Major Stewart was early motoring pioneer

Major Percy Stewart had a lifelong love of the motor car.
Major Percy Stewart had a lifelong love of the motor car.
Share this article

Looking through the photographic archive of Major Percy Stewart of Burnby Hall, Pocklington, it quickly becomes apparent that he had a lifelong love of the motor car and was an early pioneer of its use.

Coming from an equestrian background, Major Stewart readily took to motoring during the early years of the 20th century.

At that time, driving was very much the preserve of predominantly affluent minority, and ownership of a motor car was a great novelty.

In 1906, he and his wife Katharine narrowly avoided death or serious injury when their Chelmsford steam car crashed on Sutton Bank in North Yorkshire, after a brake cable stretched. Mrs Stewart was briefly hospitalised; Major Stewart was unhurt. Both retained their desire to continue with the adventure of motoring.

The photographic collection at Burnby Hall Gardens and Museum contains a stunning picture of Major Stewart in the driving seat of his motor car with the chauffeur standing nearby.

Clearly he liked to take the wheel himself.