Ted Connolly, who is the Editor of the rather wonderful Classic and Vintage Commercials, has grabbed Tachoblog’s attention with this great picture of the Atkinson factory from way back when.

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But why’s he sent that in Tachoblog? We can hear you ask.  Well, other than the fact that it’s a nice slice of days gone by, we’ll let Ted explain:

“You can keep your fancy restaurants and TV chefs whose egos generally are larger than their share of talent. And you can keep your motorway service areas where the cashiers really ought to wear a three-cornered hat and carry a gun – I think they would have used the name Dick Turpin a few centuries back.”

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“No sir (and madam), there is a far superior establishment in the food-chain, if you will excuse the expression. That establishment is the transport café – the haven for truckers since trucking began. These greasy spoons, as they are sometimes fondly referred to, have offered warmth, decent-sized meals for relatively small sums and a place to generally rest and chat with other knights of the road. In short, they have been – and still are, of course – havens.

“Sadly, transport cafes are becoming rarer as the roadside fast-food joint s take over, and that I find sad. But if you can’t halt progress then at least history remains untouchable. And what a fantastic part of history transport cafes are.

“Therefore, Classic and Vintage Commercials is running a series of features looking at these establishments in details – drivers’ memories, old photos, official written reports … it’s all great stuff. The series kicks off in the April issue with the legendary Ace Café, on the North Circular, London. OK, you might well associate that place with ton-up boys and rockers, but it also has extremely strong links with the world of road transport that go back many years.

“Can you afford to miss this series? Well, the answer is no. Admittedly, I would say that on account of being somewhat biased, but it really will make great reading.

“In the meantime, check out the February issue – on the bookstalls at the moment – which has a rather splendid piece focusing on the old days at the Atkinson factory. Some great memories and period images.

“As for March, well, it is as packed as ever with interesting stuff (told you I’m biased), including restoration reports on a Scania 142 and, at the other end of the spectrum, a Dodge N56. At a newsagent near you, as they say.

“Keep it classic”

Thanks Ted.

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