5. SD Enthusiasts' Club Newsletter - Winter 2018.
Fifteen Years Ago in the Magazine Winter 2003
selected six items from the SD Enthusiasts' Club Magazine
from its fourth issue from 2004 which I thought would be of
PAGES FROM A SALESMAN’S NOTEBOOK.
The 'W' type Fore & Aft tipper.
I visited the Chief Health Inspector of Torrington R.D.C. I was told
that the largest vehicle they could use in the narrow Devon lanes was a
7 cu. yd. Karrier Bantam. So I quoted for a ‘W’ type Fore & Aft
tipper with an 8ft wheelbase, which, fitted with a Power Press, had a
capacity of 12 cu. yds. This would produce twice the load of a 7 cu.
yd. vehicle. Our bid was successful and the machine was duly delivered.
I visited a few weeks after delivery the Health Inspector told me:
“We’re very disappointed the new vehicle isn’t doing any better than
the old Karrier side loader.” Unable to believe this I asked to
see the 7 cu. yd. side loader. It turned out to be a Karrier Gamecock
with a 14 cu. yd. Derby type four bay body. This had high type sliding
shutters. This, of course, explained everything, the capacity of the
Karrier was twice as much as I’d been told.
I phoned Basil
Barber, S & D’s Sales Director, and he agreed we should take back
the small vehicle and replace it with the much larger 16/18 cu. yd.
Fore & Aft body with Power Press to give about 24 cu. yd capacity.
The only extra charge to Torrington R.D. C. was the cost of re-painting
the small vehicle when it was sold to another customer. This typical
approach to customer’s problems gained S & D a reputation that made
selling a lot easier.
Former Sales Manager for the South-West area.
John Harvey-Jones “Trouble Shooter 2” Penguin Books 1992.
love factories. A visit to a well run works with modern equipment, and
a well motivated workforce creating wealth before your eyes is, to me,
both a thing of beauty and a source of real pleasure.”
“There needs to be a much greater appreciation of the people who make their lives in this most testing and demanding way.”
THOSE FABULOUS FREIGHTLIFTERS.
Wayne Abbott from Sheffield sent the following in October by e-mail:-
recently came across your website & found it to be very
interesting. I didn’t realise how many people would be as interested as
myself, in what I consider to be one of the finest manufacturers of
I own a 1957 S&D Freightlifter model
18/82 which was purchased by my late father & has worked reliably
since 1969 for our family business. It is a true testimony to the
superb design & robust construction that in June 2002, even though
it was still doing its job, I decided to strip the truck & begin a
total rebuild. It is now nearing completion apart from a few minor
details, however a couple of components are causing a few headaches. To
your knowledge do any breaker’s yards which specialise in S&D
equipment exist, as I’m certain that many of these machines will have
been broken up for scrap?
I will gladly send you some pictures
of the truck once I’ve obtained a scanner. I also possess the original
owners handbook & a full file of drawings with parts list, which
must be somewhat of a rarity. My truck also has the optional crane jib
attachment, which over the years I have never seen on another truck.
I’ve found 5 similar trucks in my local area of Sheffield, 2 of them
being the 18/100 model. I look forward to hearing from you as I’m
particularly interested in S&D history, especially the Defiant
Yours sincerely Wayne Abbott.
Wayne Abbott's Freightlifter Model 82 which sadly a few years later was damaged beyond repair.
An SD Customer Remembers.
was with Hemel Hempstead Council (later called Dacorum) for 33 years,
first as a fitter, and then with promotion all the way up to the
Transport Manager’s job, until I retired in November last year.
of my first experiences of S&D vehicles was when I first
started with the Council. I was called out to a “stuck vehicle” on an
open tip face at Wheathamstead tip. And what a surprise I got, when I
arrived there. The vehicle was a very small dustcart (a TN chassis), I
think. The driver had put the body up to tip the load, and the weight
of the hopper, which was full of refuse, had pulled the whole front of
the vehicle off the ground. It was just sitting there on the hopper,
ready for take off! Ha! Ha! “Thunderbirds are go!” sprung to mind. But
the driver didn’t see the funny side though. He was given a lift back
down with the loading shovel. Them were the days, eh?
relationship with S&D just got better and better from that day
onwards, which was always a happy one. I was very much involved with
the service, spares and sales departments over the first 17 years, and
then for the remaining years, only the sales side. On reading issue 2
of the magazine I recognised a few old names, plus a few I thought
about myself. I remember Basil Barber, John Dean, who I worked with
when he worked at Muniserve, Mick Parish, Mick Spooner, and Graham
I was a very happy customer of S&D for twenty four years.
All the best for the future.
Tony Graddon, Houghton Regis.
An SD Apprentice Remembers.
name is Bob Bowker. do you recall the name?. In 1953 I started my
apprenticeship at S & D in Letchworth. I remember the day, I think
it was August or September. On the same day Geoff Lovat started his
apprenticeship and he and I got to know each other pretty well. He got
up to some of the daftest things, like when he was taking his driving
test the steering wheel came off in his hands. The tester had him stop
the car and he walked back to his office. [Due to fuel shortages for a
time on a temporary basis learners could drive without a qualified
driver with them. Ed.]
Needless to say Geof failed the test.
I remember you? Well yes and no. I had an Austin Seven ( I also rode a
BSA) which I parked at the back of the factory and I think you also had
an old car which you parked there also. Was it a Rover or the like?
I picked up your web site on S & D sometime ago and have only just got round to putting something down to send to you.
could probably go on and on but let me tell you a little of how I got
to South Wales where I have lived since the early seventies.
finished my apprenticeship working for Bob Edlin in the J & T
office. Stan Quin was then the Production Manager and had his office
I had itchy feet and left in about 1960 joining a
company in Hitchin selling Tumbling equipment. It didn't last and I
asked for my job back. There not being one in my old job I was offered
one as an assistant to Basil Barber, the then Sales Manager. Jack
Wilkinson was the Sales Director.I found it interesting but very
constricting particularly as it was very formal with no christian names
used. Always Mr Barber.The money wasn't too good either and as I had
married I again left joining a contract drawing office in Hitchin where
my wife worked as a tracer.I did some J & T work and was on a
contract for English Electric when I was made redundant so again I
asked if I could have my job back at S & D. Not the same job but on
the board in the design office. Tom Tillson was the Chief Engineer.
Here again I met up with Geoff Lovat, Jack Rowe, Tony Bottomley and
others I had known previously.
I was quite happy there but
again I wanted a change as I thought drafting would lead nowhere in
particular I started a course in Production Engineering and Industrial
Engineering. Soon after I joined Borg Warner which was on the up and up
and eventually moved with them to Kenfig here in South Wales. Again
shortly afterwards I moved on - but that’s another story.
I'm retired now and I live in the same house to which I moved 30 years ago.
I could go on and on but I think that’s probably enough for now.
haven't kept in touch with anybody, yet I often look back to those
days. They were physically hard but I also enjoyed the work. The skill
of each worker doing his own work unsupervised is something I recall
with great pride.
Let me ask if you are in contact with other ex apprentices and could there be a reunion if there was sufficient numbers?
I hope you may recall me better than I have you and let me know if you have other memories.
With best wishes
2011 Bob Bowker organised a reunion for former SD Apprentices which
took place on 26th November at Letchworth Golf Club. Bob is pictured at
that event with the late Stan Quin the former SD Managing Director|
Finally, this advert appeared:-
Sunday 12th September 2004. 3.30 to 8.30 pm.
LETCHWORTH HALL HOTEL.
Buffet Supper - Preserved Vehicles - Licenced Bar - Memorabilia.
A chance to meet & talk.
Tickets and further details from the address below
£16 (Buffet cost £15)