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In 1932, Thomas Gooderham, looking to diversify the family farming business, bought his first lorry and began carting milk churns between local farms and the creamery in Stowmarket under contract from the Milk Marketing Board.

The lorry went on to give Grandfather Tom 20 years of reliable service including a time as a troop carrier for the Home Guard during WWII until finally being replaced in 1953. The value of service along with the long hours and hard work associated with farming carried over into the cartage business. In 1945, Tom was one of the earliest members of the Road Haulage Association, a trade organisation set up in opposition to the post-war government’s plan to nationalise the transport industry. 

The business passed to James Downie, Tom’s son-in-law, in 1959 and grew rapidly in the 1960s and 1970s to include livestock, container transport, bulk haulage and distribution amongst its services.  By the time Edward Downie joined the company as the third generation of the family to work in the business, the fleet had grown to 30 vehicles and firmly established the sense of belonging and direction alongside service as the key values at the heart of the enterprise.
The pace of development at the company picked up again during the 2000s which has seen the business move into more specialised contract distribution, including supermarket store replenishment, horticultural trolley distribution, port-centric warehousing and the addition of pallet networks. In 2005 Edward was joined by his brother, Charles, adding to the depth and experience of the leadership team.

We are proud of our history and the values handed down through the generations which continue to underpin the way we do things at the company, anchoring our behaviours and demonstrating our continued commitment to The Bacton Way of doing things.  

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