V-E-V miscellany, April 1983, April 1983

The Lennox Herald recently ran a centre-spread of photographs of old-time transport in Dumbarton and district, which included a picture of a postman at Warde Farm in the 1920s, where a large water-wheel seems to have been in use, astride a new BSA motorcycle, a new solid-tyred Argyll fire-engine, a helicopter built in William Denny’s yard at Dumbarton in 1912, and what is thought to have been the first Sunderland flying-boat built at Dumbarton, on trials near the Rock, where Blackburn’s opened up in 1938. Some 70 old photographs of flying at Brooklands before WWI have been loaned to the Woking Times Renew, who published four of them last January, beeping that their readers might be able to identify the machines depicted. They make the point that the aerodrome there was variously called the Brooklands Aviation Ground, Brooklands Motor Track and Aviation Ground, Brooklands Motor and Flying Ground, and Brooklands Flying Ground. The Historic Commercial Vehicle Society will be celebrating the centenary of municipally-operated Public Transport this year, the events to include an exhibition of South Wales’ municipal operators at Cardiff and other Welsh centres and a Cardiff Rally on June 26th, sponsored by WHS Advertising Ltd. Incidentally, the outright winner of last year’s Trans-Pennine Rally was R. Peskett’s 1918 Fiat 15Ter. 

A photograph has appeared of a 30 h.p. Armstrong Siddeley chassis on to which the Earl of Derby had the body from his 1905 Napier transferred. 

Mr. Ken Mephaur of Windlesham has sent us a photograph of a sporting cyclecar, taken from a battered sepia snapshot given to him by an 80-year-old neighbour. He says the car belonged to the late Bill Parrack, son of the local blacksmith, but he does not recall it ever running for very long, and push-and-jump-aboard starts were the order of the day. It appears to have been a Buckingham, but we are open to suggestions. 

The Yeovil CC has announced that its Bristol to Weymouth Vintage Vehicle Run will take place on June 12th. It is open to cars and motorcyclists made up to 1939, the maximum entry being restricted to 150 vehicles. Entries close on May 30th, and the route takes in attractive countryside in Avon, Somerset and Dorset. Entry forms are available from: A. C. K. McGee, 38 Kenmore Drive, Yeovil, Somerset, BA21 4BQ. A reader is interested to know what became of the 1921 Wilton light-car once owned by Peter Clark. From Air Pictorial we learn that when RAF Squadron No. 55 was operating in Iraq in 1932 under the command of Grp. Capt. C. D. Breeze, using four Westland Wapitis and five Vickers Victorias (one of which, J7935, was written off in a forced-landing), the transport column consisted of a Morris Commercial fire-tender, a workshop lorry, a Morris ambulance, three Morris six-wheeled trucks and water-tankers, a Morris tourer, a Trojan tourer, a Trojan van, with a Crossley chassis for turning the Victorian on the ground. Equipment and bombs had to be collected from the rail head at Kirkuk. A reader who has driven his 1935 Talbot 75 30,000 miles in the past three years and lives where the doctor uses an 18.2 h.p. Sunbeam on his rounds and two open Austin Sevens are in regular use adds his word of caution about asking for special licensing concessions for the older cars, as these might well contain unwanted restrictions. He points out that the way to get one’s moneysworth from the present licence fee is to drive an old car at least 8,000 miles per annum. In connection with the reference in this column to some Auburn 815s discovered in the late 1940s, an American reader, Executive Vice-President of an Oregon Bank, says he imported from this country some ten years ago a r.h.d., supercharged 852 Auburn cabriolet (DXD 932), originally registered in May 1937. The last known owner was G. Knight Parker of RAF Sealan and the history of this car, which was apparently well cared for and is now in fine running order, is sought. 

We referred recently to a Beardmore taxi appearing in a photograph of the airship R101 flying at Cardigan. A reader has sent us a copy of another photograph, from Beardmore News of 1921, showing an 11 h.p. Beardmore tourer and a Beardmore taxi beneath the R36 while that airship was on its maiden flight . . . A reader remembers some very spidery Model-‘T’ Fords on the Reykjavik water-front, serving as dockside load-carriers, in 1947 and wonders if anything is left of them? — W.B.