Hampshire Cultural Trust

Welcome to Hampshire

This map pinpoints some of the most exciting cultural venues in Hampshire.

We will showcase, connect and empower its creative economy

Satisfied Customers 1927-1932

The following sections summarise Thornycroft sales announcements in contemporary issues of The Commercial Motor journal, or statements of customer satisfaction, from 1927 to 1932 inclusive. The announcements do not necessarily include all Thornycroft lorry sales, and site visitors seeking further information are referred to the sales register held at the Milestones Living History Museum in Basingstoke, Hampshire. Orders announced in The Commercial Motor include lorries, buses, coaches, vans and municipal vehicles etc. However, the summaries below include freight lorry and petrol tanker sales only. In some cases, chassis are sold, and it is not always clear whether these are to be fitted with lorry, bus, etc bodies by their users. Chassis whose applications are unknown are included in the summaries below.

A forward-control JC 10 tonner used by the Great Western Railway.

British Lorries in Belgium, 8 March 1927
A 3 ton (3,048kg) Thornycroft lorry is in regular service in Brussels, its owners being a firm of brewers – the Société de la Brasserie Lanoy, of Ixelles. Also, a Belgian concern interested in developing a producer-gas plant for motor lorries is also using an old Thornycroft vehicle for demonstration purposes.

Thornycrofts in demand overseas, 8 March 1927
Orders received for Thornycroft commercial vehicles during the week ended 19 February included a large proportion for export. Thornycroft’s Australian subsidiary company indented for nine 1.5 ton (1,524kg), four 5 ton (5,080kg) and two rigid six-wheeled chassis. Orders from existing Thornycroft users included one from Parker, Winder and Aychurch for two 1.5 ton (1,524kg) subsidy chassis, and another from Bucks Mechanical Transport for a 2 ton (2,032kg) van.

Buyers of Thornycroft vehicles, 29 March 1927
During the fortnight ending on 16 March, John I Thornycroft received some important orders. One of these was for eight Type A2 long chassis and four Type A1 chassis. In the same period, the London and North Eastern Railway ordered six Type A1 1.5 ton (1,524kg) subsidy chassis. Overseas orders included one for six chassis for Thornycroft’s Singapore branch and another for seven chassis for shipment to Australia.

Repeat orders for Thornycrofts, 12 April 1927
A large number of repeat orders was received by John I Thornycroft during the fortnight ending 26 March, several for export. Home buyers include Shell-Mex, Courage, Leeds Co-operative Society, Henleys Tyre and Rubber, and Kelly’s Directories.

Repeat orders for Thornycrofts, 26 April 1927
Repeat orders received by John I Thornycroft include one for a 1.5 ton (1,524kg) Type A1 hinged-sided lorry for the Cuckfield Rural District Council. A platform lorry of the same type is also being built for the British Cotton and Wool Dyers’ Association, Manchester. Thornycroft’s Yeovil agent has recently taken an order for two Type J 4 ton (4,064kg) chassis from Russian Oil Products.

Repeat orders for Thornycrofts, 17 May 1927
During the week ending 30 April, John I Thornycroft received a number of orders. Hinged-sided lorries in which the firm’s 1.5 ton (1,524kg) subsidy chassis is used have been ordered by the Holbrook Motor Co of Richmond, the Coneygre Foundry of Tipton, Crummack of Manchester, and Cutlack and Harlock of Ely. Three Type KB 3 tonners (3,048kg) are being built for the Anglo-American Oil Co. Another six Type KB chassis have been ordered for Thornycroft’s Australian company.

Recent Thornycroft orders, 24 May 1927
During the week ending 7 May, John I Thornycroft received orders for various types of vehicle. The Sudan government placed a repeat order for seven six-wheeled lorries, and other vehicles that will be shipped overseas are two Type J 4 tonners (4,064kg) for Balfour Williamson for use in Peru. The biggest orders received by Thornycroft during this period were a repeat for 22 Type A2 2 ton (2,032kg) chassis, and eight Type KB 3 ton (3,048kg) chassis for British Petroleum. Another order from a fuel company includes one for a Type KB 3 ton (3,048kg) chassis for Redline Motor Spirit.

Thornycrofts on order, 21 June 1927
Among a large batch of orders received by John I Thornycroft during the week ending 14 May was a repeat for 20 Type A3 rigid six-wheeled chassis from the firm’s Johannesburg agents for South African Railways. Another repeat order comes from the Great Western Railway for two 1.5 ton (1,524kg) A1 subsidy chassis. Thornycroft is building a 3-5 ton (3,048-5,080kg) six-wheeled chassis for Shell-Mex, and a Type A3 rigid six-wheeled lorry for use in Dar-es-Salaam.

Buyers of Thornycrofts, 28 June 1927
One of the largest orders received by John I Thornycroft during the week ending 18 June was for 14 Type A1 subsidy chassis and nine chassis of similar capacity fro the Great Western Railway. In the period, the London and North Eastern Railway also ordered four Type A1 1.5 ton (1,524kg) subsidy chassis. In addition to other orders received in this country, Thornycroft received large orders from its overseas branches, including one for ten vehicles for Australia, among them a Type A3 1.5-2.5 ton (3,048-5,080kg) six-wheeled chassis. Orders also came from Thornycroft’s branches in Singapore and Brazil.

Buying Thornycroft fleets, 16 August 1927
Several users have recently placed orders for fleets of Thornycroft vehicles. The firm has received an order for eight Type A2 2 ton (2,032kg) chassis from its branch in Singapore, another for six Type A2 chassis from its Brazil HQ and a third for four Type J 4 ton (4,064kg) chassis from Thornycroft (India). The A Hatrick company is buying four Type A1 1.5 ton (1,524kg) chassis and four Type A2 2 ton (2,032kg) chassis.

A big order for Thornycrofts, 6 September 1927
One of the largest and most important orders recently received is that from the Southern Railway for 36 Type A2 2 ton (2,032kg) lorries for express parcels delivery. Thornycroft’s agent in South Wales, Hall, Lewis of Cardiff, has recently placed orders for three Type A1 1.5 ton (1,524kg) goods chassis, for which it is supplying suitable bodies. The company has a number of other vehicles passing through its works, including several subsidy-type lorries.

Overseas orders recently to hand for various types of Thornycroft vehicles include eight vehicles for Singapore, five for Australia, two for New Zealand, as well as two for the Sudan and one for Chile.

Thornycrofts in Egypt, 6 September 1927
Two 1.5 ton (1,524kg) vehicles, one a lorry and the other a tanker, were supplied to Shell through Thornycroft’s Cairo branch.

The London Midland and Scottish Railway Company was another JC user.

Order for Thornycrofts, 20 September 1927
Among orders received by John I Thornycroft during the week ending 3 September were a number for subsidy-type vehicles of both 1.5 ton (1,524kg) and 2 ton (2,032kg) capacity. Phillip Mills, the well-known waste-paper merchants, is buying four chassis of the heavier type, while the Metropolitan and Great central Joint Committee has ordered two 1.5 ton (1,524kg) chassis. Also, several orders for single vehicles were placed. Type J 4 tonners (4,064kg) are being supplied to Kay’s Atlas Brewery of Manchester, and Wheeler’s Wycombe Breweries of High Wycombe, while Southampton’s municipal authorities are buying a fleet of Type A1 1.5 tonners (1,524kg) with end-tipping bodies. Four 1.5 ton (1,524kg) chassis are going to Johannesburg, eight to Australia and one to Nairobi.

Recent Thornycroft orders, 11 October 1927
Thornycroft is building four Type A2 2 ton (2,032kg) chassis for Singapore, two Type A1 1.5 ton (1,524kg) chassis for Calcutta and a Type A1 chassis for Rotterdam. These orders were placed during the week ending 24 September, as was a number for users in different parts of the UK.

Thornycroft orders, 1 November 1927
Despite the approach of the Commercial Motor Exhibition at Olympia, which undoubtedly results in some buyers holding up orders until they have had the opportunity to inspect the latest models, many commercial motor manufacturers continue to receive a steady flow of orders. Among these is John I Thornycroft, of Basingstoke, which has not only received a number of orders recently from users in different parts of the UK, but also for various types of chassis from overseas, the latter including three for Trinidad, three for Canada, two for Ceylon and ten six-wheelers for South Africa.

Thornycrofts activities overseas, 20 December 1927
At the recent annual meeting of John I Thornycroft, it was announced that Thornycroft (Singapore) had been formed to take charge of the firm’s increasing interests in Malaya and the Near East. The parent company has a substantial financial holding. Thornycroft vehicles are increasing their penetration in Malaya, and two of the latest Type Q 6 tonners (6,096kg) have just been delivered to Anglo-Swiss Mill of Singapore.

Thornycrofts in demand, 20 December 1927
Railway companies are big buyers of Thornycroft vehicles and, in addition to the recent order placed by the Southern Railway for 36 1.5 ton lorries (1,524kg), John I Thornycroft has recently received a repeat order for 42 3 ton (3,048kg) chassis from the Great Western Railway.

Apart from other orders received by the firm from UK users, one of special interest is that for 30 chassis destined for South Africa. In addition, Thornycroft is building eight chassis for Singapore.

Big orders for Thornycrofts, 10 January 1928
Among a batch of orders received by John I Thornycroft before the close of 1927 are several of importance. The Great Western Railway ordered 72 Type A1 1.5 ton (1,524kg) chassis and South African Railways ordered 10 Type XB 3-5 ton (3,048-5,080kg) rigid six-wheeled chassis. Other important concerns placing repeat orders just before the close of the year were Anglo-American Oil, J Woolley and Sons, Taylor’s Drug and the Perth Corporation.

Orders for Thornycrofts from overseas, 31 January 1928
Orders from overseas have figured very prominently amongst those placed for various type of Thornycroft vehicle during the early part of 1928. John I Thornycroft has received indents from South Africa for 20 3-5 ton (3,048-5,080kg) six-wheeled chassis. The Egyptian government has also placed a contract for Thornycroft six-wheelers, doubtless because of the excellent service given by a fleet of such machines operated by the Sudan government of the Lower Nile.

More Thornycrofts for use overseas, 6 March 1928
Orders from overseas figure largely in the list of those recently received by John I Thornycroft. Five 1.5 ton (1,524kg) chassis and two six-wheelers are being built for Kenya, while three 1.5 ton (1,524kg) chassis are destined for Australia, two six-wheelers for Singapore and another for Ceylon. Many orders for good vehicles have been received by the company from prominent users in different parts of the UK.

Flowing scuttle lines indicate that this Taurus tanker is a post-1933 model.

Buyers of Thornycroft products, 3 April 1928
Apart from a number of repeat orders, which has recently been received by John I Thornycroft, the firm has secured orders from a number of new users. These include Messrs Wort and Wey of Salisbury, who are buying four 2-3ton rigid six-wheelers. Among the name of users placing repeat orders are the Southern Railway, which has indented for four 2 ton (2,032kg) chassis, and the London and North Eastern railway, which is buying ten 2 ton (2,032kg) chassis. In addition, the company is building chassis for shipment to Singapore, Australia, India and the Transvaal.

Buyers of Thornycrofts, 17 April 1928
John I Thornycroft has received a number of orders for goods-carrying vehicles, among which 2 tonners (2,032kg) and 3 tonners (3,048kg) figure largely. Overseas orders call for the shipment of 20 other chassis to Thronycroft branches in Australia, South Africa and the Argentine.

Thornycroft vehicles in demand, 22 May 1928
John I Thornycroft is executing many orders received from prominent users in all parts of the UK, quite a number of them being repeats. It is also passing through its works orders for chassis that have been received from Jamaica, Australia, India, Canada, Rangoon, South America and South Africa. Six-wheelers figure largely in these orders, with 20 such vehicles going to South Africa.

Buyers of Thornycrofts, 5 June 1928
Fifteen different organisations in various parts of the UK have recently placed repeat orders for Thornycroft commercial vehicles of various types. One of the most important is from the War Office, which is for 12 2 ton (2,032kg) subsidy-type six-wheeled chassis. Quite a number of the orders are for 2 tonners (2,032kg). In addition, the company has received first orders from further important users, whilst it has under construction many chassis destined for overseas, these including 16 chassis for Australia and 13 for South Africa.

Buyers of Thornycroft products, 3 July 1928
Many repeat orders figure in the list of those that have recently been received by John I Thornycroft for commercial vehicles of various types. Four 3 tonners are being built for SPD. Several of the orders are for the company’s heavy-duty models. Most of the orders recently received form overseas are for rigid six-wheeled chassis, six of which will shortly be shipped to Brazil and others to Australia and East Africa. Those for the latter countries being 1.5 ton (1,524kg) and 2 ton (2,032kg) chassis.

Thornycroft’s recent orders, 17 July 1928
Among the many repeat orders recently received by John I Thornycroft for motor vehicles are those from two railway companies. The Great Western railway is buying seven 4 tonners (4,064kg) and 31 1.5 ton (1,524kg) chassis, while the London and North eastern railway has indented for six 4 tonners (4,064kg) and six 1.5 ton (1,524kg) subsidy-type chassis.

Many orders have been placed for War Office subsidy-type vehicles by users in different parts of the UK. Overseas orders call for the shipment of various types of chassis to Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and British Columbia.

Haulage contractors C K Johnson & Co, from Thrapston, Northants, ran this Speedy 3 tonner.

Big orders for Thornycrofts, 14 August 1928
One of the most interesting orders recently- received by John I Thornycroft is from the India Store Department, which has indented for 66 six-cylinder rigid six-wheeled chassis. Another big order is that being executed for the London and North Eastern Railways which is buying 27 2 ton(2,032kg) subsidy chassis and two 4 tonners (4,064kg).

The company is continually shipping large numbers of chassis to overseas markets. Among the latest which have been despatched are 16 chassis for Brazil, 12 for New Zealand, seven for South Africa, five each for Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore, and others for Canada and India, a large proportion of them being for various types of rigid six-wheeled chassis.

Thornycroft vehicles for overseas, 18 September 1928
Orders for many thousands of pounds have recently been received by John I Thornycroft for various types of rigid six-wheeled vehicles for shipment to South Africa, South America, India, etc. Many of these are for augmenting the already large fleet of similar vehicles owned by South African Government railways, which are operating over 4,000 miles (6,436km) of regular motor service.

We have already referred to the fleet of 66 Thornycroft six-wheelers for the Government of India. The orders from South American are a sequel to some remarkable journeys through undeveloped country in Brazil and the Argentine, recently performed by Thornycroft vehicles of this type. Thornycroft has done a great deal to develop the rigid six-wheeler for overseas transport, where its capabilities for traversing open country enable outlying districts to be developed commercially.

The new Thornycroft in demand, 23 October 1928
During recent weeks, John I Thornycroft has received large orders for the new Type JJ 5-6 ton (5,080-6,096kg) lorry, particularly from users of the well-known Type J 4 tonner (4,064kg), which the new Type JJ has supplanted. Buyers of the new type include John Walker and Sons, the well-known whisky distiller, Newsum and Sons, a timber-dealing firm, Dundee, Perth and London Shipping and Henley’s Tyre and Rubber. To the long list of over 50 co-operative societies operating Thornycroft vehicles can be added the Blackburn Society, which has ordered a 1.5 ton (1,524kg) chassis.

Overseas orders for Thornycrofts, 13 November 1928
John I Thornycroft continues to receive a large export orders, the latest being for a 2 ton, 3 ton and 5 ton chassis (2,032kg, 3,048kg and 5,080kg) to the Ministry of Communications of the Egyptian government. The Sudan government, which already operates a large fleet of Type A3 rigid six-wheelers for cotton transport, is buying another six-wheeler. Other orders have been received from South America, Buenos Aires and Holland.

Overseas buyers of Thornycrofts, 18 December 1928
Among export orders recently received by John I Thornycroft, one of the most interesting has been placed by Rio de Janeiro Light and Power, which has indented for ten 1.5 ton (1,524kg) chassis through Thornycroft (Brazil). An order has been placed by the Romanian government for two 3 ton (3,048kg) six-wheeled lorries.

Overseas orders for Thornycrofts, 5 March 1929
Orders have been received by John I Thornycroft for 5 ton (5,080kg) six-wheelers and 6 ton (6,096kg) chassis, for shipment to Johannesburg and Durban, respectively.

Thornycrofts for railways, 19 March 1929
Thornycroft is supplying two 3-5 ton (3,048-5,080kg) rigid six-wheeled chassis, with 3 ton (3,048kg) trailers, for Cordoba Central Railway.

Overseas orders for Thornycrofts, 4 June 1929
There has been a big influx of export orders over the last few weeks for Thornycroft rigid six-wheeled vehicles, for shipment to the Argentine, Brazil, Columbia, South Africa, Australia, Sarawak and Russia.

Big railway order for Thornycrofts, 6 August 1929
The Great Western Railway has just ordered 100 4-5 ton (4,064-5,080kg) chassis and 100 1.5 ton (1,524kg) chassis, worth approximately £100,000, from John I Thornycroft.

Recent orders for Thornycrofts, 13 August 1929
An order for Thornycroft Type A (Long) chassis has been placed by the War Office, and numerous repeats from satisfied users, including such firms as W D and H O Wills of Bristol, Wilson’s Brewery of Manchester, Watney, Combe and Reid, Cheshire Lines, Haunchwood Collieries, etc.

Good Thornycroft sales overseas, 26 November 1929
The 28th AGM of John I Thornycroft was held a few days ago. The managing director Sir John E Thornycroft, KBE, MINA, referred to the large proportion of the firm’s business which has come through its overseas branches. Six-wheelers had sold well, and the Indian and other governments has also placed orders for this type of vehicle.

Overseas orders for Thornycrofts, 28 January 1930
John I Thornycroft has received an order for eight 1.5 ton (1,524kg) chassis for the Posts and Telegraph Department of Wellington, New Zealand. In addition, the Argentine North-Eastern Railway has indented for 16 chassis of various types, most of them being rigid six-wheelers.

Overseas orders for Thornycrofts, 14 October 1930
John I Thornycroft has recently received an order from the Buenos Aires Pacific Railway for six 3 ton (3,048kg) six-wheeled chassis, and another from the Central Uruguay Railway (of Montevideo) for three 1.5 ton (1,524kg) chassis.

Thornycrofts for railway service, 11 November 1930
The London and North Western Railway has ordered 17 1.5 ton (1,524kg) and 2 ton (2,032kg) Thornycroft vehicles, while the Great Western Railway is buying a 10 ton (10,160kg) six-wheeled chassis.

Thornycroft progress, 25 November 1930
The 29th AGM of John I Thornycroft was held a few days ago, when Sit John E Thornycroft KBE, managing director, dealt with the accounts and activities of the company. He said that there had been an increase in motor vehicle sales at home, although export orders had fallen off. However, judging by the published returns of imports into the firm’s best foreign markets, it had more than held its own.

Overseas orders for Thornycrofts, 16 December 1930
The Central Uruguay Railway has placed a repeat order with John I Thornycroft for four 3 ton (3,048kg) and eight 3.5 ton (3,556kg) rigid six-wheeled chassis, in addition to 12 3 ton (3,048kg) trailers. Another order from overseas has been received from the Shire Highlands Railways of Nyasaland, and is for a standard chassis.

More Thornycrofts for Brazil, 22 September 1931
John I Thornycroft has received orders from the San Paulo Railway of Brazil for 27 chassis, comprising nine of 1.5 ton (1,524kg) capacity, seven 2 tonners (2,032kg), six 3 ton (3,048kg) six-wheelers and five 3.5 ton (3,556kg) six-wheelers.

Thornycroft’s trading reviewed, 24 November 1931
The 30th AGM of John I Thornycroft was held a few days ago, when Sir John E Thornycroft, KBE, M Inst CE, managing director, presided. After dealing with the accounts, the chairman mentions that the vehicle side of the company’s business has been seriously affected by the general state of trade. He added that new regulations of the Ministry of Transport have caused users to delay ordering, owing to the uncertainty of obtaining licences.

This Speedy was operated by Cook’s Transport Service of Leicester

Buyers of Thornycrofts, 1 December 1931
John I Thornycroft has received an encouraging batch of orders following the recent Olympia Show, including repeats for some of the company’s newer types from Cranfield Brothers of Ipswich, Platt Brothers of Leicester, Faulkner of Manchester, T Scott and Sons of Bootle, the Bristol Co-operative Society and Bucks Mechanical Transport. Overseas orders have come from New Zealand, South Africa and the Far East.

Repeat orders for Thornycrofts, 29 December 1931
A notable feature of recent orders received by John I Thornycroft has been the number of repeats, including those from Boots of Nottingham, who have placed a 12th repeat order for a 2 ton (2,032kg) chassis, CT Faulkner, an eighth for an 11 ton (11,176kg) lorry, Karriers Delivery Service of Liverpool, a sixth of a 3 ton (3,048kg) six-wheeler, and a number of others. New overseas orders are in hand for the shipment of vehicles to South Africa and the Far East.

Repeat orders for Thornycrofts, 5 January 1932
Repeat orders recently placed for Thornycroft vehicles include one from Watney, Combe Reid for six 2.5 ton (2,540kg) chassis, another from the London and Northern Eastern Railway for six 2 ton (2,032kg) lorries and a third from John Knight for four 2.5 ton (2,540kg) chassis.

A Thornycroft for Denmark, 9 February 1932
John I Thornycroft will shortly be shipping a Speedy 2.5 ton (2,540kg) six-cylinder chassis to its Danish agents, Messrs Rodkjaer and Tvede of Copenhagen, who will fit a suitable body before the vehicle is delivered to the Carlsberg Brewery of that city.

Sliding-tilt body for a Thornycroft, 21 June 1932
A sliding-tilt body has been built by William and Thomas Robson on a Thornycroft 12 ton (12,192kg) lorry for Lucas. The tilt is in three sections and can be removed altogether. While offering good protection and being smart in appearance, the arrangement is particularly convenient for loading and unloading.

Thornycroft milk tanker for Cow and Gate, 28 June 1932
A tanker built for Cow and gate is one of two similar machines supplied for the transport of milk. It is a Thornycroft QC Forward model carrying a Thompson Bros 2,300 gallon (10.456 litre) stainless-steel tank lagged with Alfol.

A Thornycroft in the copper belt of Rhodesia, 5 July 1932

A letter recently received by John I Thornycroft from the transport officer of a Rhodesian mining company, comments on the remarkable performance given by a Thornycroft 10 ton (10,160kg) rigid six-wheeler. It was the first British heavy vehicle to be put into service in the copper belt where American lorries of half the capacity had been exclusively used.

Its capabilities amazed the owners when it successfully and repeatedly hauled its 10 ton (10,160kg) loads over a bush track, which became a veritable quagmire after rains. It made seven trips a day without once faltering, and the writer asserted that there was not another motor vehicle in the whole of the copper belt that could have carried such a job through without the cost of corduroying the whole track and taking twice the time.

Repeats for Thornycrofts, 2 August 1932

Scott and Sons of Bootle has placed its 11th repeat order for Thornycrofts, this being for 2 ton (2,032kg) Bulldogs.

Thornycroft activities reviewed, 16 December 1932
The 31st AGM of John I Thornycroft was recently held in London, when Sir John E Thornycroft, KBE, chairman and managing director, presided. After the accounts had been dealt with, the chairman said that the unfavourable results shown for the year were undoubtedly due, in the main, to the general business depression, aggravated by price-cutting, and by expenditure on improvements in design, including the introduction of the diesel engine for both vehicles and marine applications.

Although there was a fall in home sales of vehicles, marine motors and motor boats, it was the reduction in overseas sales which most seriously affected the company. To illustrate the position, the chairman took the year 1929 as representing 100 per cent, and gave the figures for the following years: 1930, 78 per cent; 1931, 57 per cent; 1932, 17 per cent. The company has closed down the Canadian branch. He mentioned that there has been an increase in the orders and inquiries from overseas during the past few months.

The chairman referred to the vehicles which the company has built for Iraq Petroleum. The company’s 2 ton (2,032kg) models have been good sellers. He made a reference to the firm’s work in connection with diesel engines and to the satisfactory results which vehicles equipped with Thornycroft diesels have given in service.