Bow Bells granted a further year's licence
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• "Ishmael the head Turk" and two "unfortunate Italians" all featured in the application of Bow Bells Deliveries Ltd to operate a total of 30 vehicles and 35 trailers when it was heard before the Metropolitan LA this week.
For the company, of which Mr Hank Davis is managing director and Mr Simon Davis is the secretary, Mr P. Kenworthy-Brown said that as the company has only been trading since last August no certified accounts were available; monthly trading figures, however, showed that the turnover was £18000 per month while expenditure for spares was £1000 per month.
A licence for 65 vehicles had been granted last July for one year and the present application i was to replace that one. During the' year, contintled Mr, Kenworthy-Brown, the premises, part of which were under the railway arches at Royal Mint Street, had been extended by the demolition of some houses. Mr Simon Davis and Mr E. Moore supervised the maintenance which was handled by four Turkish and two Italian fitters.
Mr P. Davidson. a vehicle examiner, said he had visited the premises between June 23 and July 3 and had issued one immediate and eight delayed GV9s. The premises. although "commodious" and adequate in size for the fleet, were in a dirty and untidy condition. Furthermore, one of the three pits was flooded while the other two had vehicles permanently over them. Water leaked from the tops of the arches and down the sides causing flooding on a lot of the floor, most of which was uneven and cobbled. British Railways. it was understood, would not allow work to be done underneath the arches to prevent the leakage.
Mr Davidson also said that records were not available until the last day of his visit and when he did see them he thought them to be remarkably clean, written in the same hand and ink. In addition, four of the records had been postdated "November. 1971" instead of 1970. Communication with the foreign fitters was also difficult, he said.
Mr Kenworthy-Brown said that the state of the 'workshops was due to the demolition work that was being done while the two vehicles parked over the ' pits were being repaired and awaiting parts. Mr Davidson agreed under cross-examination that those records if kept were adequate, as was the wall chart, but he did not think the maintenance records were consistent with the condition of the vehicles. At thls point the LA, Mr D. 1. R. Muir, asked whether the leaking water "descended on the unfortunate Italians" while they were working on the vehicles. It was confirmed that the conditions, although not ideal, were adequate for the men to work in.
Mr Frank Davis, the managing director, was then called and after a certain amount of confusion agreed that the application was amended to 14 tractive units with six more to be acquired and nine rigid vehicles with one more to be acquired. There were also 28 trailers although one had been stolen and another had been involved in an accident. Mr Davis said he was finding it difficult to get drivers and he was contracting 30 owner-drivers each day. He confidently expected, however, that the situation would improve as more owner-drivers were going out of business.
Mr Muir referred to convictions in December 1970 for overloading but this was explained by Mr Davis when he said that he himself had informed the police of the activities of the two drivers concerned.
Evidence of the yard foreman, Mr E. Moore, was then heard and he said that he did not realize thaf records had to be kept for a period of 15 months. He said communication with the fitters was not difficult because "Ishmael the head Turk" could speak English. He agreed that his responsibility was not solely the maintenance of the vehicles. Mr Simon Davis, who next gave evidence, confirmed that the vehicles and trailers not fit for the road would not leave the yard.
Mr Muir said he was concerned that there seemed to be a division of duties as far as maintenance responsibilities were concerned and noted that the 'chief engineer who had left last year had not been replaced. This was explained. said Mr Kenworthy-Brown, by the fact that the fleet had since been reduced.
Mr Muir, after all this evidence, granted the licence as applied for but only for a period of one year. He said that an inspection would certainly be made within that year. He also instructed that a copy of A Guide to Operators' Licensing be given to Mr Moore.