It all started out as early as the 1950's where the Watkinson name was famed by the late John Sayer Watkinson by his racehorse training and breeding abilities, near Middleham, North Yorkshire, and the coachbuilding firm was later established in 1961, which has amplified ever since into specialist vehicle bodies, trailers from horse to commercial and show jumps and with the family third generation's involvement.
Photo of Mr. John S Watkinson receiving the members trophy at one of the very first Bedale Hunt Point to Point's from Mrs Mary Staveley - Circ 1949-50
Long gone are the days of the Bedford TK and TL - the most popular chassis used for a hunter styled horsebox and the livestock Container which we were also famed for. JSW was a label of quality to be had in the farming industry as we also manufactured livestock containers to carry stocks of cattle, sheep, pigs, showing stock as well as dead-stock vehicles.
All farmers had their own cattle box for local journey to the auction mart or slaughterhouse, prior to the popularity of 4x4's and livestock trailers, in which we hit the trends by later become agents for Bateson, Graham Edwards and now Nugent livestock trailers. You can still see some of our 'older' livestock containers on the road today!
With our experience of custom coach-building over the years we have built many a commercial body and some very unusual vehicle bodies too!!
In the '60's and 70's a horsebox was made simply to carry 'it's' stock with no living or a very little accommodation. How the last few decades have changed, but the trends always come back around with more having their boxes to carry just their stock again !
The 80's saw the designs move on a little further with newer products becoming available to the manufacturing market, and cabs available with more driving comforts.
The early '90's kicked off more and more demand on horse wagons for the private individual as an affordable form of transport and with the request for larger living accommodation for the whole family. The horsebox was seen as the highly sociable, but portable 'living room' whilst away at shows for inviting friends back for 'crisps and nibbles' and a good sociable 'tipple' too!
The latter part of our Millennium has seen a drop in the average person's spend on a new horsebox replacing it with the best horse trailer suitable to their budget. The professional horse-person's still demand a proper built horse-wagon, such as Racehorse trainers, horse-movers and the pro-horse-person.
With JSW seeing off tens of competition over the last 50+years, it proves that the strength of the company is with their team, experience, technical, reliability, down-to earth friendliness and knowledge of specialist transport – No other horsebox manufacturer could give such a detailed background to their history So, why would you want to go anywhere else?