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Can you identify this steam lorry?

This image shows my grandfather, George Moody (b.1856), standing in front of a steam lorry owned by Brighton & Hove General Gas Company, Portslade, where he worked all his life.

I am interested to find out if anyone has seen this before, which would indicate that it was more likely a commercially produced postcard.  It has the usual marking for a message and address on the back but it is of photographic grade paper.  If you have not come across this picture before, it is more likely to be a genuine family picture printed on postcard format which seemed to be popular at that time.

If anyone can identify the steam lorry it may give some indication of the date of the photograph.  Any help you can give will be most appreciated.

George Moody with steam lorry in Portslade
From the private collection of Brian Newman

Comments about this page

  • My husband thinks that the lorry is a Yorkshire patent steam lorry, probably an early one as it has wooden wheels.

    By Keren Hancox (25/05/2009)
  • Whilst I cannot supply any information on this steam lorry, I do remember seeing steam lorries in the early thirties when I was a small boy. I think they were owned by a brewery.

    By John Wall VK2GQK (26/05/2009)
  • It is indeed a Yorkshire Patent Steam Wagon Co. lorry. See the pictures on their website:

    By Geoff (28/05/2009)
  • Good day Brian. A little off subject – was Dave Moody (a vehicle fitter) at the Gasworks in the 1960s, a relative of George? Thank you.

    By Jerry Homeward (29/05/2009)
  • Hello Jerry. George Moody had two sons, William and Ruben. Where they are or whether they had a son called Dave I cannot say as I have lost touch with the Moody’s after last seeing them in 1959. There’s little doubt that there would be a connection as the Moody clan were all over Sussex. Both George and his father lived in Gas House Cottage over the years.

    By Brian Newman (02/06/2009)
  • Found what I consider to be an excellent likeness in the Matchbox Toy Range of a wagon from 1917. Try looking up on the Internet: Matchbox 1/72 1917 Yorkshire Steam Engine Great Western Railway (YAS11). See if you agree.

    By Roy Grant (05/06/2009)
  • These photos really had me thinking. I think one is Western Road, Hove, near George Street. I also enjoyed testing my memory as it has been ages since I was last home. Does anyone remember Frank Winstanley, North Street, Portslade by Sea, or Peter Young or Molly Martin? They would all be in their 70s.

    By Jean McNamara (Sydney, Australia) (09/06/2009)
  • Dear Brian. A friend of mine, John H. Meredith, who lives near York has written to me regarding your enquiry. He was impressed by the quality of the photo and has supplied details of this vehicle which are taken from the Road Locomotive Society’s (RLS) records. He goes on to write “Would you please pass these on to whoever the article came from and request them for a copy of the photo for the RLS records, and perhaps for publication with due acknowledgement in their journal.” He then adds the following information which I think that you might find of interest: The Brighton and Hove General Gas Company’s steam wagon is indeed a ‘Yorkshire’. The full name of the builder was the Yorkshire Patent Steam Wagon Co. Ltd and their works were at Hunslet in Leeds. The firm used a distinct patented transverse ‘double return flue’ boiler as can be seen in the photo and the wagons were built from 1901 to 1937. The wagon in the photograph was their works No.586, built in 1913, and carried Leeds registration U 2328. It was described as a 2 cylinder 6 hp tipping wagon and is believed to have been used by the Gas Company until 1933. This information comes from the records of the Road Locomotive Society. John is not on the internet but I can supply his ‘snail mail’ address separately to you. I hope that the above helps. John K. Hayward, Burgess Hill, West Sussex.

    By John K. Hayward (16/09/2009)
  • Re: photo/info George Moody. My Grandfather, William (Bill) Moody sadly passed away 21years ago. My father, Douglas William George Moody is is still living. My Great Grandfather, Oliver George Moody, indeed worked all his life at The Gas Works, Portslade, however, I’m not sure the dates tally up with yours. He was a Blacksmith and made the metal bands up for the old brick chimney there. My dad has a photo of George and Ruben at the Gas Works but it isn’t the one you have posted here. My dad doesn’t have the internet, so will have a good look at your photo and said he may be able to help with the date/time of it. My family all come from Portslade , and I still live here.My dad says there are no more grandchildren and is a little confused. Any comments greatly appreciated.

    By Carolyn Craig (Nee Moody) (05/11/2009)
  • I would like to ask a question please. I beleive that the Gas Omenta used to be where Tesco is now built. I am at present trying to get bits and pieces togeather to write a book and I would be very grateful for any help. The gas works I believe was nearly at the side of St Andrews Church which was off Church Road. Now here is the question that is given me a head ache as I have tried in verious places to find where and how it orginated. MILES WALK HOVE OF CHURCH ROAD. I have checked verious maps and it is not listed anywhere including the Brighton History Libray. I would be very grateful if anyone can help who either had friends or relations that worked for the gas board in Hove and not Portslade. Thanking you in advance.

    By Chris (04/03/2010)
  • An answer to; JOHN K. HAYWARD and CAROLYN CRAIG. I apologize to both of you for the delay. Of course I am eager to communicate with you and hope that you will forgive my tardiness. I can be contacted by email at; or snailmail at PO Box 114, Dayboro, Queensland 4521. AUSTRALIA

    By Brian Newman (01/01/2011)
  • Brian, I would be interested in using a picture of the steam wagon in a feature I am preparing. Be grateful if you would e-mail me at

    By A Barnes (03/11/2011)
  • Dear Heidi,
    Sorry but we have had to delete your post. We are no longer allowing the posting of requests to find third parties, as sharing information like this breaches their privacy. We recommend you try Friends Reunited website if you want to track old friends or neighbours.
    Comments Editor

    By Heidi Gibbons (27/04/2012)

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