Garretts of Leiston



“Garretts of Leiston”
by R. A. Whitehead. 319 pp. 9-3/5 in. x 6 in. (Percival Marshall and Co. Ltd., 19-20, Noel Street, London, W.1. 42s.) .

The firm of Richard Garrett & Sons Ltd. was established in 1778 and they made all manner of agricultural machinery, portable and stationary steam engines, traction engines, over-type and under-type steam wagons, electric vehicles, petrol and diesel lorries, the latter with McLaren-Benz engines, and trolley-buses, etc.

This book tells the history of this versatile concern in truly painstaking detail. It will form a rare treat for vintage commercial vehicle enthusiasts and steam fanatics. There are numerous very clear photographs, many of them showing Garrett vehicles in action in historic and recognisable backgrounds, while the appendices of production statistics and specifications are the most comprehensive ever, the works number and date of manufacture of some 22,500 Garrett products being given!

The author, who was acquainted with the Garrett family, does not shrink from telling the bitter truth when a Garrett proved to be inferior to another company’s machine, for example, when a Garrett steam wagon was found inferior to a Sentinel, or when the Caledon lorry became something of a lost cause. Indeed, the whole story has a definite underlying note of pessimism and failure, but this does nothing to detract from the account. This history is, indeed, altogether a most commendable work, packed with technicalities, and worth every penny of its price to those interested in steam, and commercial traction.— W. B.