Page 1.   SD Enthusiasts' Club Newsletter Winter 2017.


When in July a package arrived from Michael Harmes containing memorabilia collected by Ernie Harmes, a former SD demonstrator driver and chauffeur, I had no idea that it would contain such a fascinating and interesting collection of material with some dating back to the early years of Shelvoke & Drewry.

Perhaps the most interesting items were two booklets measuring 8 ins x 5 ins. The first dates from 1925 and has the title: “The Two-Tonner with the One-Tonner’s Running Costs – The S.D. Freighter.” We have become accustomed to thinking of S&D as primarily the manufacturers of refuse collection vehicles. This booklet is a reminder that Harry Shelvoke and James Drewry originally thought that their ingenious invention would sell as a conventional lorry. The booklet only contains two photos of dust carts, but includes a Worthing Tramocar and numerous clever designs for the specific needs of customers as for example the demountable body for Thomas Allen shown above. A testimonial from that Company reads: “We had to discharge a ship-load of grain in sacks, and deliver to one of our warehouses. The Freighter hauled 220 tons a distance of 300 yards in twelve-and-a-half working hours, on a petrol consumption of about four gallons, making approximately 110 journeys. We believe such a performance is unequalled.”

The price quoted for a standard chassis is given as 445 with 15 extra for a driver’s cab with side and back curtains, a metal windscreen and rainguard.

The code on the back of the second booklet suggests that it dates from 1950. To my surprise it includes versions of the Freighter despite the advent of the ‘W’ type in 1946/47. Clearly Harry Shelvoke had yet to accept that the days of the ingenious Freighter were over.

This little N type was bound for the Borough of Erith and carries an 8 cu. Yd. Chelsea type body. No less than three pages are devoted to the NN freighter with a Fore & Aft body for Stockton on Tees shown below.

[We believe that this Freighter survived into preservation but have been unable to discover its whereabouts.]

The booklet states that its purpose is to illustrate some of the vehicles that the Company has made for Public Cleansing at home and abroad including numerous vehicles specially designed to meet unusual local conditions. It notes that except for a few proprietary items every part of these vehicles, chassis, engine, hydraulic equipment, body and cab, is made in our own works.

Photos include Chelsea and Newcastle type side loaders, barrier loaders, gully emptiers and cesspit emptiers often referring to the eventual customer.


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