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Working Classic – 1952 Austin Devon


ke Bonac th

Road! Prototype Jensen Freighter restored

Archive Album Magirus-Deutz

hAulAge comPAny history

Central Transport Services

Working dAys oF the leylAnd bison

AtomiC DAring g to be Different Dutch specials

ArtiCs Scammell S24

No.292 May 2014




MAY 2014

06 Ignition

A quick look at what’s happening around the classic commercial world and what events are coming up.

10 Your say

Five pages of your memories, observations and queries.

18 One man and his shed

You never know what classics you’ll find lurking in David Crouch’s shed down in darkest Leicestershire. Bob Tuck went for a look.

24 Subscription form

Save money and get your copy of HC delivered early by subscribing.

26 A look back – part 1

Alan Barnes trawls the archives to come up with the history of Atkinson.

32 Red Rover rarity

The Austin Maestro vans were once ten a penny – but now they’re far rarer than you think.

36 At your service – part 2

Richard Tew completes the story of haulier Paul Riches.

42 Archive album

This month’s theme is Magirus Deutz. Did you drive one?



46 Ford Thames

54 Commercial combinations

48 Walsh Bros’ bonus

60 Roaming Bisons

50 Blackburn rover

66 On location

Roger Hamlin tracks down another superb restoration while on his recent New Zealand safari.

Go to the workshop of these enthusiasts and you’ll find far more than you bargained for. Bob Weir visits a demobbed Watford warhorse that’s still hard at work.

There are lightweights, and then there are lightweights! Have a look at a different way of moving goods.

Leyland’s Bison was once the ‘standard’ sixwheeler of many fleets. Here’s a look at some at work. Dean Reader hunts for commercials at Birmingham’s NEC.


IncorporatIng classIc truck

50 68 peter the plumber

If you’re a local trader and want to get yourself noticed, the answer could be to get yourself a classic slice – or three - of English heritage.

74 Variations on a theme – part 2

Norman Chapman continues his look at the lesser known side of Ford’s Thames Trader.

78 cover story

The Walsh Brothers certainly know how to steal the show each year. Here’s their latest unusual offering.

82 Holland’s heritage

Over the years Dutch truck makers have certainly dared to be different. Here’s a quick look.

90 My leyland days – part 1 Dennis Brooks tells the story of his working life as an engineer with Leyland Group vehicles in the harsh conditions of 1960s Australia.

96 central transport ltd

Michael Marshall looks into the history of a family haulage firm that spanned more than half a century.

54 82 107 Hc Marketplace

The place to buy or sell anything related to classic commercials.

114 Final word

Some of last month’s mysteries cleared up.


save money and get HC delivered to your door page 24 March 2014 5

Your say

I’d just like to make a few comments on the February issue of HC. Firstly, the ET7 at the foot of page 24 carries Kent issued trade plates, and I’m pretty sure that BICC had a factory in Stroud. I believe, however, that the locality is Godston in Surrey. at’s a fantastic picture on page 28, but would suggest that the load is not all Bond cars. e van at the front would be, I suggest, a Sharps Minivan, as at that time all Bond commercial vehicles were marketed as Sharps, the manufacturers of all Bonds being Sharps Commercials of Preston. It was not, I think, until the Marks F and G, and the 875S, that the vans were called Bonds. Of even more interest than the van is the other light coloured vehicle. I am certain that this is a Sharps Minitruck, with 3cwt payload. It differs from the cars in that there is a squarer roofline and more vertical rear, giving more space. e two cars are either Marks A or B, the main difference for recognition purposes being that the B had a frame along the top of the windscreen, whereas the A did not. e Minitruck would always have been a rarity, as would the Family Safety Saloon, which was really the van with windows in the side and a small bench seat in the rear. I learned a lot from the Morris-Commercial article. Perhaps your contributor would be able to answer something that has puzzled me for years.


February feedback One of my collection of motoring books is the history of Tallin buses, but it is in Estonian which I cannot read. ere is a picture of what appears to be a CV with a bus body, and is captioned as being built by the bus operators. Could this have been a captured British Army wagon, or were chassis exported to Estonia? I really enjoyed Dean Reader’s article on the Singer van. e Danish postal authorities used Singer vans in the 1930s, as did the London Evening News. e 1928 model pictured was, I seem

to recall, a visitor to rallies in the 1980s. All manner of companies better known for their cars made light commercials in small numbers in the 1920s and 1930s including AC, Riley, Alvis, Morgan, Rover and BSA. I also saw a rarity at a rally in Detling a couple of years ago – an early 1950s Lanchester LD10 with a Hooper van body, just like a scaled down version of the Daimler ambulances of the time.

Lewis Burrell Risca, South Wales

The Volvo’s load The February 2014 issue, which has just arrived in australia, shows a Volvo F88 on page 14, with a history by David Greenway. however, some readers may be interested in its load. The container belonged to associated Container Transport – one of the first operators between the uK and australia, and at the time owned by blue Star Line and Cunard ellerman Lines. The container shown was one of the first 8ft 6in (high) general containers (until then all containers were 8ft), and the ‘patches’ on the front wall indicate it had been converted to a ‘fantainer’ for the annual season of exporting onions from Tasmania to european ports. During conversion, a three-phase fan was fitted at the upper hole, with a ‘return’ vent below. The unit was plugged in on board the vessel’s journey and, on discharge of cargo, the ‘blanks’ were fitted to return the container for general purpose use. This circulation of fresh air greatly improved the condition of onions on arrival in europe. I was the equipment maintenance manager for aCT australia, responsible for the conversions in Tasmania. Sadly, aCT was taken over by P&O Containers in 1991, and P&O itself was swallowed up by Maersk some years later. Roy Lindsay Yarragon, Victoria, Australia

Museum mixers RichaRd’s find is a hUG Roadbuilder. is was made in illinois by c J hug, a road building contractor who, in 1921, became dissatisfied with the trucks on the market so decided to make his own. e first was the Model T, which was a two-tonner with pneumatic tyres and a top speed of 45mph. Two larger versions were made over the years of 3½ tons and 4-6 tons and just over 4000 had been made by the time production ended in 1943.

following the articles on concrete mixers featured in the June and July 2013 issues of HC, i thought readers would be interested in my recent find. We have just returned from eight weeks in the Usa, and while looking online in a motel for something else, my partner came across Keystone Tractor Museum in Virginia. having visited, it’s worth going to the Usa just for this outstanding place alone!

having visited collections all over the world this one must be the very best ever. i was a motor mechanic who became a motor vehicle lecturer in 1970 until retirement. e job was not a good payer so for the eight week break every summer, for some years i worked and drove for RMc, Ready Mixed concrete, in and around cardiff, so i lean towards trans-mix trucks Richard LC omas Via email

Hauling by Haulmaster I am writing regarding the ‘From our archives’ feature in the march issue of HC, about the Foden Haulmaster. We operated several of these vehicles, mainly eight-wheelers but also some tractors. If you look on our website www.warcuptransport you will see in the gallery top right a photograph of PKH 749W, a Gardner 180 eight-wheeler fitted with a Wilcox bulk Blower body for the delivery of animal feeds to farms throughout Yorkshire. This was a reliable vehicle, with good payload because of the low chassis weight and the low maintenance rubber suspension. The front bumper had rubber corners so in tight farms any contact with gate posts etc., did not destroy the bumper. The chassis was a good configuration for fitting blowing equipment – plenty of available space not like the modern chassis today. They were a ‘hard’ ride, especially when empty on country roads. The glass fibre cabs were easy to repair when slight damage happened. But no synchromesh on the gearbox, so it meant double clutching all day! Foden’s would build the chassis to your required spec which was very helpful in our applications. Customers could go to the factory and watch the vehicles being built. We went on to be Foden service dealers under Pelican Engineering from 1988 until the mid-1990s. Our fleet at that time was about 60% Foden, some of which are in the website gallery. Today we operate mainly Scania but some Volvo and maN. Clive Warcup MBE Clive Warcup Transport Ltd. Driffield, East Yorkshire May 2014 13

transport heritage

Old Fords


Roger Hamlin reports on another superb restoration he found on his recent trip to New Zealand.

Words: Roger Hamlin Photography: Roger Hamlin/Tony Kendall


ive years ago at the annual Christmas parade at Pahiatua on New Zealand’s North Island, I came across a 1955 Ford ames on display that was in the first stages of being restored. e ames had originally been owned by a man in Feilding, but aer many years’ use had just parked it up in a shed on his land and le it. ere it stayed until rescued a few years ago by a bloke who intended to restore it. However, like many people, this idea came to nothing, so the project was offered to prolific lorry restorer, Paul Gleeson, in 2008. However, as he’d just restored a similar lorry, he offered it to his friend, Tony Kendall. Tony is a panel beater by trade and was no stranger to old vehicles, having restored

The Thames is a real credit to Tony and his son’s craftsmanship.

several classic tractors. He’d been looking for a truck to restore for a while and so he jumped at the chance of buying it, particularly when he found out it only had two previous owners.

GettinG started

As soon as the lorry arrived, Tony started work by removing the cab and wings. With the cab removed, the extent of the corrosion could be seen, with the worst areas being the sills, doors and below the back windows. However, this was no problem for a skilled panel beater. e engine was removed and the chassis sandblasted. It was then painted and work could start on the engine. is was quite a rarity in

New Zealand as it’s a Ford four-cylinder diesel, and not many of these ‘oil burners’ were sent down under. A strip-down revealed that new liners were required, but everything else seemed okay, so it was soon reassembled, fitted to the chassis and up and running. He wasn’t so lucky with the radiator though, as it was unrepairable, but Tony was lucky enough to buy another complete lorry to act as a donor vehicle. With the radiator removed, the donor was then sold on to another restorer. e four-speed gearbox was found to be in good condition, as was the front and rear axle. However, the prop-sha needed to be replaced, as did the complete braking system and kingpins.

The day Tony acquired the lorry back in 2008

e cab took a little while to finish as it was only being worked at in Tony’s spare time. Jobs included fitting new rubber seals and glass, repairing the rust and repainting. It was then reunited with the chassis. e wiring loom turned out to be perfectly good, but the cab interior did need quite a bit of work doing. By the way, the speedo read just 64,000 miles which seems very realistic. Next job was the deck, which was made by Tony’s son who is an engineer. is is an allsteel dropside. Now that the ames is finished, it appears Tony has certainly got the truck restoring bug, as he’s just got hold of another project in the shape of a 1955 Austin. Work will start very soon – so watch this space.

Tony certainly seems very happy with the finished lorry.

The truck was totally stripped and rebuilt. The cab required quite a bit of metalwork.

Time for a new project – an engineless 1955 Austin. May 2014 47

Transport heritage

CommerCIal CombInatIons

Commercial vehicles come in all shapes and sizes, but here’s one you may not have thought of before – the motorcycle combination.

This photo dates from 1932 and shows The Covered Wagon, one of a fleet of motorcycle delivery ‘vans’ operated by the Liverpool branch of Daily Bread Ltd.

Words: Stephen Pullen Photography: Mortons Media Archive


n the days before mass car ownership, the motorcycle and sidecar offered many people a bit of personal transport for the family. Businesses, both small and large, also used them to deliver goods or carry the tools of their trade. e AA, for example, was famous for its motorcycle patrols, with the rider saluting members displaying the AA badge on their radiator grilles. However, aer years of being a popular way to transport people and goods, they are now quite a rare sight, as people moved over to small cheap cars and vans such as the Mini and Minor. In fact, apart from a Russian-made Ural combination I saw last month, I think the only one I’ve seen recently was on a rerun of the cookery programme e Two Fat Ladies! Anyway, a quick trawl through the Mortons Media archive soon brought to light a few combos in commercial use. So here’s a look at a time long gone.


You’d expect motorcycle makers to use sidecar outfits as service vans, and you’d be right. These BSAs were in support of Sir Alan Cobham’s National Aviation Display team.

Royal Mail was also a user of sidecar outfits. This New Hudson dates from May 1914. 1931 saw this motorcycle ‘mobile shop’ take to the roads. It was used by greengrocer Bebe Bunting of Winchmore Hill, North London.

If you’re a motorcycle dealer, why not use a sidecar to deliver new machines! This Leedsbased outfit was photographed in June 1925.

Some unusual bike-based commercials also appeared on the market, such as this unidentified machine from 1922.

This fantastic photo, dated October 1924, shows some of the tools and spares carried by Triumph’s own service outfits. May 2014 55

next month

on sale may 15, 2014 curry & chips

Road runs don’t come much more enjoyable than riding shotgun with Steve Curry and his family as they take ‘Trusty’ on a run to sunbaked Hout Bay to experience fish and chips, South Africa style. Bob Tuck gets to enjoy Cape Town’s back drop as he updates us on the Western Cape’s most famous Thornycroft.

always the bridesmaid

Over the years, the Glasgow based Albion Motors has won many friends with its wellliked range of models. And to transport historian Frank Strange, the Albion Caledonian was probably the finest rigid eight-wheeler of its time. But while Bob Tuck has also long been a big Caledonian fan, he wonders why they only made 400 of them.


seddon’s secret

Mike Jeffries, transport artist. History of Atkinson – part 2. News and events. Archive album. On location. And more.

Having invested time, effort and finance into the development of a heavy duty vehicle and with the prototype receiving glowing reports during testing it does seem strange that the Seddon Sirdar 30 tonner never went into full production. Alan Barnes investigates what happened.

Editor Stephen Pullen Publisher Julie Brown Design Michael Baumber Group production editor Tim Hartley Divisional advertising manager Sandra Fisher Advertising representative Andrew Bruce Tel 01507 524004 Subscription manager Paul Deacon Circulation manager Steve O’Hara Marketing manager Charlotte Park Production manager Craig Lamb Publishing director Dan Savage Commercial director Nigel Hole

Editorial address Mortons Media Ltd, PO Box 99, Horncastle LN9 6JR Website General queries and back issues Tel 01507 529529 24hr answerphone Archive enquiries Jane Skayman Tel 01507 529423 Subscription Full subscription rates (but see page 24 for offer): (12 months 12 issues, inc post and packing) – UK £50.40. Export rates are also available – see page 24 for more details. UK subscriptions are zero-rated for the purposes of Value Added Tax.

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© Mortons Media Group Ltd. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage retrieval system without prior permission in writing from the publisher. ISSN No 1476-2110

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Heritage Commercials May 2014  

Heritage Commercials May 2014 preview.

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