Early motor cars in Harston

Hilary Roadley

The Smith family, owners of Harston Mill, was reputed to have the first motor car in Harston- a 1907 Swift. Likewise, the Greene family, owners of Harston House, ran early motor cars.

Harold Northrop, born 1903, recalls in his memories ‘Motor cars were a rare sight and about the only one I remember in my young days was one owned by a Dr. Magoris from Shelford who ran a part-time surgery in the village. Its number I well remember was CE200.

The roads, however, were very quiet, even in the 1930s, and children still played on them and fairs were still held on The Green next to the road. People would see the cars coming along slowly and have time to finish what they were doing before moving out the way.

In May 1900 the Cambridge independent Press had reported Motors (car & cycle) ‘nuisance’: Cambridge man (Charles Mortimer) was charged with driving a motor cycle at more than 12 mph (!) in Trumpington; police constables in other villages including Harston clocked cars (by tape measure and an ordinary pocket watch) doing more than 20 mph; some ‘must have been going at 26 mph’!! Motor cyclist fined £1  11s 6d costs.

Note the petrol pump outside the Coach & Horses pub. The three Horseshoes also had some of the first petrol pumps.

This page was added on 19/12/2015.

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