Lamp oil deliveries to the plotlands

During the October Memory Day at Laindon library we were delighted to welcome Norman Flint who has lived in Crays Hill for many years. Norman had brought along some photographs of a delivery van that had been used to deliver lamp oil and other household items to residents of the plotlands.  In one of the photographs you can clearly see a wooden barrel mounted on the step by the drivers door, presumably this contained the lamp oil (no such thing as health and safety back then).  On the roof there are pots, saucepans, bowls and other containers, on the sides are brushes, brooms, garden tools, oil lamps and other unidentified items.  I would imagine that it would have taken a great deal of skill to negotiate the notoriously bumpy tracks around the plotlands without losing many of the goods that were stored outside the van.

The van was based at ‘Mapleleaf’ in Gardeners Lane,  the bungalow served as a shop and  home.  Through the window on the left of the building you can see a whole range of household items.

I wonder if anyone can provide more information?  Along the top left hand side of the van there are some faded words, I wonder what these say.  Also does anyone recognise the make and model of the van which has rather unusual oval porthole-style windows on the sides.  This vehicle, its driver and assistant must have been a very familiar and welcome sight to many of the residents living remote parts of the plotlands.


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