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Homepage. This page: A partially-dismantled British lorry being towed back to a BRS depot for major repair work.

Seddon lorry.

A note written on the back of this photograph says that this is a 7 ton Seddon lorry, belonging to BRS (British Road Services), which was heading back to a depot behind a tow-truck for re-conditioning apparently. There is also reference to a date, "1946 - 1950". Whether this was the date of the lorry itself, or perhaps the date period for this photograph, I'm not sure, probably the latter.
The poor old Seddon looks like it has been through the wars, and not just WW2. The cab and body have been stripped away, exposing the running gear and the lorry's engine, framed by the radiator surround. The front wings are sat on the rear chassis over the back axle, while the exhaust silencer is resting on top of the engine. The registration BRJ 558 is a Salford series, but later than this truck. Judging by the badly worn, and mis-matched tyres, this old warhorse was definitely ready for a sprucing up.
At the time, during the years after the war had ended, new vehicles were in very short supply and pre-war lorries, perhaps laid up for the duration of the war, were dusted down, overhauled, and pressed back into service by haulage firms. BRS was established in 1948 when Britain's road haulage industry was nationalised, which fits in nicely with the date period given with this image.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
Seddon lorry
If it hadn't been for the date written on the reverse of this picture, I'd have guessed it was an image from the late 1930s. Parked in the background on this cobbled street is a Morris 8 Series E, a model introduced in 1938 and produced after the war also.
A couple of shops are visible in the background. The one to the left has a number of wares in its window, while that in the centre - probably a newsagents - advertises Turf tobacco, Craven A cigarettes, Vimto and Cadbury's Chocolate.
The shop outside which the Morris is parked bears the name T. Craggs, and an advertisement for Redfern Rubbers, which it seems was a brand of replacement rubber sole for shoes. Reading around online brings up reference to a company, still trading, called Tom Craggs Ltd, also known as Craggs Shoe Repairs. This firm started out as the Leeds Shoe Depot, in Lovell Road, Leeds, in the 1930s before being taken on by a Mr Tom Craggs and known thereafter as Craggs Shoe Repairs. After the war this area of Leeds was bulldozed as part of the slum clearance, so the company re-located to Camp Road, and then Carlisle Terrace. Could this photograph of a Seddon lorry have been taken in Lovell Road perhaps, prior to being cleared for re-development? Or was it Camp Road, the location of their second shop, just around the corner from Lovell Road?
Update. John H dropped me a line with some useful background information on this particular vehicle (thanks John):
"Seddon chassis, BRJ 558. Diesel engine. Weight: 2 tons 18 cwt 3 quarters. First registered 6th January 1943 to William A. Norfolk, 2 Ashley Ave, Bramley, Leeds."
"Seddon was one of the manufacturers allowed to produce lorries for essential civilian use during WW2. Just over 100 were registered in Salford between September 1939 and May 1945, all but the first seven with BRJ xxx registrations (the others were BBA xxx). The lorries were of fairly lightweight construction, and by 1950 would certainly have seen better days!"
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