Anyone remember the Kelly ? Many of us in Chesham certainly recall these giants among the early commercials, with their Renault-type bonnet, left-hand control, massive chain drive, and unprotected seat—apart from an ugly great pram hood strapped in position in wet weather.
The late Mr. Charles Catling began business in about 1919 with two of these ex-W.D. flat-bodied trucks, later adding a third which came from a vehicle depot at Watford. They frequently went to and from the London docks, carrying timber and flour amongst other things, and were a familiar sight in this area until 1923 or later, when they were sold for breaking up. Large jacks were used for taking some of the weight off the springs when a fully laden truck was parked overnight, and one of these is still in the possession of the family business.
At least two of the original drivers are still resident here, and one of them confirms that the radiator, which Mr. Dobbs queried, was just behind the bonnet. In this position it often boiled, of course, and a lump of rag was used in place of a rad. cap. The starting handle was unusual, in that it disengaged when not in use and hung loosely at an angle from a hinged coupling.
One out-of-the-ordinary run for the Kelly team during 5919 was to remove our neighbour’s furniture to a farmhouse in the depths of rural Suffolk, and having passed over this route last Summer I can imagine what an experience this must have been, on good old solids and the road surfaces of that time. So much for the Kelly.
Chesham. S. V. Jovarr. • • •