Tom is a regular at the the County of Salop Steam Engine Society Rally near Shrewsbury, sharing his love of engineering restoration and rallying. His connection with the Society stretches back more than 52 years, during which time he has shown great dedication and commitment to the organisation.
He attended the first Rally in 1961, while still on National Service, and was later invited to join the Society in 1963, before being elected to the Committee in 1968 and then serving as Vice Chairman and then Chairman in 1985. He was made an Honorary Member in 2007, and became the society’s President in November 2012.
Now, after 2,200 hours – on and off over 10 years – he can finally show off the results of his labour of love on the 30cwt petrol powered lorry. “Restoring the lorry has been a long haul, but there’s nothing like the sense of achievement after all the hard work and restoration, when you can finally drive the vehicle. The reward justifies the hours of toil. Pride of place goes to the superb Vulcan radiator mascot cap, Vulcan, being the god of fire, metal and blacksmiths,” he says.
Tom’s love of engineering began when he started a 5 year technical apprenticeship with Parsons Chain and Co. in Stourport on Severn. He progressed through all sections of the business, including the tool room, welding, forming and working in the drawing-office and laboratory as well as in electrical work. He moved to British Wire Products before his National Service in the RAF and then joined the family engineering firm of T.S. Henderson which is now run by his son Robert.
The Vulcan company was based in Southport and made cars from 1902 until 1928 and commercial vehicles until 1953. Tom’s model was manufactured by Vulcan Motor Engineering (1916) under the control of C.B. Wardman, but financial problems came in 1928 and Mr. Wardman resigned.
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Story originally published in August 2013