehicles and employing more than 300 people, the company has outgrown the Caton site and last month opened a five acre operating site in Lancaster.
The Lancaster site houses the stores and services department and the head office will join them there within 18 months.