Classic Trucks by Roy Dodsworth
Published in 2017, as the titles suggest this book is about trucks, wagons, lorries or commercials. Each of the four words means the same but varies in regions.
In the letters pages of Trucks, Wagons, Lorries or Commercials magazines there is regular argument about which is correct. Example the 70+ year old strongly argues that he, sometimes she, was a wagon driver. The 30+ individuals argue that they are truckers! I chose ‘Commercials’ because in my view the word encompasses all four types.
The vision is that it is a load carrying vehicle and whether you are 9 or 90 I suggest that you all can recall one. Be it the dustbin wagon or drain cleaner. Without any the world could not function.
To move on there is interest from an early age, Dinky Toys and the like, to senior citizens who take pleasure seeing them, and recalling memories of seeing and driving them.
40 or 50 years ago driving them was a feat of strength and stamina, no power steering, automatic gearboxes or air conditioning. The driver had to be well wrapped up, strong to turn the wheel, change gear, and used to cold without a heater. The modern truck is equipped with all the latest ‘gismos’ giving the old guys the impression that steering them is all that is required!
So preserved and restored commercials are part of our heritage and there are thousands of enthusiasts up and down the country who look after them, be it car, truck or bus.
There are many owners and enthusiast clubs who organise events so that other people can enjoy them. As an added interest there are specialist magazines catering for all matters of interest connected with classic vehicles.
I attend as many events as I can in the North of England and photograph as many vehicles as I can on the showground. There are still old vehicles earning their keep on daily work, ‘asleep’ somewhere awaiting restoration, or abandoned to their fate.
I have written lots of articles for club magazines and the commercial press and I am constantly being asked ‘will my truck be in?’
Early August I attended the Trans Pennine Run 2017, this was the 49th event and over 200 entrants too part. I took over 300 photographs. I then have the task of editing and selecting vehicles for future articles. Having made a selection I have sent them off to club magazines and the monthly specialist magazines. Such articles are keenly awaited by the readers to see ‘if they are in.’
So over the years I have amassed a collection of almost 20,000 photographs of buses, cars, and trucks, some black and white, pre-digital and digital. They are all categorised on my home computer.
A further source, albeit rare, is finding an old album of black and white photographs at such places as antique fairs and flea markets. A recent find by me was an album of 80+ black and white photographs from the 50’s and 60’s. This was on a market stall at Todmorden, West Yorkshire. I paid £30 for them but well worth it for the pleasure they gave to lots of people who had the chance to see them. The ownership was unknown but they created a lot of interest and comment when scanned and published. It is always pleasing to be told ‘my dad drove one of them, or I worked on them for 40 years.’
Having agreed with Amberley to write a book it was very difficult to make a selection of up to 210 photographs. I spent considerable time preparing a draft which I had to change a couple of times, also some pictures were not suitable for printing making a further reshuffle necessary. Eventually ‘bang on’ all was sent off and the show was on the road. A couple of proofs were read with minor alterations made then the long wait to publishing date. My only thought now the book has been done is that the contents will be appreciated and enjoyed by the reader.
I now wish to thank all clubs, and event organisers for arranging classic events, also to vehicle owners and restorers for allowing us to enjoy them, and to all at Amberley books for putting the book together and making it happen!
Roy Dodsworth's book Classic Trucks is available for purchase now.