Jump to content

Vehicle identification

Recommended Posts

Funnily enough I've been discussing this picture on a none military motorcycle forum. I ID'd the two outside vehicles as Commer Beatles, but wasn't sure about the center one. (I've only got Bart's WW2 directory.) I also ID'd the two motorcycles as BSA M20's and dated the picture at 1938/39.

Strangely though I'm being told by several other guys that the CMM registration is 1952.......How can that be? 

The guy who first posted the pictures lives in Trowbridge and has identified the place as in the yard of the old drill hall (Used by the TA) The building on the right is the gate house to County Hall Trowbridge which was completed in 1940 and then covered by netting to disguise it from enemy bombers.
He  thinks the cap badges are from the Horse Artillery and they changed from horses to vehicle in 1939.  Ron



Edited by Ron
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

These are a friends pictures that I posted on local site so it shows how quickly they get round the web.

Interesting how the person posting them has put his deatails on them to presumably claim ownership.

The exact identification on location is yet to be confirmed.

I dont have Barts earlier book.


Edited by REME 245
Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think anyone is claiming ownership! The guy who posted them on that BSA C10-11-12 forum lives in Trowbridge and is interested in the history of the town. Any pictures posted on that forum, automatically get tagged with the site name, and I just lifted them off the forum.

Do you think he's not correct with his ID of the location? He seems to have done some research on it.

I'd still like to prove the guys wrong who claim the registration CMM is 1952!!!  Ron

Edited by Ron
Link to post
Share on other sites

I was told they were Trowbrigde by the owner and I suggestedthe locations on the original post and the buildings match but not the back grounds.   In one there is a different building and on the gate house main picture you cannot get the orientation correct for the location so I am still to be 100% convinced.



Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ron said:

I'd still like to prove the guys wrong who claim the registration CMM is 1952!!!  Ron

I suspect that this date has come from the Old Classic Car website lists of VRNs. That for "MM" shows AMMnnn as running from 10/1933 and nnnAMM from 11/1953, which makes sense, as the 'letter first' series up to ZMM999 would normally be used up before the 'number first' series was started. However, the start date for the BMMnnn series is shown as 6/1952, and for the CMMnnn series as 7/1952, which do not fit the pattern. DMMnnn is shown as starting in 4/1936, and this and subsequent series are as expected.

London had a lot of number series, and registration authorities sometimes did odd things, but I think that the date for BMMnnn and CMMnnn are probably errors. The other entries in the list suggest that BMMnnn should start about 8/1934 and CMMnnn about 6/1935. The list for the "MG" series runs from 3/1930  to 3/1949. All of this is dependent on the lists as published, and my assumption that the "MM" list has the errors identified, but I hope it helps. 


Edited by Noel7
Correction of an error
Link to post
Share on other sites

The explanation for the apparent registration number anomally is contained in Les Newall's book.

The pre-war MM series are a bit all over the place anyway as some were Government but the majority were reserved for the car dealer Stewart & Ardern and therefore spread over a longer period than might have been expected.

The 'CMM' series, CMM 2 - CMM 999, was issued for WD vehicles commencing May 1935 of these, CMM 800 - CMM 999 were allocated to armoured vehicles.

The crucial aspect here is that the post-war Glasses Guides carried no mention of the WD number blocks, only civilian issue. Apparently in 1952, when Middlesex ran short of numbers, the decision was taken to re-issue numbers allocated to armour, including CMM 800 - 999 and these were used again from July 1952 - January 1953. It was only done with armour as it was considered that there was no prospect of them still existing and requiring road registration. Some pre-war 'B' vehicles had entered the civilian market still with their original numbers and with no central computer record, the risk could not be taken that there were duplicate numbers in use.

Glasses Guide picked up on the 1950s re-issues and having no record of the 1930s issue,  stated slightly incorrectly that these were 1950s numbers and in the case of CMM failed to document that it was only 800 - 999 anyway.

CMM 275 was an early Morris-Commercial and CMM 754 was the MEE test model of the Norton WD 16H which can be dated exactly. (CMM 749 was a Matchless)

CMM 275.jpg

A 1935 under test IWM HU93243.jpg


Edited by 79x100
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...