RESEARCHING THE HISTORY OF YOUR AUSTIN SEVEN PART 2

Click here for Part 1

Continuing the research of your Austin Seven history, once you have found where the issuing authority records are, the next step is to get in contact with them. Most will require you to make an appointment, so check first before you turn up and some will undertake the research for you, for a small fee. I would prefer to go and have a look at the records, as sometimes it is best to look through the records and get a better understanding of what is recorded, also you know your cars full details and you may spot some information that the researcher is looking at.
A case in point, I ordered records for our box LJ5026 a Bournemouth registration from Dorset Archives and at the time due to time pressures, I got them to do the research and they emailed me the record. What I had not considered is, as the record is hand written, the writing is not very legible and the copy of the page does not have any headings, so it is not 100% sure what is being shown, but a quick flick through the records may have shown the page headings and also the details more clearly for another car, enabling a better interpretation of the record. I discussed how frustrating the record was with Roger Bateman and he managed to make a clearer interpretation of the record. Clearly as the record is for LJ prefix cars and the last column is the cars number, the second column is the make, and from looking at other records on the page, the first column is the dealer although not very legible. Looking at the whole page, the records appear to be Dealer/Make/Owner (5017) although it would appear that in some instances, this is reversed to Owner/Make/Dealer. We think our car is Auto Le…… / Austin / Bin…. I am still trying to track down a dealer in Bournemouth call Auto Le……

Sometimes you will have more luck! When another member visited his issuing authority, he found the original registration document listing out the cars details e.g. registration, engine number, chassis number and car number. It also contains the new owner and the dealer being S & W Motors Ltd, further research identified that this is Shale & Woodrow Ltd. for which I managed to find some period Austin adverts for this dealer. He was looking for the dealer's badge and I managed to find an image (below) although from the late 1950s, it may have remained unchanged. The company ceased to exist after the early 1960s.

I have heard of other issuing authorities which not only have the registration information but also have all the sales information for certain garages, you may find a record similar to below (provided by Quintin, thanks).

David Aylmore has advised me, that Herefordshire Archive Office hold the original sales ledgers from the 1930s for James Fryer Ltd, Dragon Garage.
The period adverts I found are on my blog. https://prewardealerships.wordpress.com. Along with over 300 other Pre-War Motor Dealer details and listing for over 3,000 dealers with 140 dealers badges. You might find the dealer who sold your car and the dealers badge which may explain the mysterious small screw holes in the dashboard or door card.

Douglas Alderson DA7C