Steam-powered lorries ?

posted in: InfoRequests 5

My informant William Paterson has written in to ask if anyone remembers steam-powered lorries similar to one above, being used in Durban during WWII. To answer, leave a comment by clicking the link below, or contact me in the usual way.

Worthy of your interest isĀ William’s evocative description of growing up in Durban at the start of WWII.

It always comes as a bit of a shock to be reminded just how long the site has been going, which happened again when I noticed that the account was written by William in 2005. FAD is nearing the end of its first decade, which is quite a sobering thought.

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5 Responses

  1. Malcolm Wesson
    | Reply

    From memory I recall that Super Sentinels were used by the Coronation Brick and Tile Company. Since I can remember seeing one they must have stayed in use until the latter part of the 1940’s.

    • Allan Jackson

      Nice hearing from you again, Malcolm.

  2. Tim Gallwey
    | Reply

    I remember seeing one during the war when we lived in Maritzburg. It was going up West Street just before Ribbons Bakery. It had a chimney uf the centre back of the cab with a diameter of 20 or mor cm. I presume it was a Sentinel but have no way of confirming that.

  3. Graham Read
    | Reply

    A relative of mine who was a young boy in the Overport Terminus area in the 1920s remembered an incident concerning one of the Coronation Brick and Tile lorries which used to make deliveries about Durban at the time. I think he said the vehicles were steam powered, had a low speed, and were mounted on very large wheels.
    One day he and a half dozen other boys were taking turns on a single roller skate to speed down a steep slope on South Ridge Road from the crest above Cherry Avenue towards the intersection with St Thomas Road. The method of riding the skate was called “flying” and the “pilot” squatted with one foot on the skate and the other stretched straight out in front. The hands had a firm grip on the toe of the skate, providing some minor form of steering. There were of course no brakes.
    One of the boys, named Donny, set off “hell bent” down the slope and as he approached the bottom of the hill a Coronation Brick and Tile lorry was making a slow turn from St. Thomas Road into South Ridge Road, and the vehicle had a full load of bricks.
    With very fortuitous timing Donny managed to steer himself under the lorry between the wheels and safely out the other side. Immediately afterwards the boys decided it would be best of they made themselves scarce and scattered, with Donny haring homeward with the skate clutched firmly under one arm.

  4. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Probably the original “goofy footer” ! Scary.

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