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Homepage. This page: A lightweight three-wheeled delivery vehicle produced by The James Cycle Co. Ltd.

James Handyvan (Open Truck variant).

As far as light delivery vehicles go, they don't get much lighter than this fantastic little James Handyvan "12cwt Open Truck" of the 1930s. The photo belongs to John who sent it over, hoping that the coal delivery vehicle, used by his father who is in the photo, could be named. Judging by the original Handyvan brochure scans that feature in the classic vans section of the site (on this page), it would seem that the pickup is indeed by James, a vehicle that was produced throughout the 1930s.
John's father worked for Brentnall & Cleland who were based in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, and the pickup was used for local deliveries. It's shown here at the company's yard, loaded with sacks of coal. Unlike many Handyvans seen in photographs today, the example below has solid disc wheels. Vehicles produced towards the end of the 1930s were known as the James Samson Handyvan, and appear to have been equipped with the solid wheels as featured here, so this could well be a late-ish example of the breed. 8cwt and 12cwt versions were offered.
Click to view:
Coal delivery truck
Brentnall & Cleland was a nationwide distributor of coal, and in fact was only wound up for good in 1977. Cousins Gervase Stanley Brentnall and John Henry Cleland originally formed the company in the 1880s, following the acquisition of an existing business. In addition to making use of road transport in the delivery of coal, the company had a significant presence in the rail distribution industry, with a fleet of coal trucks bearing their initials and name. A line-up of rail wagons can be seen in the background of this photograph.
This photo was thought to date to the 1930s. However a closer look at the Handyvan reveals a wartime, blackout-approved, mask fitted to the offside headlamp, suggesting that it was in fact taken in the early years of WW2. A great old photo, thanks for sending it over.
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