Page 1.   Shelvoke & Drewry Enthusiasts' Club Newsletter - Spring 2019.

Reactions to two photos of ‘T’ types.

Ron Waghorne posted the above photo in the Facebook Group at the end of January. This very well equipped SD T Type gully emptier demonstrator included street washing, gully emptying and night soil collection all in one vehicle.

Trevor Wood commented:- “I remember a strange anomaly with these, as a cesspool emptier, and I presume a gully emptier too, they were classed as 'street cleansing' for road tax purposes and no duty was payable, but when fitted with the nightsoil box they became 'goods' and commercial vehicle road tax became payable.
In a similar vein dustcarts that towed a salvage trailer were classed as 'trailer goods' at a higher rate than 'goods'. This was one of the considerations that lead a lot of councils to give up recycling paper and cardboard in the 1970's, together with the cost of repairing the trailers that often got damaged while reversing. Also a 'free' market for waste paper existed where the mills would drop the price to an uneconomic level or stop taking waste paper altogether for a period of time, leaving councils with large amounts of waste paper they couldn't even give away.”

Dan Hodges asked:- “Do you know what happened to the muck from these vehicles where was it tipped?”

Trevor Wood replied:- “It was dropped into the main sewer, either by driving to a sewage works or pulling up a manhole in a quiet road, sometimes a specially constructed tipping point was built where the tanker could drive off the road and connect a pipe to discharge into the main sewer below. The nightsoil was a very different job and one I declined to do when given the option once.It involved a container like a drum with a handle on that was slid in to the back of the old wooden privy and located under the toilet seat. These were still in use in the mid 1970s in areas where a high water table made the use of a cesspit impractical as they would fill up with surface water.  Where I worked at the time we had 3 tankers fitted with nightsoil boxes and I think they emptied the buckets 3 times a week starting at 6am and finishing by 11 am to comply with some ancient law! On one occasion one of the operatives was telling us in the restroom that he was pulling the bucket out of the back of a privy on his round when a voice said 'can you hang on a minute, I haven’t finished yet!”

     This ‘W’ type Fore & Aft tipper in service with Old Fletton, Peterborough, Council is towing a waste paper trailer. This photo courtesy of Jaap Mikkers.

The photo above of a TN 1972/73 F&A tipper was posted by Phil Tallant. Trevor Wood said that it was nice to see that the steps on the back still intact, as they often got removed entirely because of reversing damage. Philip Clifford agreed:- “Speaking from experience, the rear loading steps were eventually removed to stop crews riding on the back. I personally told my crews that, if they damaged them through reversing, they would be removed and not replaced. Didn't take long to get rid of them all (this was back in the early 1980s with N series Revopaks!)”

Getting the right specification which suited the crews as well as the local authority was often a case of ‘trial and error.’


Next Page