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John Mackirdy Limited

About Mackirdy Haulage


Mackirdy Haulage - owners

The firm of John Mackirdy was established in 1870 by John Mackirdy (1835-1909).

As a young man John spent some years at Ballarat, Australia in the 1850s during the gold rush, but returned in the late 1860s to establish the family firm. John had five children, the second of which was MacTaggart Mackirdy.

This photograph was taken on the day of his wedding, June 21st 1880.

His son MacTaggart Mackirdy (1885-1978) took the reins in 1920.


MacTaggart like his father before him was a bit of a traveller, he worked his passage on the four masted 'Loch Broom' from Glasgow to Melbourne. He had various jobs in Australia. His father became ill and wrote to him to return home and run the business. Unfortunately MacTaggart arrived home the day after his father died. He felt his mother, 53 at the time was a capable manager for the business and the newly built tenement property in Bishop Street, Rothesay, next to the John Mackirdy Haulage premises.

He left for Canada for two years, returning and joining the 8th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, sent to France 1914.Most of the regiment was wiped out and the survivors amalgamated with 10th Argylls and were then called the 8th/10th Argylls, this regiment then joined the Gordon Highlanders. He was captured and spent 8 months as a POW in Hainaut, near Waterloo in Belgium. Subsequently, discharged by the regimental doctor who very questionably wrote on his papers: VDH (vallecular disease of the heart) as he was in his 94th year when he died.

There after John Mackirdy (1923 - 2009) took over in 1952.

Mackirdy Haulage - owners


Mackirdy Haulage - owners

John left school in 1940 and immediately joined the Merchant Navy as a cadet (he decided it was preferable to have a comfortable bunk to sleep in rather than a Army trench). His first Ship was the Cape Rodney, jointly owned by Lithgow Limited who had built her, and Lyle Shipping Company Limited. Subsequently, John progressed to Second mate. A number of trips were made for the North African Invasion and also three voyages were completed from the London River to the Normandy beaches for the Invasion of France. His seafaring career came to an end due to defective eyesight.

John then pursued an Agricultural career at the Agriculture College in Glasgow, obtaining a Scottish Agricultural diploma. He was unsuccessful in his bid for Ambrismore Farm on Bute. The result of this with his father retiring, he commenced as Haulage Contractor, not without some trepidation

The present owner John MacTaggart Mackirdy started in 1979.


Pictured left to right:
John MacTaggart Mackirdy, John (Jack) Mackirdy, Elaine Mackirdy

The present owner John MacTaggart Mackirdy left school at 16. He Commenced employment with Central Motors at Calderbank, Airdrie, Seddon Agents. Upon obtaining a heavy goods vehicle mechanic qualification with distinction from Motherwell Technical College, John returned to the family business in 1979. The following year, he was one of the youngest in Scotland to receive his CPC. Subsequently John obtained his HGV Class 1, 12 days after his 21st birthday. John unlike his predecessors had been involved in Road Haulage from an early age.

John currently runs the business with his wife Elaine and son Jack, who also holds his HGV Class 1.

Mackirdy Haulage - owners