Leicester Transport Heritage Trust

Leicester Transport Heritage Trust

Researching, preserving and promoting our local road transport heritage

Kirby & West milk float donated to Trust

1960 Kirby & West milk float WRY 342 is donated to the Trust

After receiving news that local company Kirby & West were withdrawing some of their famous milk floats it was decided wouldn’t it be a good idea if the Trust acquired one. LTHT director Mike Greenwood duly contacted Kirby & West to see if they may be willing to donate one of their iconic floats to the Trust. Kirby & West responded and confirmed they were reducing their battery electric fleet down to 16 vehicles plus two more mothballed as spares. However, the good news was that K&W’s director Graham Smith had agreed to donate one of the two mothballed spare floats, WRY 342, to the Trust.

Arrangements were made and K&W’s transport manager, Rob Hansen, and colleague delivered the float to Stoneygate Tram Depot in September. It came without batteries, which literally weigh a ton, to allow easier manoeuvring around the Depot using the good old push and pull technique!. To get it to the Tram Depot it was towed behind the K&W Land Rover. Kirby & West had spruced WRY 342 up and also supplied some spare wheels and some crates with empty milk bottles.

The Leicester Transport Heritage Trust would like to thank Kirby & West for the generous donation of this well known local transport icon. 

 below is of a similar Kirby & West milk float 146 ARY alongside ex LCT AEC Renown FJF 40D back in 2012.

renown 036


  1. Mr John Oldham, Mountsorrel

    I noted that you had acquired a Kirby & West electric vehicle. Can you tell me something of its history, manufacture, etc. Was it manufactured by Morrison Electric?

    There is an interesting article in the current Quorndon Village Life of Alfred Charles Morrison.

    Thank you

    1. John Schofield

      Hello John.
      I noticed you have asked about the milk float.
      I have a K & W electric float which is running.To mg knowledge there is only about a dozen left 6 in the county.
      I was planning to get it to the GCR at easter but with the virus this has been cancelled.
      If you want to have a chat please email me.

    2. Allan Clarke

      Very interested reading about the K & W milk floats. I left school in 1961 aged 15 and I went to work for K & W making the floats but I wanted to be a draughtsman & soon got a position at Austin Crompton Parkinson Electric Vehicles (Morrison Electricar) in the mechanical drawing office. moving to the development department until they moved from South Wigston to Tredegar (south wales) in 1967/8. I can assure you K & W built their floates in Mr Smiths (known to employes as Mr Harrold!) outbuildings in Knighton Park Road, Oadby. They were very advanced really as they were all aluminium bolted & riveted together. My first job was to paint the holes that were drilled to eliminate corrosion! I was very sad to leave morrisons as we called it despite being given a generous offer to go with them but being a young lad not married then & every time we went to visit it rained (Sideways as well!)
      Hope this is of interest to anyone

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