Old Crocks and Dodgy Car Salesman: Interpreting Cheshire’s Vehicle Registrations, 1904-07

24th April 2019

At the Society's AGM earlier this month, Dr Craig Horner of Manchester Metropolitan University delivered an engaging and insightful lecture on his recent research into the pre-WW1 Cheshire motor vehicle registration records, which he is currently preparing for publication for the Record Society. The Cheshire records – which are quite a rare survival – commence in 1904, after an act of Parliament required owners to register their vehicles, and shed much light on the social history of early motoring. Dr Horner discussed what this documentation can tell us about the relative popularity of different models of car and motorbike in North-West England in the years preceding the First World War; the sale, purchase and movement of second-hand vehicles; the social and occupational profile of early car owners; women’s involvement in early motoring; and the (mixed) reputation of motorists and chauffeurs. There were a wide range of questions from an appreciative audience, which were fielded with humour and expertise. The Record Society would like to thank Dr Horner for a fascinating lecture, and we await his forthcoming volume with much anticipation.