Garrett Undertype Steam Lorry
Old Warden 16th September 2013
Garrett 6 tonner 34841, shown above, was sold new with Garrett trailer number 17294 to C.W.Packard & Co., Haulage Contractors, Dorking, Surrey. The wagon was based at the Holmwood Brickworks in Dorking.
Charles Packard had been employed as a demonstration wagon driver by Richard Garrett & Sons Ltd. and it is possible that he is the gentleman driving the demonstrator wagon shown on the trailer page. In 1927 Mr Packard moved to Welwyn Garden City where he used the wagon on contract work for the newly opened Herts Gravel & Brickworks Co., who acquired their own fleet of Garrett wagons in the same year. The work involved the transport of sand and gravel from the Twentieth Mile Pit to building sites in London. The deliveries required two 40 mile round trips per day. The wagon was taken out of use in 1934 when the vehicle excise duty was changed, severely penalising wagons with a high-unladen weight and on wheels shod with solid rubber tyres. Mr Packard was loath to scrap the wagon and it lay unused in his yard until the 1939 - 45 war when it was disposed of.
The wagon was not scrapped but the boiler and engine were removed, the rear end of the chassis was cut off and a large locomotive type boiler was mounted on the chassis. This mobile boiler was used for the sterilising of soil in market gardens in the Lee Valley, Essex. It was discovered in 1976 at Pritchard's Nursery, Loughton, Essex from where it was purchased. Although the boiler had latterly been used in a stationary position, and had been out of use for some time, a condition of sale was that the boiler should be mounted on a trailer to ensure that it remained mobile. After some haggling, agreement was reached whereby the chassis could be removed and the boiler could remain propped on blocks. The remains of the wagon were extricated from beneath the boiler on August Bank Holiday Monday 1976 and are shown above when delivered to Yorkshire. It is appropriate that the lorry's first public appearance was at the Leeds & District Traction Engine Club's Harewood House Rally, in 1997 exactly twenty-one years later, albeit still under restoration.
The wagon has been subject to a long-term restoration, details of which are shown on the restoration page.
I found the following clip on Youtube which was taken in 2000 at the Steam Apprentice Club training day held at Grange Farm on Denby Dale road, Wakefield. This site is now part of a large business park. At that time the water tank was still under construction hence the galvanised tank on the back of the wagon.
A DVD is available, entitled "Dedicated to Garretts". This has a section showing our wagon en route to Leiston in 2001 to attend the 20th Anniversary of the opening of the Long Shop Museum. Copies of the DVD can be obtained from the Long Shop.
I have produced some Garrett transfers copied from an original which was found on a cover from a threshing machine. For further information see the transfer page.
In 1989 I acquired a Garrett 3-4 ton trailer, works number 16470, to accompany the lorry. For further information see the trailer page.
Surviving Garrett Undertype Lorries
For details of other wagons go to the Surviving Wagons page
A little known Garrett wagon built at Leiston in 1928
If you would like any further details, have any comments on the above page or have any information I could use to improve this site please contact me (details on the Home Page).
Copyright © Michael Walters