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See Homepage. This page: Road Traffic Accident, 1950s style, involving Austin K6 and Maudslay lorries.
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Road crash.

Mark discovered these photographs and emailed them over a little while ago. Who took the images I don't know, it may have been the Police, a local newspaper, or perhaps an insurance assessor. Whichever, the two images certainly capture the scene of this significant road accident. The location is a winding rural lane. The vehicle in the foreground - a tractor with a scoop or a small digger - has overturned - and rubber marks on the road suggest that it was shunted sideways before toppling over on its side. The lorry to the left of shot may well have impacted the other vehicle before careering over to the other side of the road, collecting a lorry that was either parked, or heading up the hill, on the wrong side of the road. The lorry is in the livery of Rowberry & Sons Ltd - "Reliable Road Transport". I found a reference online to a firm called G. Rowberry and Sons, hauliers of coal, which ties in with the apparent load visible in this lorry. A car can just be seen parked down the road, an "upright" Ford Prefect I think.
(Please click the thumbnail.)
Two lorries crash on a quiet road
The second of Mark's photographs views the scene from further down the hill, looking upwards. The very full cargo in the badly damaged lorry can clearly be seen, while the other lorry has its load protected beneath a tarpaulin. Spillage behind it though could also be coal, albeit much finer.
Another view of the crash scene

The two lorries.

Austin K6 3-ton.

Lorry #1, pointing uphill with the covered load, is registered LOA 301 and sports a "20" maximum speed limit on its rear tailgate. It's an ex-military, WW2-era 3-ton Austin K6, built circa 1941 and road registered at a later date. The painted-over Austin radiator badge can just be seen on the original photograph. At the front it also bears the badge for Perkins diesel engines, a common fitment in lorries of that era. LOA is a Birmingham registration series, introduced in November 1950.


Lorry #2, the more damaged of the two in the livery of Rowberry and Sons Ltd, is - I think - a Maudslay, certainly the shield badge on the grille, and the overall styling of the front end, point it to being a Maudslay (examples of which can be seen on this page). The nearside of the cab has taken the brunt of the impact. It has a registration beginning "HFD", a Dudley (April 1947-on) series. The vehicle registrations would indicate this accident most likely took place in the Midlands; while the reg. plate on the overturned vehicle is visible, I can't quite make out the letters (possibly OCJ 500, or DCJ 500 - both Hertfordshire issues).
Quite what happened here isn't clear. My suspicion is that the Maudslay, heading downhill, either suffered brake failure or skidded, collecting the first - now overturned - vehicle as it sped downhill out of control. The Austin K6 however, pointing uphill, could either have been stationary at the side of the road, or else had swung over to the opposite side to try and avoid the Maudslay as it barrelled down the road towards it. Somehow they avoided a head-on collision, the two lorries ending up sharing a glancing blow to their sides. The Maudslay came to an abrupt halt in a ditch, close to trees. There is mud or soil on the road, but it looks to me like that was being transported by the digger before it was knocked over, causing its load to be strewn across the road. I did wonder whether the overturned vehicle had pulled out of a farm entrance without its driver looking first, the two lorries taking avoiding action, but I can't see any opening at the side of the road that it could have come out of.
Thanks to Mark for these two very interesting photos.
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