1. Shelvoke & Drewry Enthusiasts' Club
Newsletter - Spring 2019.
Reactions to two photos of ‘T’ types.
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.
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?”
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.
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
Getting the right specification which suited the crews as well as the local authority was often a case of ‘trial and error.’