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Homepage. This page: An old '8 legger' lorry used by Shell Chemicals. Could it be an AEC lorry that is taking a bath?

A 1950's tanker driver has a lucky escape.

Regular visitors to the site may have seen this photo already, on the Captions page, however it seemed high time that a better scan of it appeared in the vintage photograph section. The photo shows an 8-wheeled Shell Chemicals lorry, that has run off a jetty and nosed into a river / canal. I'm guessing the tanker suffered brake failure of some kind, either while the driver was behind the wheel, or else after it had been parked up. Either way the driver was lucky not to get his feet wet.
A 1950's tanker lorry
The make and model of the lorry shown are not clear, however my guess is that it is an AEC Mammoth Major tanker, the angle of the front quarterlight lower edge, and pronounced cast radiator surround, tend to support this theory. If any old-lorry enthusiasts out there can confirm or disprove this, please get in touch. It seems that only the spare wheel, slung beneath the chassis, had stopped the lorry from fully submersing itself in the drink. There are signs of a spilt liquid on top of the tanker itself, at the forward end, which might mean that the tank had already been emptied when the photo was taken. The sign on the side advises that it was used to carry Bulk Liquid Sulphur, so I'm sure there were many sighs of relief that the contents hadn't escaped into the water.
There are no notes with this old photo sadly. I bought it at a car boot sale many years ago, so the location and date will probably remain unconfirmed. If I was to take a guess though, I'd say that it is a scene taken at or near Stanlow, a Shell site that has operated near Ellesmere Port in the North West of England since 1924, and produced chemicals since 1942. It is situated south of the River Mersey, which would tie in nicely with the aquatic nature of this photograph.
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