After 45 years of testing the last annual HGV test was carried out at Kirkham HGVTS today
The site opened in 1968 on land next to Kirkham Prison (The former RAF camp)
All tests in the area are now to be conducted at ATF sites by VOSA staff
The testing site will now conduct re-tests for 14 days and then officially close
I am let to belive that an Open Day is planned for 08th July with a few old vehicles and staff present
(A couple of the last vehicle in for tests)

I passed my class one there with a guy from Bolton called Joe Ash.

I wish I had a £1 for everytime I went to Kirkham with a truck,stopping on the lay-by on the left before going in to run round shackle pins and king pins with grease gun and then a last tweek on brake adjusters and then a quick wipe with a dry rag on any oil seeps.then join the queue and go over to fence between prison for a natter with inmates and swop a ■■■ or two for bits of veg.the testing lads there were always fair and would shout get down here fitter and look at this,that meant in most cases get this sorted outside or when you get back to base.even they used to scrounge the odd smoke.always best to keep friendly with testers because if you went with a know it all attitude then that was definitely a fail or even a g.v.9.i was in and out of there regularly from 69 to 82,happy memories.all the best to all who ever worked there. best regards,jack preston.

I don’t remember Kirkham HGVTS but I do remember HM Prison at Kirkham. When I was driving for Welch’s Transport of Henlow in 1963, I had a load of scrap metal from Biggleswade to what I thought was HM Parsons of Kirkham. After an hour of driving around Kirkham looking for the place, I asked a copper where this place was, he told me it was the prison. Someone obviously couldn’t write legibly. It was a great place to get unloaded, all you had to do was to give the inmates a bit of tobacco and they would do anything for you. Next time I went there, my lunch box was full up with tobacco, which as you know, was the currency in the nicks. Sheets were folded and trailer swept down while I was having lunch in the screws’s mess, but I’ll admit, some of the inmates put the fear of Christ up me.

Past my class 1 test at Kirkham Feb 1975

The Ribble Vehicle Preservation Trust, (a group based in Freckleton which restores and runs former Ribble Group buses and coaches), attended the event at Kirkham HGVTS on the day of closure. Unfortunately, we had little notice of the event and had to seek the resources of a local coach operator to move a few of our vehicles to the site for display. We had used the Kirkham Test Centre for tests on our vehicles for a number of years and were happy to support the event.

A few photos taken on the HGVTS closure day:

Hope this information is helpfull

RAF Kirkham was built by George Wimpey on 220 acres of land bordering the A583 Blackpool to Preston Rd.

Work commenced in 1939 and the camp opened in 1940 as a training camp for RAF tradesmen.

Up to 1945 it trained 72,000 British and allied service men and women.

After 1945 it was an RAF training and a de-mob camp until 1957 when it closed.

The land was used by the Home Office to open Kirkham Prison in 1962 and part of the land next to Freckleton rd as a HGVTS in 1968.

The site was never USAAF or USAAC and was always RAF.

The Warton site was also an RAF camp/base untill 1942 ish
(A good book to read is Warton in wartime for more information)

Thanks Wheeltapper.
I have deleted my incorrect info.

Has the future of the HGVTS site been decided ?

Thanks Wheeltapper.
I have deleted my incorrect info.

Has the future of the HGVTS site been decided ?

Offices still open, Driving Tests still on site and Enforcement in the seperate building.

Last time I was in kirkham I’d taken one of my nieces down for her coach test I stood in the waiting room looking out across the yard as you do and an examiner came in and took a lad out for his article test off they went in a Ford D 750 n 24 ft single axle trailer 5 minutes later the examiner came back in and said to the Ford owner you’d better go n get your man he’s sat at the traffic lights and I’m not going any further with him to which he replied I tek it he’s failed then he’ll the clipboard man was mad I often wondered iff the lad ever did pass his class one,we went home smiling anyway