A NORTH East logistics business, which started out with a horse and cart and now boasts a 20 strong fleet, is celebrating its 70th anniversary.

Moody Logistics and Storage, Bolam Business Park, Cramlington, began life in 1947, when World War II RAF veteran David Moody set up as a coal merchant, collecting and selling sea coal.

By 1953, he had five vehicles and six staff and in 1960 the current company’s forerunner, D. Moody (Haulage) Ltd., was formed.

Now, his granddaughter Caroline heads up a 30-strong workforce and the company – which turns over in excess of £3 million – is one of the UK’s leading overnight multi drop operators, with trucks ranging from 3.5T to 44T.

“The company has come a long way since my grandfather started off with his horse and cart,” said Caroline, “and the reason that it has survived is that it has evolved in line with the changing economic and industrial climates.”

By the early 1970s, in addition to its core business as coal merchants the fleet had expanded to include tippers, flatbeds and skips.

But the decline of the mining industry in the 80s and in the sale of coal in general triggered a search for alternative sources of revenue and activities and in 1990 the company partnered with British Rail to develop an overnight parcel operation called Track 29.

Although this no longer exists, it was the catalyst into Moody’s current work within the overnight multi-drop market.

“It’s not always been easy and, as many other family businesses will recognise, there have been periods when it’s been touch and go,” said Caroline.

“But we came through them and we are now in a strong position and looking forward to the next 70 years and what we can go on to achieve.”

To celebrate the anniversary the family is holding a Platinum Ball on 10 June at the Marriott Gosforth Park Hotel.

The event, which will raise money for The Great North Children’s Hospital Foundation, will include a drinks reception, four-course meal, live band and disco, with a tombola, auction and raffle.

To purchase tickets for the ball, which cost £55 each, with tables of 10 available, call Claire or Michaela on 01670 710060 (option 0) or email salesadmin@moodylogistics.co.uk.

For further information about Moody Logistics and Haulage, contact 01670 710061 or visit www.moodylogistics.co.uk