JESS SWINGLER NEVER GOT TO SEE THE FLEET OF HEAVY HAULAGE WAGONS THAT CARRY HIS NAME, BUT HIS SON-IN-LAW HAS DONE HIM PROUD. JON HARLE HAS BEEN TO MEET ANTHONY THOMPSON, THE OWNER OF J SWINGLER TRANSPORT.
PHOTOGRAPHY: CRAIG ECCLESTON
It’s nearly 50 years since 14-year-old Anthony Thompson visited an old farm at West Bridgford, near Nottingham. He’d heard that the new owner, who ran a civil engineering contracting company, had a Foster showman’s steam engine in a converted cowshed, and he wanted to see it. Creeping up the lane to get as close as he could, he was suddenly startled by the owner appearing and shouting at him: “What are you doing? Come here!” The young Thompson spluttered his apologies, but the owner, Jess Swingler, realised that here was a lad with a genuine interest in all things mechanical. “Can you work a wheelbarrow?” he asked, and that was when the course of Thompson’s life changed forever.