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Pictures from the Heritage Archives

Northumberland has a strong connection with every aspect of this first picture. The car is an Armstrong Whitworth 17/25 manufactured at the Elswick Works, Newcastle on Tyne in 1912, though the photo was taken in 1915. The military gentlemen are members of the Northumberland Fusiliers Regiment and there is every reason to believe the location is also in that county. The owner of this property is obviously not superstitious as the horse shoe to the right of the door is allowing all the 'luck' to fall out!

The rifles shouldered by the two soldiers flanking the picture are the Lee Enfield 'SMLE' Mk3. These letters refer to the short length of rifle when compared to the former much longer rifles which were commonplace. The magazine held 10 cartridges and is clearly visible in both instances. Many of our readers we suspect have vivid memories of these rifles from National Service days as the rifle remained in service with the British Army till 1958.

Judging by the 'soft' front offside and rear near side tyres it has been some time since the vehicle was last used.

Worthy of note is that the car is fitted with the John Siddeley Clipper Company's, Clipper Continental pneumatic tyres which had a special patented wheel rim to which the tyre was attached with butterfly nuts. Bearing in mind John Siddeley's ability to promote his products it will come as no surprise that these tyres were advertised as the only reliable motor tyre available.

However it must be stated that it is the family who are the stars of this photo as it almost certain that the car is being requisitioned for the war effort. Perhaps that horse shoe got it right!

Our second picture is of a 1925 Armstrong Siddeley, fourteen four, which sports a Lynton Saloon Landaulette body. The rear windows dropped into the body and the section above folded down allowing open air motoring in summer and cosy travel in winter. At this time as car ownership increased there was a move away from the sporty open vehicle toward the enclosed saloon car.

An aside - both families had nice little dogs.


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