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Finding registration information for a vehicle owned by the Southern Railway

Discussion in 'Everything Else Heritage' started by Phill S, Jun 29, 2023.

  1. Phill S

    Phill S New Member

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    My Dad has an Electricar battery flat truck, which was bought by the Southern Railway in 1940 and used at Southampton Docks. We have its old reg plates, but no paperwork. I am looking at visiting Southampton Council's archives to look up what they have, but it occurred to me that there might be records from the railway too. Has anyone else ever looked into this, getting information about a railway owned vehicle? I'll contact the NRM, but I thought it worth asking here in case someone can give me an idea of where to look.
     
  2. Romsey

    Romsey Part of the furniture

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    Some of those electric tugs passed to ABP and were still in use in the early 1970's. It's probably worth asking ABP where their old records were archived.
    Just a thought, the Hampshire Record Office at Winchester may be a worthwhile lead as all sorts of stuff is squirreled away there.

    Although used by theDocks, they would have probably been maintained by the ODM - Out Door Machinery section who looked after anything from cranes to water towers to station tractors. If searching the records at York NRM, ODM Southampton or Eastleigh would be a good starting point.

    Cheers, Neil
     
  3. Phill S

    Phill S New Member

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    Thanks for that. It seems the only record Southampton have is when it was last taxed, in 1976.

    I think it could have been registered as part of a batch done all at once-it seems likely that they'd order several trucks at once. Does anyone know if there was a different process for this?
     
  4. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Resident of Nat Pres

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    I understand that there was some sort of arrangement at one stage that allowed BR to issue driving licences for its staff so perhaps they might have registered their own vehicles?
     
  5. Eightpot

    Eightpot Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    If you have got the original registration plates and an old tax disc for it you are in with a chance. However, it would be highly desirable if you can find the chassis number, either on a makers plate or even stamped on the chassis somewhere.
     
  6. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Well-Known Member

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    Old registration plates have two letters denoting the area; for example one of my classics has a PCD number plate, the CD part indicates first registered in Brighton.
    There are a couple of sources which can confirm where yours was first registered based on these letters but the best is probably the Kithead Trust website, as this will also tell you who (if anyone) holds old registration records for that area.
    Some exist, some don't. Some are extensive, some aren't. You might get lucky, you might not.
    If you can track down the original registration documents then get the custodian of those documents to do a 'certified extract', and this can be used to reclaim the registration from DVLA.
    You will almost certainly need the support of a registered vehicle owners club; who would be most appropriate for an Electricar battery truck I don't know.

    Railway records, if you can find them, might be another angle but might not be what the DVLA is looking for. But the greater body of evidence you can pull together, the better.

    Good luck; too many historic vehicles have lost their original registrations through lack of evidence recently (I'm aware of two or three just within the club I'm a member of) and that's before we get onto the thorny subject of people buying classics just to sell the number plate.
     
  7. Nick C

    Nick C Well-Known Member

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    Although that doesn't always apply for ex-company vehicles (like this) as they may have been registered by head office rather than locally - so you might end up with a London plate rather than a Southampton one.
     
  8. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Well-Known Member

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    I would argue that my statement in that case is still correct. I didn't say that the vehicle would have been driving around that area; equally you could buy a new car in Scotland, load all your worldly goods in it and drive to your new house in Somerset.
     
  9. Nick C

    Nick C Well-Known Member

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    That's true, I was just trying to emphasise the point that it might not be Southampton who hold the records, as it might have been registered by Waterloo.
     
  10. MG 7305

    MG 7305 New Member

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    Here is the Government web page for reclaiming old registrations:

    https://www.gov.uk/vehicle-registration/old-vehicles

    Is there a group or club for vehicles such as yours? I know that, for example, the MG Car Club T Register is registered with the DVLA for such matters, see here:

    https://www.mgcc.co.uk/t-register/dvla-services/

    You might contact them for a steer. I have no doubt that there will be such an organisation, registered with DVLA, for vehicles such as yours. It is far easier to reclaim a registration through such a registered group than trying to do it as an individual.
     
  11. Phill S

    Phill S New Member

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    Thankyou for the replies. The vehicle has a DCR Southampton registration. I have contacted Southampton records, who only have a VE16/1 index card. This does not have the full vehicle details on it, so probably cannot be used to reclaim the registration. Hence I'm trying to find an alternative.
    I'm not sure if any clubs really cater to factory trucks, possibly the Autotruck club.
     

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