Way back in 1969 a company was formed to carry out caravan repairs in the North West of England, namely Crossley Caravan Repairs. The Company was based in a small workshop on the Crossleys House Industrial Estate in Penwortham, near Preston. Three people set up the company, Mrs & Mrs Gordon Hold, who then were the owners of Dave Barron Caravans and Mr Jack Collinson. Mr Collinson being a coachbuilder from the old school and the only working partner in the new business venture.
Starting off with a two-man workforce, it was not long before extra hands were required to cope with the volume of work. In August 1974 Mr Stuart Yates joined the team, having completed his apprenticeship with Fowlers Coachworks in Leyland, working as a coachbuilder. His wide variety of skill was just what Crossleys needed to further their expertise in the new and growing market of touring caravans.
The company went from strength to strength taking on more staff and venturing into a wider variety of work. As the skilled work increased in the coachbuilding industry it was not long before the key persons, Jack Collinson and Stuart Yates had quite a name for themselves among the United Kingdoms Showman’s Guild – The Fairground People.
In June 198O Stephen Fairweather joined the Crossley team from school as an apprentice, Stephen was fresh and eager to learn the new skills from the years of experience from his colleagues.
January of 1981, Crossley Caravan Repairs moved premises to the Dave Barron Caravan site in Coppull near Chorley. This 5-acre site had been purchased to consolidate the growing businesses within the Barron group. Our Accident Repair Centre workshop space had grown with the move and there was a need to take on more staff. Volume of work for caravan repairs increased and as caravans were becoming more complex vehicles, the need for tighter quality controls was paramount.
Crossley Caravan Repairs was growing fast with the name at the forefront of the Repair Industry. With the well-deserved retirement of Jack Collinson, the owners decided Stuart Yates was the ideal person to take the firm forward. In 1988 Stuart became a partner in Crossley Caravan Repairs and Stephen Fairweather was promoted to Workshop Foreman. Both men were committed to taking the firm into the nineties as the leading UK caravan repairers.
In 1992 the firm moved to their present home, an 11,OOO square feet site in Leyland. Facilities on this include a unique laminating press (the only one in the country for repairs), a 7 bay workshop, a full size spray bake oven, service bay with ramp, 2 drying bays, separate parts storage, offices, staff room and fully computerised systems with parking for over 1OO caravans.
The name was changed to Crossley Coachcraft to coincide with the move. Entering the new Millennium, the managing partners, Stuart Yates and Stephen Fairweather with the help of their team maintained the position; Crossley Coachcraft the leading company within the caravan/motorhome repair industry.
Significant achievements included acquiring recognition from the major insurance companies as a recommend repairer and obtaining the same professional accreditation from all the leading caravan manufacturers.
Over 42 years from the beginning, Crossley Coachcraft continue their innovation with a new corporate image, logos, apparel, signage and livery. Crossley Coachcraft has always been referred to as Crossleys, from suppliers to customers. In today’s fast paced business world the rebranding resulted in changing the name from Crossley Coachcraft to Crossleys.