In 1862 John I. Thornycroft designed a steam car and in 1864 set up a firm, the Steam Carriage and Wagon Company, in Chiswick, London. Britain wasn't yet ready to accept road vehicles but Thornycroft simply moved into steamship building and launched his steam boat 'Miranda' in 1887. Thornycroft’s name remained in ship building for a long time thereafter. 

   A decade or so later he tried again with the road going vehicles and once again Chiswick was making steam lorries. This time the company was soon so busy that by 1898 a new manufacturing base in Basingstoke was opened. 

   Having proved themselves during WW1, with around 5,000 of their very durable and reliable petrol engined ‘Type J’ 4 ton lorry serving the BEF on the continent, Thornycroft lorries were to become commonplace.

   By the time of the armistice in 1918 almost 1,500 people were employed by Thornycroft and it was continuing to grow. Commercial vehicles boomed in Britain so much that by late 1924 the number of lorries, busses etc on the roads had risen to 300,000, the vast majority now being driven by petrol as diesel was yet to hit the markets. 

   Great Western Railway (GWR), amongst others, had ranges of Thornycroft vehicles in their fleet to move freight from the railhead to the customers door.  GWR vehicles carried the famous Brown and Cream as livery supplemented, on occasion, by advertising posters on the rear upper side panels behind the GWR logo. In production between 1920 to 1930 these vehicles, travelling at a maximum speed of 12mph, delivered parcels and other items across Great Britain even into World War Two. 

   The war interrupted some lorry production but Thornycroft still supplied nearly 5,000 motor vehicles for military purposes in the Basingstoke factory. And they company built "quite a large number of engines of various powers" for war purposes well into the war.

00-H0 scale kit.
Built by Rod.
   This kit has been around for a long time released under the Keil kraft, Davric (and probably several others) labels over the years. 
   They are in the same style as other kits of the era designed to adorn railway layouts. Which means they have decent external detail but little on the inside. That said, additional detailing is the modellers province so add more if you want to. 

   Rod built this model straight from the box in early 2020, before the world went into lockdown for the Covid19 pandemic. It is painted with Humbrol enamels and a brush, old school.  

RETURN TO :- the Public Transport and Commercial Vehicles collection.