Robert Wynn, from whom the company takes its name, was only fifteen when he inherited the already successful haulage business his father, Thomas, had founded in 1863, the year of Robert’s birth.
Thomas had been a carriage cleaner, who had recognised that the traditional transport of heavy loads by canal was being replaced by the developing railway system.
Robert was one of ten children and it was said of him that he was too small to harness the teams of several dozen shire horses that regularly transported flour from the mills in Newport, Wales and had to be aided by his elder sister Emma.
But he expanded the business rapidly, buying his late father-in-law’s timber haulage business and intensifying his own operation to meet demand from the increasing number of steel mills in the area. Robert invested heavily, in 1890 building the first boiler wagon capable of carrying 40 tons and in 1902 moving his entire operation, including over two hundred horses, to premises in Shaftsbury Street, Newport.
It was from here in 1923 that he incorporated the firm as Robert Wynn and Sons Ltd.
Robert Wynn died in the November of that year but he left behind five sons who ran an increasingly strong family business that continued into the 1980s, when successive amalgamations saw the name gradually disappear.
In those sixty years, Robert Wynn and Sons made a reputation for finding new and innovative solutions to the specific problems posed by the transport of difficult and indivisible loads. Not only did they have a permanent place in the Guinness Book of Records, but they pioneered huge developments in the field of heavy transport and achieved many ‘firsts’. Wynns Limited, founded by Robert’s great-great grandson Peter Wynn, has continued this pioneering transport tradition.
Over 155 years ago Thomas Wynn’s first vision and mission was to compete with the railways and the canals. Now, with the restoration of Robert Wynn and Sons in 2000 as a subsidiary company responsible for the delivery and -where none previously exists – the creation of specialist equipment to make best use of the nation’s waterway network, the wheel has come full circle.