The company was formed in 1860 when James Paterson (ex Pickfords) purchased Mary Stanbury's carrier buisness with the financial backing of Walter Carter. The buisness had 6 horse vans and was based in George Yard, Almondbury, London.
By 1870 Carter Paterson had depots in Bermondsley, Camberwell, Chalk Farm, Chelsea and Stratford and they aquired a thirty year lease on a disused timber yard in Goswell Road to replace the George Yard Depot. They were able to offer 3 collection and delivery times within the covered area per day.
On these early motor vehicles Dennis modified the CP horse van bodies to fit. This is obvious when you compare this photo with the horse drawn photo above.
(This is probably a Napier)
In 1912 Carter Paterson aquired Bean's, the London Parcel Delivery Co., and Pickfords but the companies retained their individual identities.
In 1914 the company sold a number of their vehicles (and horses) to the War Department (presumably under the subsidy scheme); these were 15 leylands (3 ton), 9 Strakers and 30 Thornycrofts (35cwt). They also sold one Thornycroft to Pickfords. This left them with Dennis, Leyland, Napier, Thornycroft and Tilling vehicles.
Carter Paterson purchased W&G Express Carriers in 1915.
In 1920 Pickfords was sold to Hay's Wharf Cartage Co. Ltd.
In 1931 Carter Paterson aquired South Coast Carriers Ltd. (which served Brighton and Portsmouth) and Leicester and County Carriers Ltd. In 1931 they handled 21 million parcels with an average weight of 34 lb.
In 1933 all the major road parcel carriers (including Carter Paterson) were bought by the railways and opperated under the Hey's Wharf Cartage holding company. However, the individual companies continued to opperate independently.
In 1934 Carter Paterson aquired City and Suburban Carriers, their main London competitor.
Under railway ownership Carter Paterson were able to operate a countrywide service from 1936.
I have compiled a Carter Paterson Fleet List from the records available in public archives. I hope to complete the details of all the earlier vehicles.
BRS Parcel Services and Express Carriers; Round Oak Publications.
Companion to British Road Haulage History; Science Museum Publications
National Record Office; Rail1130