AN East Lancashire transport firm is being officially wound up after almost 100 years.

Blackburn’s Gilbraith (TS) Ltd is being voluntarily liquidated after most of its staff and assets were transferred to local rival Kenyon Road Haulage Ltd last year.

The decision follows a petition to wind up the firm presented by creditor Ryder Ltd of Dukinfield in June.

Gilbraith (TS), based in Iron Street, employed 50 people and operated 18 lorries.

In 2014 it was taken over by Pollock (Scotrans) of Bathgate in Scotland.

In December, majority of Glbraith (TS)’s operations, six vehicles and 45 staff were sold to Kenyon Road Haulage of nearby Thornley Avenue..

Since then the new operator has had to make around six staff redundant.

The remaining staff and Gilbraith (TS)’s six-acre Transport House site were last month transferred to Gilbraith Parts and Service of Kingsway Great Harwood run by Henry Gilbraith who originally owned both firms.

Cllr Andy Kay, deputy leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “It is always sad to see a well-known Blackburn company and name lost.

“However it is good to know that the business’s operations are continuing and most of its staff still have their jobs.”

Kenyon director Graham Darnell said: “We bought most of the assets of Gilbraith (TS) Ltd in December and some of its clients.

“This included six lorries. We also transferred about 30 drivers and 15 office staff to our company.

“This was a company in distress and we did not wish to buy the whole business from Pollock. The sum paid was less than £1million.

“Since then some of the clients have gone elsewhere and we have had to let half a dozen staff go, either through redundancy or their finding other jobs. We have retained more than 80 per cent of the staff we transferred.

“Gilbraith’s business was a good fit with ours, which is based nearby, and we share the same pallet network, Palletways.

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“It is always good to keep business in Blackburn and to retain skilled local jobs.

“I understand the remainder of the business was sold to Gilbraith Parts and Service, run by Henry Gilbraith, who took one the remaining few staff.”

Steve Gerrard, regional officer for the Unite union, said: “This is a development which would concern us.”