Column - Tales from the Treasure House

An East Riding police officer with car circa 1920.
An East Riding police officer with car circa 1920.

The motor car is arguably one of the greatest inventions to date, in terms of the effect it has had on the lives of ordinary people.

Its introduction to the roads of Britain in the late 19th and early 20th centuries heralded a revolution in transport for the common man, even though it started life as a plaything for the enormously rich.

Percy Marlborough Stewarts driving licence 1909.

Percy Marlborough Stewarts driving licence 1909.

The East Riding of Yorkshire was no stranger to this revolution, and the wealthiest of its residents invested in the latest ‘horseless carriage’ or ‘automobile’. It was a monumental part of the history of the region, but its legacy is not recorded as well as it perhaps should be.

Here at the East Riding Archives, we’re appealing for donations of document and photograph collections that relate to the motoring history of East Yorkshire, to help build a picture of the early drivers in our county.

We collect and preserve records on all aspects of life in the East Riding in order to create as full a history as possible for this area.

The car has played a crucial role in our recent history and deserves to be recorded more comprehensively in our archive.

First motor car in Hull Police Force in 1914.

First motor car in Hull Police Force in 1914.

We already hold a number of fascinating items on motoring history, including vehicle registration records from 1905 to 1976, a photograph of the ‘Gordon’ car built by Armstrongs of Beverley in 1913, and an early driving licence from 1909, but now it needs members of the public to come forward with any records that they feel would add to the history of the motor car in our area.

This could be photographs of early 20th Century cars that were driven in the East Riding, or business records of local garages, for example.

For more information, please call 01482 392794, or visit the Treasure House, Champney Road, Beverley (next to the library).

A car accident on Ferriby High Road, possibly in 1929.

A car accident on Ferriby High Road, possibly in 1929.