A few years ago I bought some old ledgers dating from 1895 to the 1930s intending that one day I’d sit down and look at them. Well, the recent snow gave me that opportunity.
The first one I opened was from 1926 and relates to W. Delf & Sons, Motor and General Engineers of Waveney Works, Northgate, Beccles, Suffolk. It seems that this firm did everything: working on oil, steam and petrol engines, central heating repairs, as well as repairs to spades, lawn mowers, cars and just about everything else.
The ledger contains handwritten copies of every invoice issued by the firm including one for an overhaul of an Ariel motorcycle. Unfortunately there’s no record of the type or registration number but the mention of a belt and fastener makes it an early one. It does however give the name and address of the owner: G. Thrower of Dunncow Road in Aldely – a village close to Beccles.
I’ve scanned the page and if I’ve pressed the right buttons you’ll be able to see it on this message. The price of seven pounds eighteen shillings and sixpence for an overhaul may not seem like a lot now but according to the records of a Parliamentary debate in 1939, an agricultural labourer earned one pound eleven shillings a week. …..