Stevie Carroll (stevie_carroll) wrote,
Stevie Carroll

Roads and Road Transport History Association

So, all that travelling I did the weekend before last? A lot of it was to get me to and from Coventry for the annual conference of the Roads and Road Transport History Association, which Dad is a member of. According to their website the Association covers the whole range of transport history from the earliest times to the current age ... packhorses, carters, street furniture, economics, social trends, the effects of gender upon transport, personalities in road transport, avenues of research, regulation by governments or local authorities, manufacturers and bodybuilders, cycling, sources of transport history, the preservation of artefacts, photographic material, the exploration of archives, the need to promote transport and logistics as a career, a general, boundless interest in transport, and even quite simple nostalgia and their meetings are certainly worth attending from a social history point of view.

This year's speakers and talks were:

Glen McBirnie -- 'Rugby Portland Cement Transport'

Richard Mellor -- 'Haulage as the Crow flew' (the Crow Carrying Company of Silvertown)

Ian Souter -- 'The British tram: Basket-case or Barometer?’

Stephen Barber -- 'Holidays by coach - a look at 100 years of UK coach touring’ (mostly about Wallace Arnold)

I learned how dry cement powder was stacked on lorries before the advent of bulk tankers, and the fact that a lot of vehicles were sold to showmen at the end of their working lives as the engines were good for many more miles (and could run generators too). I found out that family businesses only survive while members are interested in them. Trams died out due to changes in housing policy. Coach holidays were often prestigious loss leaders for bus companies also running regular routes.

I also got to look at old photos, models of commercial vehicles and books on transport (but I only bought one small Shire volume on Humber cars). The only disappointment of the day was that we didn't have time to visit the Museum of Transport on our way back.

Next year, I'm hoping not to be the youngest person there, as I'm sure I know other people who'd be fascinated by some of the talks.
Tags: inspiration, out and about, real life
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