News and Comment.
If you've noticed an error in this article please click here to report it so we can fix it.
This journal chronicles, fosters, and represents commercial motoring in all its branches : it is exclusively read in many wealthy commercial houses and in certain Government Departments ; its Editorial staff possesses practical experience of the construction and use of commercial motors.
The Bloemfontein (Orange River Colony) Corporation is about to spend .8,300 on motor tire-engines.
Quarter Day is always a busy time in furniture-removal circles, and the demand for self-propelled vans, lorries and tractors is phenomenal just now.
The Radcliffe Urban District Council recently received the approval of the Local Government Board for the borrowing of jj2,350 in respect of the provision of motor fire-extinguishing apparatus.
"MEX" spirit is going ahead. We commented upon the arrival of the first cargo in our issue of the toth December last, and our contributor " Homoc " has something to say this week (page so).
Dr. H. S. Hele-Shaw, F.R.S., M.Inst.C.E., one of the oldest supporters of automobilism in this country, has succeeded Mr. Dug-ald Clerk, F.R.S., as President of the Institution of Automobile Engineers.
In the course of our leading article of last week, on the subject of " False Economy at the War Office," we stated " at least an extra .4735,000,000 was spent by this country over the forced purchase of remounts during the South African War." This shoald have read : " over the forced purchase of remounts and the purchase and hire of animal transport." This correction does not afTect the force of our argument, which was in support of the regular expenditure of as much as one million sterling per annum upon the purchase, equipment and personnel of the Mechanical Transport branch of the Service.
The Borough Surveyor of Haslingden, Mr. J. Singleton Green, has under consideration the preparation of a report with regard to motor fire-engines.
The annual general meeting of the Commercial Motor Users' Association was held, on Thursday of last week, at t, Albemarle Street, W., under the chairmanship of Colonel Crompton, when the report and accounts for the year 1938 were received and adopted. Considerations of space prevent our printing the report in full, and wit must content ourselves with a summary of the sections under which the work done and business transacted during the year are recorded legal information and advice ; extraordinary traffic ; bridges; rules of the road ; prize scheme for good driving; acceleration tests; Paris road congress ; Metropolitan Water Board charges; taxation of commercial motor vehicles; motorcab regulations; facilities for motor vehicles at docks; water posts; agreements with the M.U. and R.A.C. ; street accidents ; journals ; exhibitions ; finance ; membership; obituary ; and new members. There is a balance in hand of We shall be happy to send a complete copy of the report to any reader who desires to be so furnished.
More Accumulator Rumours.
A new form of accumulator, the invention of an Italian named De Martis, and to be known as the "Totburst " battery, is reported to have stood remarkable discharging and charging rates. For example, it is stated that the cells can be -shortcircuited, for considerable periods, with " no effect "on the battery. The plates lie horizontally. Evidences of reliable and scientific tests are awaited with no small interest.
The Recent W.D. Trials.
John I. Thornycroft and Co., Ltd., has received numerous congratulatory letters upon its success in the War Department's trials for tractors. Apropos this competition, the observing officers of the Royal Engineers and Army Service Corps held a farewell dinner, at the Farnborough Queen's Hotel, at the conclusion of the trials, at which Col. Long, Messrs. Tom Thornycroft, Herbert Niblett, H. S. Broom, J. B. Talbot-Crosbie and E. Shrapnell smith were guests. An impromptu entertainment followed the dinner.
On page 63, there will be found, in lighter vein, extracts from the diary of one of the much-tried obserVers.
In the Service of Co-operative Societies.
Mr. J. Frost, traffic manager of the Barnsley British Co-operative Society, read an interesting paper in the Mitchell Memorial Hall of the Cooperative Wholesale Society, at Manchester, last week (see pages 48 to so). He quoted largely from " THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR," and we may add that the chair was taken by Mr. Talbot, the manager and buyer of the Batley Co-operative Society. Mr. Talbot, in his opening remarks, drew attention to the rapid advance of commercial motoring, and expressed the view that " the poor horse would have to go." There was a large attendance of managers, and an interesting discussion of a practical nature followed the reading of the .paper. Mr. Frost's society, as was set out in our issue of the 3tst December, owns four steamers (three Fodens and one Mann) and four petrol vehicles (two Dennis and two Arrol-Johnstons), N.A.G. commercial vehicles are now being successfully handled in thb-, country by the Connaught Motor and Carriage Company, Limited.
The Pulsometer Engineering Co., Ltd., of 61 and 63, Queen Victoria Street, E.C., has acquired the business of Messrs. Easton and Anderson, late of Westminster and Erith.
Mr. Richard Airey, general manager of the British Petroleum Company, Limited, presided' at the annual smoking concert of the staff, on the 13th instant, at the Holborn Restatt• rant.
An Albion "Convertible.'
Pleasure and business is sometimes combined by owners of commercial motors, and a recent instance is provided in the t6h.p. Albion van, illustrated herewith, owned by a Dundee butcher who is in a large way of business. The vehicle has a two cylinder inh.p engine, and the van body can be easily detached for substitution of a passenger-carrying body. The complete vehicle was supplied through Messrs. W. Raikes Bell and Company, of Dundee, who handle the Albion Company's agency there, and to goad effect.
Mr. W. P. Durtnall.
We learn that Mr. W. P. Durtnall, M.I.A.E., A.I.E.E., is now giving a large amount of his time to the London and export business of M. B. Wild and Company, Limited, of Nechells, Birmingham, in connection
with that company's no of electrical mining machinery, ship's winches, and other electrically-driven auxiliaries. Mr. Durtnall, whose connection with. the Hart-Durtnall system of petrol-electric transmission is well known to our readers, also tells us that he is well forward with schemes for the application of that system to marine wotk generally. His address is it, Bush Lane, Cannon Street, London, E.C.
Not content with a free invitation to the world, which We are informed resulted in most unexpected arrivals al. Self ridges new establishment, this great store organiser is inviting publicity, as well as serving his customers, with a fleet of Halley vans, one of which we illustrate on this page. The bodies are by Baylers, Limited, Newington Causeway, S.E. New Road Metal.
14. 'Vaughan Williams has held (Torrance v. Ilford UDC.) that the putting down of metalling over the whole width of a roadway prefatory to rolling constitutes negligence on the part of the highway authority.
The sale of modern steam tractors to amusement caterers is a steady branch of the industry, and one of the latest purchases of the kind is by Mr. Rovle, of Blackburn, who favours the Wellington tractor made by 'William Foster and Company, Limited, of I,Incoln. The accompanying illustration shows the general equipment of the tractor, which has a dynamo I-racket over the _smoke-box; a beltdriven flywheel, and a Pickering ;roYernor. The tractor is used for haulage purposes on the rood, the generation of electric current when on a " pitch," and it has 2o-mile water tanks. The awning is mounted on twisted brass pillars, and the finish throughout is in appropriate style.
We are indebted to Mr. Claude Crompton, of Chelmsford, the only son of Colonel R. E. B. Crompton, C.B., for the two photographs which are reproduced on page 65.
Councillor A. R. Atkey arranged a demonstration, at Nottingham, last week, in the Guildhall Yard, with a 4oh.p. Dennis turbine motor firepurnp, for the information and guidance of the local lire brigade.
Mr. 11. Wingfield, the liquidator of the R.M.C. Syndicate, Limited, has given notice that he intends to apply to the Board of Trade for his release. The 25 unsecured creditors have re.ceived dividends at the rate of 17s. id. in the The Panhard and Levassor works, at Acton Vale, W., and the works of the Dunlop Tyre Company, Limited, were visited, on the t3th instant, by some 20 members of the Graduate Section (London Branch) of the In.corporated Institution of Automobile Engineers.
In Laundry Service.
Mr. Herbert Miller, ..C.A., Secretary of the Ipswich Sanitary Steam Laundry Company, Limited, tells us that his company's 2oh.p., f our-cylin'der Durham-Churchill van is doing very well with one-ton loads. It has been running for six months, and the .average running costs have come out at 6id. per mile, inclusive of fuel, depreciation, repairs both of chassis and body, tire renewals, and all other .charges. This is considered satisfactory, in comparison with horse transport, whilst the saving in time has been found "greatly to the advantage of the laundry." We may say that the van was purchased out of the ac.cumulated profits of this wellnianaged company. Incidentally, it has been found to avoid the necessity for working overtime at the laundry, which is a very important point, and, were a greater mileage per day possible, the costs ought to fall by at least id. per mile.
The Education Committee of the London County Council has decided to include motor engines and machinery in the subjects of the examinations, in connection with which the City and Guilds of London Institute awards evening exhibitions in science and technology. Another sign of advance is that the County Council is adapting the premises of the Saffron Hill School, Holborn, for an experimental course of motor instruction.
The Establishment Committee of the L.C.C. has had under consideration, for .some time past, the question of the extent to which motorcars should be utilised for Council purposes. Motorcars and motorcabs are used to an increasing extent by several heads of departments, for the inspection of works, etc., and occasionally by committees for similar purposes. An arrangement has been made for the hire of these vehicles when necessary, at an expenditure not to exceed .4.2o a week.
Arg Ws, Limited.
The statutory meeting of the shareholders in Argylls, Limited, was held on the 15th instant, at Alexandria, when Mr. Thomas Dence presided over a large gathering. He stated that without the hearty co-operation of Messrs. John M. NlacLeod, the liquidator, the debenture trustees, Messrs. Johnstone Smith and Faithful Beg-g, and of Messrs. Coats, Son and Company, of London, the reconstruction could never have been accomplished, and that, during a period of considerable anxiety, the business
had been well managed by Messrs. Matthew and Anderson, who had also given valuable assistance in other directions. Prospects in all departments were most encouraging, Mr. Dence then proceeded to review the history of the Argyll Company, and he expressed every confidence in its future. They intended to turn the great resources of the Alexandria works to full account, and their factory at Bridgeton was proving most valuable as a repair shop. He regarded the company's goodwill, which stood at 4;29,349, as estimated at a very moderate sum indeed. They only required total profits of L:27,oco in order to pay a dividend of eight per cent. on the ordinary shares, and the reconstruction had brought them a clear working capital of some 4:76,000. The report was received and adopted, and a body of shareholders subsequently inspected the works and the vehicles in course of manufacture.
Mr. Nat, Goodwin, the well-known American actor, is now using a novel touring car to enable him to travel with comfort and despatch in connection with his professional appointments, The main compartment of the body is large enough comfortably to seat six or eight people, is handsomely upholstered, and is provided with large bevelled-plate-glass windows. The back of the rear seat is hinged at its upper edge, and may be turned up and slung by stout straps, so as to form a full-sized transverse sleeping berth. A second berth 1110V he made of the seat itself. There are numerous small cupboards and lockers, in which to store the table furniture, and food and liquid refreshment necessary for the comfort and convenience of the passengers during the journey. The body of this car is mounted on a standard 75h.p. chassis, made by the Welch Motor Car Company of America, and it " gets over the ground " splendidly. The South Eastern Railway Company announces special arrangements for -Easter bookings to Paris and the Riviera, particularly in respect of an excursion to leave London on Thursday the 8th proximo. Full particulars may be had from the Continental Departrnent, London Bridge Station, S.E.
Thornycrolt Sales in Yorkshire.
We learn that Mr. C. Pemberton iVooler, of 3, Winston Gardens, Heading,ley, Leeds, and 66, Victoria Street., Westminster, S.W., who represents John I Thornycroft and Company, Limited, in the North of England, has, within the past month, secured a number of good orders for his principals. in addition to the 3oh.p. four-ton lorry, to the instructions of John Smith's Tadcaster Brewery, Limited, to which we referred last week, the :1Ibion Brewery (Leeds), Limited, has purchased a similar machine, and James Haigh, Limited, of Collie Road, Huddersfield, has purchased a 16/1.p. 35-Mt. lorry. All are petrol driven.
An L.G.B. Order:for Punchestown Races.
The Local Government Board (Ireland) is issuing an Order embodying certain regulations which have been proposed by the Kildare County Council in order to deal with the congestion of traffic whkh takes place during the two days of the renowned Punchestown Races, which are held in the vicinity of Dublin. The terms of the order will, prohibit the " pulling out " of any motor vehicle from its place in tho line of traffic, or the passing of any vehicle proceeding in the same direction on certain specified roads in the district. No motorcar is to be allowed to stand on any of the roads mentioned beyond a reasonable time, and the employment of any heavy motor vehicle is prohibited during the days of the races on any of the roads which lead to the course. Territorial Mechanical Transport.
The Adjutant of the znd London Divisional T. and S. Column of the County of London Territorial Force advises us that the mechanical trans port section of the column is still =n need of fitters and drivers who are familiar With motorcars, motor lorries and traction engines.
Pioneer " Lotis " Orders.
Although in some towns motor transport is being taken up by the commercial community with avidity and there is a steadily increasing number of vehicles in use, in the great majority of towns the mercantile community is still waiting on its neighbour to make the plunge, and the difficulty in such cases is to ];.et any trader to make the start and to get the first motor wagon into the town. Sturmey Motors, Ltd., appears to be doing a lot of sound missionary work in this line, for we are constantly hearing of " Loti-s " cars opening up new districts, and it may be interesting to record that amongst the orders going through the " Lotis " works at the present time arc several vehicles, which, like so many others of this make, will be the first in their district. Thus, one of the first to be delivered is a chassis for Messrs. Spooner and Co., of Plymouth, n large firm of drapers and universal providers, who are the first retailing firm in the district to adopt the motor vehicle for their deliveries, Longton, Staffs., is also being opened up to motor transport by two cars for a large firm of wholesale confectioners there—Messrs. Horleston Bros. One of these is a iscwt. delivery wagon, and the other a commercial traveller's sample cart; both these vehicles will he fitted with Lynton wheels, and they have been ordered through the " Loas " Potteries agents, Messrs. F. W. Harris and Co., of Burslem, who are also responsible for the introduction of the motor wagon to Lisburn, a covered zicwt, vehicle being in hand for Messrs. McCahey and Co., mail contractors of that town.
Perhaps the mast surprising and interesting of them all is a convertible vehicle to be used promiscuously, as required, as delivery van or commercial traveller's car, with interchangeable bodies, which is being built for Messrs. A. Wilson and Son, wholesale haberdashers and hardware merchants, of Coventry. It mar seem strange to speak of pioneer cars in Coventry, as it might not unnaturally be supposed that, in this city of motors, their value would be almost universally recognised by the trading community. Yet such is not the case, for, with the exception of a steam wagon, which has been in the service of a large firm of millers in the city for some years, not a single tradesman of the motor-making town has yet plucked up courage to start a motor vehicle for his delivery work, and Messrs. A. Wilson and Son are the first to " break the ice."