Road Safety Signals the Way for Archives Display

“It saves a lot of worry and fuss, not to quarrel with a bus”

This is just one of the many examples of a road safety campaign slogan written by a school child, contained within the collections of West Yorkshire Archive Service (WYAS).  As part of national Road Safety Week 22-28 November 2010, WYAS are showcasing a few examples of their wide ranging archives with a display in all five of their offices.

Leeds thought they had installed the first electric traffic lights in England at the Park Row and Bond Street intersection on 16th March 1928, but unfortunately it seems that Wolverhampton had beaten them to it by installing the lights in 1927.  The confusion came from them ordering a set of lights which were lost in the crossing from America to Britain, and by the time the replacement set had arrived, several other cities had also ordered [and possibly installed] them.

Examples of road accidents from 1897-1915 are also used, including the case of John Tyler who was run over by horse and wagon in the Bullring, Wakefield in 1897 [WYAS, Wakefield – ref: C493/K/2/1/214].

Increasing traffic meant improved road surfaces became vital.  A local company who made a national impact were W and J Glossop of Hipperholme.   Their records, going back to 1867, are held at WYAS, Calderdale [ref MISC:431].  In 1907 they developed an improved form of tar matrix as a road binder.  They even laid a modern road surface to the road outside Buckingham Palace!  From the 1920s to 1980s a Glossop lorry would be as familiar as an Eddie Stobbart one today! 

Pogson & Co van, registered in 1916 and had a speed of 12mph

WYAS collects a diverse range of records created by a variety of individuals, groups and businesses.  If you would like to discuss the possibility of depositing records or would like to give feedback on the types of records that you would like to see, please contact the Collections Team.

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