Start me up!

Brownhills motor sales2

An interesting photo found by [Howmuch?] – but who’s the lad, where is it and what happened to the truck?

I’m hoping some of the transport buffs or maybe even Ralph Ferrie expert Tony Winn might be able to help with this one that partner-in-crime [Howmuch?] found this week in a junkshop – what appears to be a press photo of one of Ralph’s vintage trucks, with a young lad pulling on the starting handle.

Of course, the question is, who’s the lad, and what’s the reason for the picture?

Brownhills Motor Sales was Ralph’s company (which was started by his father Charles), and for a while existed where the Co-op stands now on Streets Corner in Walsall Wood. There were also workshops variously behind the Station Hotel and alongside the old railway line up on the A5 at Watling Street, Brownhills.

It’s known that the entrepreneur and local character tried unsuccessfully to open a motor museum, and was very fond of old vehicles.

This truck has appeared before on the blog, and I’d be really interested to see if it still exists, or if it’s history can be discovered.

Godfrey's photo of one of Ferrie's classic trucks. Note Severn House in the background - I guess the houses in the background (the terraces to the left) would be where Philip Cheetham lived, by the SNC spiritualist church.

Godfrey Hucker’s photo of one of Ferrie’s classic truck – here being paraded in Brownhills Carnival, I believe.

Anything to add? Comment here, or BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.

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12 Responses to Start me up!

  1. Peter says:

    Hi Bob, Who’s the lad and whats the reason for the photo? I have no idea ……… sorry.

    The only thing I noticed straight away is that the number plate seems to be different in the 2 photos!
    The lad is hiding most of it but it starts with 50 where as in the parade photo it starts with HO. I think it is a 1928 Leyland Truck built in the 000’s as a general “dogs body”. On the photograph during the Brownhills parade it seems to have a temporary plate 451 E, this would suggest that the lower plate of HO 6241 is the permanent plate meaning that the plate beginning 50 would also be the permanent plate, so is it a different truck albeit the same model?

    Just a thought……….


  2. Mick says:

    1st photo lads arm hiding the no plate below 50

  3. Andy Dennis says:

    Searching for vehicle registration HO6421 takes you here – – evidently it still exists.

  4. Fred B Lycett says:

    Try British Commercial Vehicle Museum at Leyland Lancs, holding complete records of Leyland group vehicle production, Ralph was alledgedly hounded off the common sight by the council, a good proportion of the site vwas ex railway land

  5. Graeme Fisher says:

    The registration is HO 6241, the other plates shown(451E and the one beginning 50) are trade plates used by the motor trade to move vehicles around.

  6. Andy Dennis says:

    Here’s another link –—-simpson/4897194075/in/photostream/ – note the front of the canopy (if that’s the correct term) is a different shape from the pictures in your post. The Brownhills Motor Sales has a straight top, but in the flickr picture it is curved.

    Also the lamp brackets show up in the b&w pic, but have lanterns on the flickr pic. Is it right to assume that the grey/green livery reflects the Royal Flying Corps role in WWI?

  7. Tony Winn says:

    Good pictures and I might be able to add to them later, in the mean time Andy has pointed out its painted in the grey/green livery which could make sense as Ralph did loan it to a film maker who used it in a war film (about the 70-74ish) it was sent to Southern Ireland for filming. Anybody know the name of the film as the vehicle can clearly be seen.

  8. Pingback: A temperamental old lady | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

  9. Tony Winn says:

    Hi Andy, just had a look at the film clip and I think the vehicle is an Albium looking at the radiator grill. I also believe Ralph had one of those in his collection so maybe it was that one in the film.

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