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Homepage. This page: Illustrating the history of motorised transportation in Cornwall, 1900s-1940s.

Cornish Road Transport Through Time.

Amberley Publishing.

Ernie Warmington.
ISBN 978 1 4456 1611 7
Published 2013. (Paperback, 96 pages).
Review date November 2013.
Book cover

UK RRP 14.99.

Buy this Book:
Similar in principle to Amberley Publishing's earlier Motoring Around Kent book, this recently-published work concentrates instead on early motorised transport in Cornwall. The author has a long-held interest in the subject of early motor-cars, and has drawn on his own collection of images and postcards to put together this well-illustrated, historical, guide to transport in the early 20th Century. Although the title may suggest that the full story - from the early 1900s through to recent times - is covered, the book concentrates primarily on the pre-war years, with just the occasional foray into post-war modes of travel here and there.
Although not actually broken down into chapters (it would be useful), what would normally be Chapter One in the book looks at both the horse-drawn vehicles, and veteran-era cars that could be found chugging around the lanes of Cornwall, from the 1900s through to the 1930s. Old advertisements and photographs accompany the text. The majority of images are sepia, mainly contemporary to the vehicles they portray, although there are throughout the book several photographs of more recent capture, "aged" to match the genuinely-old images. They are in the minority however, and don't detract from the story, rather they plug what might otherwise be gaps in the story. Historians will be interested to note the Cornish registrations that appear in the vintage photographs, many of which Mr Warmington has added relevant descriptions to below. Cars featured include examples of Singer, Minerva, Adler, Belsize, Sizaire Naudin, Morgan, Humber and Swift to name just a few.
Following on from the cars is the section for commercial vehicles. A fascinating assortment of vans, flatbed lorries and pickups may be found here, often signwritten with the name of their Cornish owner(s) on the side. Included is a shot of T. Staffieri & Son's eye-catching ice cream van, make unknown, while following on from the vans and lorries are several coaches and char-a-bancs, again mainly pre-war in date.
Pages 76 to 91 will keep the motorcycle enthusiast occupied, with steam-powered vehicles both "in the day" and in more recent, preserved guise, rounding out the content of the book.
Anyone with an interest in Cornwall and/or pre-war road transport will, I'm sure, appreciate the collection of images that have been brought together here.
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