Halifax cars on 1905 trip

Halifax cars outside the Devonshire Arms, Bolton Abbey
Halifax cars outside the Devonshire Arms, Bolton Abbey

Your fine photo of a vintage Rolls Royce and the headline “Cars of Yesteryear boost church fund” (20 Sept.) reminded me of the newsprint copy of a photo which has recently come to my attention.

At first glance, the picture - taken outside the “Devonshire Arms,” Bolton Abbey - looks like a veteran car rally, but in fact it shows an early expedition of the Halifax Automobile Club to that place, on 20th May 1905. The identifiable Halifax number-plates in this original picture include CP 1, CP 2, CP 11, CP 48, CP 50, and CP 56.

The first vehicle to be registered in the old borough was 12 h.p. Darracq “CP 1” (third from left) owned by Dr. Crossley Wright (1865-1939) of 4 Park Road, surgeon at the Royal Halifax Infirmary. Dr. Wright’s car was registered on 21st December, 1903, when Halifax was first allocated the letters “CP,” and was one of 12 vehicles registered that day by the Watch Committee.

The following two cars were also registered as part of the first batch:

CP 2 (fourth from right) was owned by John Herbert Lacy Baldwin (1863-1945), Chairman and Director of the well-known family firm, J. & J. Baldwin & Partners, Ltd., worsted and woollen-spinners. He was Mayor of Halifax 1897/8, and lived at Broomfield, and then at Kirby Leas. Later, he lived at Levisham Hall and Roxby Manor, in the North Riding.

CP 11 was the property of (William) Armitage Drake, J.P. (1875-1921), of 10 Elm View, Halifax, Gas Engineer. He live latterly at “Dalmore,” Savile Park.

CP 48 (third from right) was owned by Ernest Shaw Redman (1869-1927), in 1901 living at 12 Eversley Mount, a great benefactor to both the Halifax St John’s Ambulance Brigade, and to the Royal Halifax Infirmary, to which he gave £10,000 towards two open-air wards. He also funded the Redman Pathology Laboratory. At the time of his death he was unmarried, and lived at Well Royd, Halifax.

CP 50 belonged to Charles Travis Clay, J.P. (1885-1978), of The Hollins, Warley, son of John William Clay of Rastrick. Charles married the daughter of a peer, and was Librarian to the House of Lords 1922-56. He was also an eminent medieval historian, being knighted in 1957.

CP 56 belonged to Dr. Donald Joseph Macaulay (1862-1921). Born in the Outer Hebrides, he studied medicine and qualified in Edinburgh. By 1891 he was a physician and surgeon in Halifax, his surgery being in Queens Road. A highly esteemed doctor, and a life-member of the St John’s Ambulance Brigade, he lived at ‘Benbecula,’ 90 Hopwood Lane. He eventually became president of the Halifax Division of the B.M.A.

David Glover