British Lorry



Introduced by Lord Montague of Beaulieu, this video tells the story of the British lorry, using both archive and contemporary footage. The commercial vehicle is as old as the car itself. By the 1890s the railways had effectively replaced the canals as the main transporters of goods. Lorries were developed to distribute supplies from the nearest railway station. Steam traction was used initially, but it was the First World War which showed the value of the lighter petrol-engined vehicles and trained many new drivers and technicians. Diesel engines, pneumatic tyres and legislation created a new breed of trucks through the 1920s and 30s. These new lorries proved their worth and reliability in the massive transport requirements of World War II, and then remained virtually unchanged for a decade. Vehicles have become larger, more powerful and easier to drive. Motorways have revolutionised distribution - and lorries are now more important than ever in supplying our needs for a wide choice of readily available goods.