Our heritage

With a history spanning over 100 years, Bowker’s have a proud history dating back to 1919. Bowker is one of the UK’s longest-standing logistics operators with the 4th generation of the family now working within the business.

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Where it all began

The company was established in 1919 when William Bowker used his war gratuity to buy his first vehicle. He began making local deliveries in Lancashire earning a reputation for a pioneering spirit and an innovative approach to the industry’s needs. It wasn't long before he'd assembled one of the largest fleets in the area.

100 years of excellence


We’re incredibly proud of our history. The business has always aimed to be at the forefront of the logistics sector reflected by a series 'firsts' and industry awards.

8 Leyland

1919

William Henry Bowker establishes the business in Blackburn using his Army gratuity

2

1925

The business continues to grow through the twenties

Leylands at Covent Garden

1926

The General Strike provides further growth transporting fruit overnight from Liverpool Docks to Covent Garden market

Brs

1949

Bowker continues to prosper until 1949 when all UK transport assets were nationalised. Bowker continue to operate as warehouse keepers

Form of tender

1954

A change of government heralds de-nationalisation. William Bowker buys back a number of vehicles and rebuilds his transport business

6

1955

The business is once again at the forefront of the UK haulage industry

36 Sed Ak Quayside

1961

Bowker takes first steps into Europe moving carpet machinery to Holland. The new service proves popular and experiences major growth

I1 L1917

1973

Hull office opens to handle increasing European volumes

I1 L1889

1976

A base is established in Zeebrugge to manage movements to and from Europe

Huntsman Fleet

1978

Our first dedicated contract hire, working in partnership with packaging and chemical company Huntsman

BMG with LOGOS

1984

The company diversifies with the acquisition of Clock Garage in Accrington – the authorised BMW dealership for East Lancashire

Prestonold

1989

New head office and operations centre opens in Bamber Bridge, Preston

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2009

CBA WINNERS

14

2012

CBA WINNERS

15

2014

CBA WINNERS

Greatest British Haulier

2015

Voted one of the top 20 Greatest British hauliers of all time

Potter 1

2016

In November 2016, Bowker completes the purchase of Potter Logistics warehousing and distribution operations who were crowned 2015 Motor Transport Haulier of the Year.

Potter Selby New 349

2016

The acquisition meant that Bowker became one of the UK's largest privately owned logistics operators with over 175 vehicles, 300 trailers and 1.2 million ft2 of warehousing

Centenary Livery

2019

2019 marked Bowker’s 100th Year Anniversary. Bowker unveiled a new livery to launch a year of centenary celebration.

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2019

At the Road Haulage Association’s 75th Anniversary Luncheon at the Hilton Hotel, London Bowker were awarded the Diamond Haulier Award. This unique award, to mark the RHA’s 75th Anniversary, was given to an operator that has demonstrated professionalism, brand distinction and excellence as an employer.

CITL 2021

2020 & 2021

Bowker were recognised in the CILT’s Top 30 UK logistics service providers. The criteria included; annual reports, the European Commission, financial, human resource factors, performance and professional accreditation.

International Haulier of the Year

European Haulier of the Year 2021

W. H. Bowker International was recognised for maintaining and strengthening the European service despite the unprecedented challenges the industry faced that year.

JNT Vehicle

W.H. Bowker acquires Greater Manchester-based companies James Nuttall and Queensway Commercials

W.H. Bowker Limited are pleased to announce that it has acquired Greater Manchester logistics business James Nuttall (Transport) Limited & its commercial MOT testing centre, Queensway Commercials Limited, in a move that further strengthens Bowker’s logistics business.

Centenary Livery
Family festival Hoghton Tower
Centenary Golf Tournament
Centenary Bike Ride
Yorkshire 3 peaks challenge
Hogton Tower Family Festival
Hoghton Tower Family Festival
Fishing Competition
Family Festival

Centenary celebrations

In 2019, we celebrated 100 years of trading. To mark the milestone the business commissioned a special centenary livery for the fleet. The livery replicated the vintage blue, red and gold colour scheme used by the company in previous years.

The company also hosted a number of celebratory events throughout the year including a family festival at Hoghton Tower where over 650 guests, including colleagues past and present, attended.

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Contact us

Email us at enquiries@bowkergroup.co.uk, call us on 01772 628800 or complete our quick form.

© 2022 WH BOWKER LTD, All Rights Reserved.

Registered in England No. 364757, Registered Office, Holme Rd, Bamber Bridge, Preston, PR5 6BP