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SNAPSHOT 108: 1939 (or later) Bedford removal lorry

Even Snapshots are expensive to buy – possibly.  This one was found in a vintage shop in Yorkshire, and was priced at £29 – until it was made clear that this was for the high-quality frame.  The photograph is a copy, and was very kindly donated when the reason for wanting it was explained.

With the picture came an enthusiastic response to the request for more information on the date and the identity of the man leaning nonchalantly on the removal van.

He is Leonard Ingham, maternal grandfather of the lady who owns the vintage shop and father of her aunt – the lady who gave us all this information.  We are very grateful to them both.  Born in 1911, we think that he is in his late twenties or early thirties here – which dates the picture to just before or after World War II.  The van is a model introduced in 1939 – which fits.

Not much is known about Wesley Clegg Removers and Storers of Nelson and Burnley, except that we can see from the picture that they had a Pickfords franchise.  What we do know is that Wesley Clegg was born in 1851.  He had one son, Herbert, born in 1886.  Herbert was in charge when this picture was taken.  The company employed several family members – and Leonard was related to the Cleggs.  He got married in 1940, and the company gave Leonard half a day’s holiday to get married.  Ah, the good old days, when employers were more caring and generous.

Leonard was also remembered in Herbert’s will when he died in 1947.  He got £50, which bought a double pram for our informant and her sister, but another beneficiary did less well: he bought a fancy sports car – and crashed and was killed in it.

Leonard used to tell tales of his many journeys, always with a mate, and often in vehicles held together with not much more than a rubber band and rope.

The vehicle is a Bedford – either a K model (single rear wheels, 30-40 cwt), an M model (dual rear wheels, 2-3 ton), an O model (3-4 ton) or an O/40 (5 ton).  Sadly, the front-on view and the quality of the picture makes it very difficult to be more precise.

Finally, our kind informant has pointed us to this picture of an early Wesley Clegg vehicle on the website of the British Commercial Vehicle Museum in Leyland, Lancashire: (http://www.britishcommercialvehiclemuseum.com/image-archives/product/leyland-raf-typewesley-clegg-nelsonlpf0028/) – proving that this was a substantial and long-lasting company.


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