A celebration down in Warminster

On Saturday 12th October there was a gathering of around eighty artic tractor units, tippers, rigid flats, bulkers, tankers and restored vehicles at the Services at the A350/A36 junction of the west of Warminster. They were there to celebrate the 70th birthday of a very special person - Martin Phippard. Known to very many as a transport journalist and one half of CP Productions with his great friend Pete Connock, Martin has spent a lifetime within the industry - here and abroad - as a driver, author, journalist, Editor, Director of Westward Commercials and the personal face, to very many, of Volvo Trucks here in the South West over the past decades. Suffice to say that Martin is very unwell but this great group of owners, drivers, friends, former colleagues, enthusiasts and personal acquaintances wanted to show their appreciation and love to a very special and wonderful person. All this happened because of an original idea by Bob Beech and Richard Paterson which, like Topsy, grew in its proportions with people, such as Roger Smith from Old Pond, travelling long distances just to be there and give their appreciation and thanks. Well done to you two and those others who helped this all happen.

First thing in the morning the weather was not kind with some rain showers but by the time the convoy of vehicles set off - headed up by a Scania suitably adorned with Martin’s name and 70th birthday greetings - for their run on the Warminster by-pass, the rain had stopped. Martin, his wife Anne and his family were positioned in a lay-by to see the convoy pass before it returned to the Services. Saturday morning was full of the sound of air horns, and whilst their overuse may irritate some, on this occasion they were justly warranted.

By the time the convoy had returned the sun had come out and a little later Martin and his family joined the assembled throng to say thank you, meet friends, former customers and colleagues. Many photographs were taken, gifts presented and a birthday cake presented by Volvo duly cut up and shared out amongst those present.

Pictures of the event follow and further postings by me will be added later. If others wish to add facts and information about this special event please do so.

Today, Sunday 13th October is Martin’s actual 70th birthday.

Robin & Cherry

AKA Retriever and Mrs Retriever

Wish I had known about that I would have liked to see that.

More from Warminster

More of the units heading out of the Services for the run down the by-pass past Martin and his family.

The birthday cake presented to Martin at the celebratory event by Volvo

hi all,
that was a wonderful tribute to a true gentleman.i was honoured to be a part of it.
regards andrew

Hi lads,It was a fantastic day yesterday,I congratulate everyone who took part in the days events,it was a stunning sight to see the convoy passing Martin in the lay-by…the look on his face was priceless,he is such a great fella.If you’re on facebook then type in Martin Phippards 70th birthday and look at the pictures and videos.
Cheers Bubbs, :wink:

What a brilliant thing to do for Mr Phippards birthday :smiley: :smiley: I do not know Martin personally only through his articles and informative post’s I’ve come across on here. I do appreciate he is responsible for a lot more than I can say and is a true road transport/haulage aficionado and for that I offer my greatest respect.

All the best for the future Martin and respect for all your hard work in the road transport/haulage industry.

Dave Penn;

Hope Mr Phippard enjoyed this and got a lot from it.
I do not know him personally but was very pleased to be part of the day.
A friend told me he was a fan of the American trucks.

All the best


This was a marvellous tribute to Martin Phippard, a very gifted and knowledgable transport professional, enthusiast, and promotor of the industry. Congratulations and very well done to all those participants. I myself would have gone to Warminster if I’d known about it.

Very well done to all who took part and belated birthday greetings to Martin. One of the “proper” haulage blokes.

Evening Gentlemen, I am greatly saddened to hear that Martin is so unwell. He and I shared a love of France, of working there, and the French Haulage Industry. Indeed we used to reminisce about many of the characters that we jointly knew. And of course we shared a love of those great marques, Bernard and Willeme, and the men who ran them.

It shows the stature of people within our industry that such a celebration could be organised for Martin, and like others here, if only I had known, then I too would have been there.

First rate, and something all who participated should be proud of!!

I shall raise a glass of Bollinger to you all, and especially for Martin.

Cheerio for now.

Events such as this restore my faith in human nature.

Well done to all concerned and a credit to you all for taking the time, trouble and expense in taking part in what must have been a quite an emotional sight for Martin.

Regards Paul

Dont know the man,probably never will.But its what makes this profession special-the range of trucks and drivers who turned out to show appreciation of an apparent legend in our industry.
Happy birthday Martin.Well done to all who helped out.

Don’t know him, know of him, and what a great birthday present, well done to the ol boy. Last dealings I had with Warminster, was when I used to load Prawns from there to Scandinavia.