Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

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Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Enfield Autocar Co: 1906 Dinner

From Graces Guide

Note: This is a sub-section of Enfield Autocar Co.


The Enfield Autocar Co. Dinner. [1]

This pleasant reunion was held at Frascati's on the evening of the 10th ult.; Mr. Albert Eadie in the chair.

After the usual loyal toasts, the Chairman proposed the toast of the company, coupled with the name of Mr. Lancaster. He related how he had first met Mr. Lancaster in that very room on the occasion of the Clement dinner. Mr. Lancaster appeared to have collected round him gentlemen who had been connected with him in the bicycle industry, and he felt that a man possessing so much personal magnetism was worth backing. In every way he had justified his judgment and the judgment of his confrere, Mr. Cartland. They had their difficulties in the Enfield Autocar Co. When two strong streams meet, there is apt to be a boiling over of the water, and this had resulted in a separation. He had depended on Mr. Lancaster to pull them through, and he had succeeded.

It was for the English trade they were catering, and they sought to get a share of the £3,000,000 worth of motor cars which were being yearly imported from the Continent. They had a splendid organisation at Redditch; the allied companies there employed 2,700 people, and had made £90,000 net profit last year. Mr. Lancaster proved a most generous colleague. He was a man who had absorbed ideas instead of merely regarding himself as a genius. He had seen so many geniuses who now lived in workhouses. Mr. Lancaster was prepared to absorb every good idea which came on the market, and embody same where possible in the Enfield car.

Their success at the Show had been phenomenal. They had booked orders beyond their most sanguine hopes. It proved to him that Mr. Lancaster carried the confidence of the agents, and he also felt that the name of Eadie had assisted. Their first day's orders amounted to 50 cars, and up to that evening they had booked 150. Ireland, with all its pessimism, had done its share, and proved good friends to the firm. As regards the 15 h.p., they intended fitting a gate change-speed gear, with heavier gear-box, and also Hele-Shaw clutch. They believed in over-tyreing a car, and consequently had fitted very large tyres on this one. These with other features amply justified the price. They had works capable of producing 400 cars a year.

Mr. Lancaster made a feeling speech, in proposing the toast of "The Agents." He did not deserve all the credit given to him. His success had been due to collecting other people's ideas and placing them together so as to produce a car to satisfy the English market. He had to see what his agent friends required. The success in running a car depended on the way it was looked after, more than on the driving. A car should he regarded as a thoroughbred horse, and must be lubricated regularly.

Mr. W. R. Smith he regarded as the cleverest mechanic in England. If you put a proposition before him he would consider it carefully, and let you have a run for your money, but will come back next day and tell you how to do it.

In Mr. Power they had a splendid works' manager. If the agents would stick by them, they would stick by the agents.

He coupled with the toast the names of Messrs. J. Newton, Turvey (Sunderland), and Wright, of Lincoln.

Mr. Newton pointed out that the agents were the backbone of the trade. They had great responsibilities, and had been a good deal put upon in the past. As regards Enfield, they all knew Mr. Eadie's policy. It was to look after the agents. As a result of that policy, where is he to-day? Right on top. Their motto was never to open depots.

Mr. Turvey expressed the opinion that, if the Enfield motor car reached the pinnacle of excellence of the Enfield bicycle, it would do well. He was the first agent who had ever had a bicycle from the Enfield Company.

Mr. Wright said he had placed an order for a car for his own use, and would use it every day, and then give his opinion.

Mr. Cartland proposed the toast of the "Press," which was responded to by Messrs, Geo. Sharpe (Motor), Massac Buist (The Morning Post), and Miller (Referee).

Mr. Smith proposed the toast of "Our Friends" in feeling terms, coupled with the name of J. C. Percy (MOTOR NEWS), who expressed his pleasure at being considered a friend, rather than a mere pressman.

Mr. Belcher proposed the toast of "Our Host," and was supported by Messrs. R. J. Mecredy, and Henderson, of Belfast.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Motor news of 1st December 1906