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This is Stornoway building supplies company Bain Morrison & Co’s first lorry, an 'Overland' bought new on 31st August 1924. The chassis cost £208.00 whilst the cost of the body was £23.52 (£23 and 10 shillings and 6 pence in ‘old money’). The girl standing in front of the lorry is Kenny Dolly Angie’s sister, Anna. She was born in 1920 and later emigrated to the USA.

This Commer “Centaur“ was purchased new by the Company in September 1933. It cost £282.75 (£282 and 15 shillings in ‘old money’). Carriage from the mainland works to Stornoway was £12.37 (£12 and 7 shillings and 6 pence).

A Commer advertising brochure produced in 1960 relates how Bain Morrison’s “Centaur“, still in active service at that time, did not require a major overhaul until 1945 “although grossly overloaded on many occasions”. It was regularly used to transport furniture containers and building materials.


  One load referred to included 35 feet (roughly 11 metres) long steel girders. Despite all this it still operated on its original springs. After nearly thirty years of reliable service it had completed in excess of 300000 miles “all run over really rough highland roads” at a “satisfactory average petrol consumption of 10 miles per gallon” By 1960 the original engine had been replaced. The article concludes “In the light of these facts, further comments on the quality and reliability of Commer vehicles would be superfluous”.
Bain Morrison’s Commer Centaur 2 ton model was purchased new in 1933 at a cost of £295.  Commercial Cars Ltd was formed in 1905, and the company name was immediately shortened to the more familiar brand, ‘Commer’.

In 1926, Commer was taken over by Humber Cars, which renamed its Centaur Company (founded in 1911) as Commer Cars Ltd.  Later, during the 1930s, Commer would draw on some of these historic names for their new range of vehicles, such as the ‘Centaur’ or ‘Raider’.



  Bain Morrison’s Commer Superpoise Q2 model, introduced in 1939 and discontinued in 1948, had a 2 ton capacity of 20.92hp.  The Q2 is seen here unloading cement from a boat on Stornoway Quay.  
  The new ‘Superpoise’ introduced in 1956, this one a 5 ton chassis, registration number FJS 956.It regularily carried 5 tons of cement to Harris.  
  This is H828BJS a Volvo FL 7 being loaded with cement bags by Duncan MacIver’s Massey Ferguson 50 loader from the last (bagged) cement boat to call at Stornoway. Cement bags are now transported from the mainland on pallets by artic’ trucks. However, boats carrying powdered cement still call carrying materials for use by the ready mix plants.
Stornoway Town Hall clock can be seen in the background.
  MST 276R purchased new in 1977, a 7.5 ton Bedford TK.  

  Waiting at Stornoway Quay for a cement boat are EYS 66L Bain Morrison’s Dodge K series and MST 276R their Bedford TK. Also in the queue are Norman MacKenzie’s Leyland 6 wheeler, LDS 489P. At the left of the picture Munro Bros (Pongo’s) green Ford D can just be seen.  
  MST 275R, the Company’s Bedford TM. Bought new in 1977 it was in service with them until the arrival of Volvo H828 BJS (pictured on a previous page). In the background is a 6 wheeler Leyland belonging to William Scott of Stornoway.  
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