Calling Time

In Features, The Way We Were, October 20212 MinutesBy Russell WalshNovember 15, 2021

Time is an illusion, and sometimes so is change. The Transport Licensing (Goods-Service) Regulations 1936 introduced driving hours for truck drivers. Russell Walsh found one of his Dad’s old timebooks and discovered things remain pretty much unaltered today.

The 1936 regulations also introduced a requirement that all licence holders must keep a timebook for every driver, the contents of which are very similar to what we have today, except that the wages payable to the driver were to be included on the timebook. These timebooks morphed into the driver’s logbooks of today.

The regulations also introduced what we now know as the Certificates of Loading and the offence of exceeding the maximum gross weight for the vehicle shown on the certificate.

My father Bernie worked in the family transport business from before World War II until mid-1966. Among his things, I recently found his timebook from April 1949 to March 1950. Below is a copy of the page for the week ending 2 November 1949. This shows that he was paid for 68¼ hours during this week, an amount of £16, five shillings and one pence (about $1250 today or $22 per hour). His pay included overtime payable after 40 hours had been worked for the week. The four shillings is an allowance payable because, during this week, he would have been towing a heavy trailer.

We haven’t moved on much in 72 years, have we?

The type of machine Bernie drove back in the day.

Bernie Walsh’s timebook page from 2 November 1949. We may collect the content differently, but the outcome’s changed little.

Russ would love to know what make and model this old girl is, if you know, please flick me an email at – Ed.