History

  • 1929
    Ralph Robinson happens to be on Clint Bank Lane as the train is just pulling out of the station. A local farmer stands with his horse and cart, carrying his milk churns, looking forlorn as he has just missed the train and needs his milk taking to the dairy. Ralph Robinson turns to the farmer and asks “Would you allow me to come and collect your milk from your farm and take it to the dairy for you?” This is where Ralph’s milk business begins. Shortly after the encounter Ralph buys his first ‘flat-bed wagon’.
  • Milk truck churn dairy
    1932
    The milk business is well under way, visiting local farmers, collecting their milk churns and taking them to the Leeds Dairy. Ralph starts returning with coal to be sold throughout the dales…here begins the energy business.
  • Desk Hampsthwaite
    1951
    Ralph asks son-in-law John Illingworth (pictured) if he would join him in running the business. All of the petrol is pooled during the war, but now petrol companies are free to market and sell their own brands of fuel again. The major petroleum companies start to look for independent petrol distributors.
  • Autodiesel tractor diesel
    1957
    Esso recognises Ralph’s impressive contact list of local farmers, and approaches Ralph to start providing agricultural oil to rural businesses. At this point John became responsible for the oil part of the business. Rapid growth in the business forced Ralph and John to search for new premises. They found a farm just outside the village, which was bought for £1,500…we still operate there today.
  • Road Sign
    1966
    The company makes its first major expansion. Robinsons Petroleum takes over the Railway Goods yard at Bedale, formerly run by ESSO Petroleum. This gives Ralph and John a little more room, after sharing a very tiny office.
  • HIstory
    1970
    Robinsons Petroleum take on the Esso Depot at the Railway Goods Yard at Malton. John Illingworth’s eldest son David Illingworth joins the business as an apprentice mechanic, straight from leaving school at 15 years old.
  • 1975
    Ralph sells the milk business to the Milk Marketing Board. After the sale Ralph Robinson decides to retire.
  • Illingworth
    1978
    After working for a year at Hayton, Smith & Dewar, a local accountancy firm, John’s second son Howard joins the business full time.
  • Esso Seddon Atkinson
    1979
    The company changes its name to RPD Fuels and Lubricants.
  • Gas Supplies
    1980
    RPD Fuels and Lubricants acquires Durham Petroleum Distributors based in Darlington.
  • Darts Trophy
    1981
    From the Bedale site in North Yorkshire the business diversifies into the LPG cylinder market. Steve Walmsley joins the business and sells gas cylinders around the Bedale area from one van and a trailer. The oil company expands further north, taking over the Hexham and Tynemouth area from Northern Farmers Oils. Mark Illingworth (John's youngest son) joins the business in the sales department (pictured giving a prize at the Tynedale young Farmers Show).
  • Propane tank
    1987
    The decision is made to expand the LPG business into the bulk market. With the help of David Lowe the business commissioned a £150,000 LPG plant at Bedale. This is the most significant investment in the company’s history.
  • Otley
    1988
    John Illingworth retires in November and Howard Illingworth becomes Managing Director with David Illingworth running Operations and Mark Illingworth in Sales.
  • Wagon RPD
    1989
    Changing market conditions in the oil business brings to an end the 32 year partnership with ESSO. The business embarks on a new partnership with Total.
  • Northern Energy Supplies
    1992
    RPD Fuels and Lubricants changes name to Northern Energy Supplies (NES) to reflect the desire to diversify into new energy markets. NES becomes an independent reseller.
  • hob oven
    1993
    NES enters the natural gas market trading as Northern Gas Supplies, taking advantage of the government's gas release programme.
  • Bulb Light Electricity
    1994
    NES enters the electricity market in order to offer it's customers a dual fuel solution.
  • gone house buy
    2000
    After 7 years growing the Gas and Electricity business to more than 25,000 customers, the business is sold to D-Valley Water.
  • 2007
    NES acquires Silsden Fuels to expand west into the Skipton area.
  • Shirt Office
    2009
    LPG Homeheat is formed to take advantage of deregulation in the domestic LPG market. Howard’s eldest son, James, joins the company to develop this business.
  • Proud driver
    2010
    Howard’s youngest son, Ted, leaves school and joins the NES sales team.
  • Office friendly
    2014
    Howard’s middle son, Stuart, joins the business after spending 5 years in Logistics for various Blue Chip companies in London.
  • Middlesmoor Pately Bridge
    2015
    LPG operations expand further north as the company establishes 'Northern LPG North West' and 'Northern LPG Scotland'.

What our clients are saying

We had an exceptionally busy period at the pub in summer and ran out of gas from a delivery which would normally have lasted much longer. I rang Northern Energy mid-morning when we discovered our situation and they delivered within 20 minutes! We were all very impressed by the speed and helpfulness of the service which got us out of a potentially very difficult situation. Lunch service went on as normal in our pub.
Thank you, Northern Energy!
Mrs R - Publican
Excellent service , easy to order with polite efficient sales staff. Delivery drivers friendly and reliable, very impressed with all round customer service.  Mrs J
Your telephone is answered quickly and in a friendly manner followed up with call/message of delivery date. Mrs B
My husband and I are very pleased with your overall service and have recommended your service to other people round about. We rate you 10. Many thanks Mrs B
Yes I would recommend you, I score 10. The 'PPP' keeps my tank topped up, no VAT to pay. A very good efficient firm with nice friendly delivery men. Thank you Mr W
Been with you now since 2005 would recommend you to anyone Mr W
Always good service from ring (a day before) to say delivery is on it's way to the tank being filled up, thanks guys! Mr T
Last year I recommended you to my neighbour and he is equally happy with your service. Mrs S
I have just recommended your company to a friend who's just moved into a new home and uses oil. I have given you 10 in ratings. Mr M
We find the whole service really easy & efficient Mrs M
We are new customers, but the one delivery we have had came on time. The driver was very friendly and quick with no mess. Very pleased and no need to go elsewhere! Mrs D
I have always been very happy with the service I've recieved from Northern Energy and in fact have got you 2 more customers in the village. The delivery men are always courteous and I think that goes a long way! Northern Energy get a five star rating from me. Mr C
I am pleased with your automatic top-up system. It saves me worrying about running out and presumably saves you money if you can top up a group of neighbouring customers in one delivery - so win-win. Mr D
We have been very impressed with the service received from Northern Energy. The team are always very friendly and always willing to help in any which way they can. If we are cancelling a delivery there are never any questions asked. Recently we had a new oil tank fitted and the oil was delivered within two days of being ordered (we had allowed up to 5 days). Mr K
As a customer I love the all inclusive package of oil and maintenance that you offer. As a second home owner, we never run out of oil like we do ‘at home’ because you keep us ‘topped up’. Mr C

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