1930s Robertsbridge grocers van returns to its old home

A grocers van which originated in Robertsbridge and dates back to the 1930s was recommissioned and driven to the village this week.

Friday, 1st March 2019, 4:27 pm
Updated Friday, 1st March 2019, 5:25 pm
Peter Russell and Tony Brooks pictured with the restored vintage delivery van in Robertsbridge

The 1934 Morris Grocers Van has spent the past 20 years sitting in a motor museum deteriorating.

However, having been purchased by a collector in the West Country, Peter Russell, from Horsham in West Sussex, was asked to recommission the period interior with a myriad of old shop and grocers artefacts.

On Wednesday the van was driven two and a half hours to Robertsbridge where Peter hoped someone would remember it.

Restored vintage delivery van pictured in Robertsbridge

He said: “Other than moving forward and backwards in the garage, today (Wednesday) was its first test run, and Robertsbridge seemed an appropriate destination.

“We left from my garage near Horsham at 9.30am, and it took us two and a half hours to cover the 53 miles there, and exactly the same for the return – all with good oil pressure and no problems.

“Another reason for heading to Robertsbridge is that someone may remember the van and be able to fill in some of its earlier history when it plied its trade around the locality.”

Peter said – during recommission – parts of the van’s body and roof were found to be rotten and required rebuilding.

Restored vintage delivery van pictured in Robertsbridge

The mechanics were also found to be in an equally deplorable state and ended up with a full mechanical rebuild.

Peter said the whole process took around 12 months, during which time he wondered about its original East Sussex registration number and the written sign of Breach which included a Robertsbridge telephone number.

Do you remember the van? Please email [email protected]

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