Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The horse has bolted

The first recorded ownership of a motor vehicle by the Post Office to move mail was in 1908. Initially there was doubt in the mind of officials of the reliability of motorcars and lorries but by 1915 this doubt had gone and horses and carts quickly disappeared from the main populated areas of the country. As the seat of government, Wellington led the way, but by the mid-1920s vehicle fleets were established in Auckland and Christchurch.

An Albion platform lorry that entered service with the Post & Telegraph Department (P&T) in 1921. It had a 4-cylinder 20hp engine with a payload of 11⁄2 ton. From the firewall backwards the cab and tray were built and fitted locally. This one was built by the P&T Workshops in Wellington – the buildings in the background – and cost approximately £935 ($81,530 today).