Jump to content

Unknown vehicle


No Signals
 Share

Recommended Posts

Just another one I have come across whilst trawling the web.  The photo dates from 1947 (definite) and what is here is as good as it gets, but it shows the outline of the cab, the fact that they are four wheelers and the well pronounced forward control seating position.  But other than that it is outside my knowledge.  Can anyone help identify the type?

uk vehicle1.JPG

uk vehicle2.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure I agree with you there John.  The only images I have come across of K5's show them with the front wheels pretty much under the drivers position.  I dont know where the driver sits in these but the front wheels are set well behind the front of the vehicle plus it has this extended 'neck' that looks a bit unusual to my eyes at least.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, No Signals said:

I'm not sure I agree with you there John.  The only images I have come across of K5's show them with the front wheels pretty much under the drivers position.  I dont know where the driver sits in these but the front wheels are set well behind the front of the vehicle plus it has this extended 'neck' that looks a bit unusual to my eyes at least.

Nearest I can think of is the Mark 1 Leyland Hippo 10 tonner which was a prewar design, with canvas top cab and front axle set back to below the rear of the cab. (Different to the well known Hippo Mk2)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've found another photo of the same site, that (maybe) is a bit clearer?

The photos can be found on Britain From Above this one is SAW009715.  The very bottom centre.  If you have not used the site previously you will need to sign up for free entry in order to be able to enlarge the images.

glsgw surplus.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can see several what appears to be Scammell Mechanical Horses, some with trailers. The other lorries in question on the far right look to be articulated and my guess is they are Crossley tractor units, but there is one bonneted tractor with a longer trailer in amongst them, which could be of American origin. These could all be RAF vehicles, where is the location? The vehicles all in a line facing left look to be coaches or aircrew buses.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Richard, the vehicles are in a storage yard in Glasgow 1947.  The aircrew bus seems a reasonable suggestion but what vehicle is it based on, that is my main question?  It has a very long overhang to the front, but they are not (at first sight) articulated units.   Duncan.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry Duncan, you may have misunderstood me. The buses/coaches I refer to are not the ones you originally referred to, they are ones in line nose to tail facing to the left.

As the parking does not look very "military like", this may be a Ministry of Supply contractors premises where the vehicles were going in for overhaul or even disposal, given it is 1947.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Richard.  I was presuming from the shape (and shadows) that these are one and the same type of vehicle, so quite helpful for doing an i.d. if anyone recognised the distinctive 4 wheeler unit.  Of course, these may not be of military origin - but given the numbers of and date it seemed likely.  I am quite sure these are not in service with any branch or Ministry, just someones vehicles in a yard.  Thanks.

Edited by No Signals
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having done some detective work, I am certain these are battery powered municipals from some maker such as Shelvoke, Vulcan or similar and the gap between cab and body is where the batteries are fitted; in fact I'd lay money on it. Ask me why ... I'll post photos in a bit if no-one works it out!

Edited by Sean N
Amplify
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Richard, that's the fellows. There is a newer looking version as well:

urn:cambridge.org:id:binary:41840:201605

I should recognise that 'T' logo on the front, but I can't bring it to mind.

I'm so pleased with my detective work I can't resist bragging about it. It was actually you asking for the location and No Signals posting the BFA image number that set me off - and needing diversion from work!

Looking at the photo against online mapping, I found the plot of land is between Craigston Rd and Helen St in Govan (a site now occupied by Govan Asda). National Libraries of Scotland have old Glasgow (and other) maps online at high resolution, and a 1937 Bartholomews told me that the 'factory' in the photos is in fact the Govan Refuse Destructor and Electricity Generating Station:

image.thumb.png.bb398876aac800e9611d83cc476d3910.png

 

I looked this up and it was Glasgow Corporation owned, and apparently used to burn 640 tons of refuse a day to generate 10.3mW electricity. The idea of a refuse destructor took me to dustcarts, and the rest was easy. With all that electricity on tap, using some to charge electric vehicles must have been a no-brainer.

I think the long trucks with the big gap behind the cab - of which there are at least 15 in the photo - are all these electric dustcarts. I think you're right about the mechanical horses, but I think at least some are Karrier Cobs. I think the vehicle top left with a conspicuous radiator surround is a Shelvoke similar to this, but with the dustcart style body:

1024px-2217_IJ_SD_W_type_Fore_&_Aft_tipp

There are a few vehicles with a flat cab roof rounded at the front, not sure what these are but possibly earlier Shelvokes or something electric again?  All the very small bonneted vehicles I think are mechanical horses and normal control Lacre style road sweepers, perhaps Karrier based. I think your bonneted tractor is just that but may be Fordson or Karrier rather than American, with a dustcart trailer. There are a few odds and ends which I think are odd trailers and things like this: http://www.mitchelllibrary.org/virtualmitchell/image.php?i=16302&r=2&t=4&x=1

I found an interesting forum post talking about these electric dustcarts here: http://www.hiddenglasgow.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=7263 and some archive film here: https://movingimage.nls.uk/film/0420 - see particularly at 00:40 and 01:40.

Unfortunately, the logo in the top photo aside, I haven't been able to identify the make of the electric dustcarts, so there's still some detective work left for someone ...

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Sean,

I was not far behind you as I also found the forum of Glasgow memories, apparently these vehicles crept around in the early hours collecting, and there batteries were charged using generation from the waste destructor I think. Still intrigued to know who built these trucks.

That old Shelvoke dustcart, I remember that model, when I was a kid the local council had them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And the last bit of the puzzle falls into place.

http://www.glesga.ukpals.com/transport/cars1.htm claims it's a Garrett GTZ, built by the steam traction engine builders (bottom of page)

And from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Garrett_%26_Sons#Electric_vehicles

"In 1926, Garrett won a contract to supply dustcarts to Glasgow Corporation, who were looking for a special design for collecting refuse from the tenements of Govan. Electric vehicles were needed, because much of the refuse was collected during the night. Garrett put a lot of effort into producing a suitable vehicle, which became known as the model GTZ. To make them more manoeuvrable, the front wheels were located behind the cab, and the chassis was redesigned to produce a very low loading line, only 4 feet 8 inches (1.42 m) above the road surface. The batteries were fitted over the front axle, between the cab and the body. Because they were only ever likely to work out of the recycling plant at Govan, tipping gear was not fitted to each vehicle, but was instead built into the Govan plant. The first vehicle of a batch of 36 was completed on 25 February 1927, and proved successful, at Garret eventually supplied 54 GTZ units with solid tyres, and later a smaller batch fitted with pneumatic tyres. They continued to work in Glasgow until the GTZ system was phased out in 1964."

Edit - and having watched more of the film, it indeed shows the dustcarts tipping (08:00). It seems the body was hinged not at the rear but at the right hand side, and they simply hooked a chain to the left hand side and tipped the body.

The film clearly shows the refuse destructor plant seen in the photo No Signals references, and an earlier style cab again at 07:13. Interestingly though the article above talks about solid wheels, all three types we've found have pneumatic tyres.

Edited by Sean N
  • Like 3
Link to comment
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.

Guest
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.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...