Sheffield's Cars

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It is highly commendable when local government authorities take a positive interest in the transport history of their area, which is why we commend the new book by Stephen Myers on Cars from Sheffield. Published by Sheffield City Libraries, it has a foreword by Lord Riverdale, who has recently restored a 1910 45 hp Sheffield-Simplex, that rival to Rolls-Royce which was a notable product of the steel city.

The book is of magazine size, and the illustrations and drawings are on high-gloss art paper, which gives a very high standard of reproduction. The 113 pages contain information, some of it newly researched by the author, on such makes as Hallamshire, Cavendish, La Plata, Sheffield-Simplex, YEC, Stringer, Richardson (some very clear pictures here of how the friction transmission worked), HFG and Charron-Laycock, terming an account of the rise and fall of the Sheffield motor industry from 1900 to 1930.

We are reminded by Lord Riverdale that in about 1903 Earl Fitzwilliam was reputed to have said: “We make the steel in Sheffield, why are the cars made in London, Birmingham and Coventry?” His contribution was, of course the famous Sheffield-Simplex. The book will be interesting to veteran and vintage followers, and pictures of some of the old factories add to the nostalgia. It is available from Sheffield Central Library, Surrey Street, Sheffield S1 1XZ, for £9.95, or from other local libraries and bookshops. WB