Weymouth Rally - 1973
This can be a very broad subject indeed, but for most of us this definition will conjure up images of earlier generation lorries, vans, tankers, cranes, horse-boxes, pantechnicons, taxis, municipal vehicles etc. etc. and this is the basis on which I shall be developing this page. Often lumped in with these at rallies etc are showmans vehicles, agricultural equipment, tractione engines and road-rollers etc but I'll be putting these on another page in due course.
I suppose my interest started when I began attending the annual Historic Commercial Vehicle run from London to Brighton each May which I did faithfully from 1963 until about 1979, and have started during the last few years to go to this well organised annual event again. There were, of course many other occasions where one could see these oldies including town shows & carnivals and, from about 1969, the excellent Trans-Pennine runs from Manchester to Harrogate. Such vehicles are an obvious choice for businesses to promote their service or product and countless wonderful machines have been saved for posterity on this basis alone.
My photographic record spans some 45 years. We'll kick off with a minor mystery and get the ball rolling further with a few from an annual event of the nineties (not sure about now) held at the Crick Truck Stop on the A5 in Northamptonshire. I have literally scores more.
CRICK TRUCKSTOP - 1995
Coming more up to date, the recent 'LEYLANDS DAY' at the Crich Tramway Village (National Tramway Museum) provided a fine display of Leyland commercials a few of which are seen below. For the first time here I relied entirely on a digital SLR, a Cannon EOS 350D. Easier and better than I thought but the prospect of the images getting lost somewhere still bothers me and I always carry a film camera too
13th July 2008
HISTORIC COMMERCIALS AT THE HCVC RUN - BRIGHTON 1966
I attended this event every year from 1963 until about 1978. In 1966 the use of colour film was still relatively expensive so I set out for the south coast resort with a black & white film loaded as I had done for the three previous visits. More shots like these will appear in time. It will be interesting for those who follow these events closely to compare some of the shots with those in later years of the same vehicles. Inevitably over four plus decades many will have changed hands and have different liveries etc. After a gap of some twenty years I started to attend this event again as the new century progressed. One partuicularly noticeable feature now is that, although it always draws good crowds, the level of public interest seems not to be as strong. In the sixties you needed to push and shove to get near the fence to take photos like these as spectators were often three deep but now there is much less of a problem like that. Perhaps this reflects the generally evident lack of interest and appreciation of and general dumbing down of history in the minds of younger generations.
My record of the passenger vehicle contingent at this event appears within the Buses & Coaches paragraph on the PRESERVATION SCENE page
This famous old Leyland of Chivers & Sons also participated in the run in 2013, almost exactly 47 years after this shot
This was the extremely rare and unusual Star Flyer lorry of the well-known Jack Mulley. I think the chassis was originally built with a horse box type body. Many will be aware that this vehicle had a cameo role (with Jack himself at the wheel) in an episode of 'Dads Army'
During the last few years I have started to attend this event again and it is interesting to note that there is still participation by Scandanavian breweries. Last year the vehicles entered were somewhat larger articulated lorries
Some forty years later, into the 21st century I have attended this event a few times again. It is interesting to see the generally much more recent fare that now partakes in the run. Most would have been in everyday use at the time of the above event ands a few were probably not event built! Today though they are old enough to be regarded as historic. Here's a few from the last five or six years runs.
NB: captioning may take some time. I rather unwisely disposed of all my Run programmes a few years ago