There is every possibility that the bodywork was constructed by J C Beadle of Dartford as acquired and repainted by the RACS in 1 By now, the Society catered for most of the everyday needs of its members, with grocery, milk, bread, coal, its own abattoir, laundry and even a jam factory. lt was realised that the centralisation of some of these activities was the only way to sustain the Society's continuing growth. With the release of some of the old dockyard land by the government, in garage door remote homelink the Society acquired nine acres at the cost of ?60,000, increased the following year by the purchase of an additional six acres. By 1929, an additional 63 branches had been opened and the transformation of the former dockyard site, now re-named Commonwealth Buildings, was completed by 1 The Society could boast in 1937 that the building housed 21 industries and employed over 400 people.
As well as Dennis, the Society favoured AEC for some lightweight vans in 1 The CWS itself built both cars and commercials during the decade, under the 'Bell' name at Chorlton, Manchester, for use by Societies throughout the land, which by now exceeded 5 Although at least two dozen Societies used them, none are believed to have seen service with any of the London or Home Counties Co-ops. A parallel can be drawn with the activities of garage door remote homelink societies and the pioneering regional bus companies, as great pains were taken to agree territory, with evidence of boundary stones being laid in the street. One example of my own recall was the situation during the 1950s in Barnehurst, Kent, which at that time was administered by the Crayford UDC.
There was a choice between United Dairies and the RACS for milk, with bread available from the RACS or Grooms of Erith, with other needs available from the RACS stores built around 19 The situation in Crayford was totally different, with the Dartford Industrial Co-operative Society DICS and its chocolate brown and cream electric floats from the dairy and bakery departments and its two A scene of total devastation in the centre of Lewisham, caused by a V1 ‘Doodlebug’, which crashed on the roof of an air raid shelter at 41 am on 28th July 1944, among the market stalls outside Marks & Spencers, claiming 59 lives and hundreds of casualties. The blast shattered frontage of the Society's Tower House Department by the Clock Tower can be seen. Identifiable vehicles include an Austin ’Katie’ military ambulance, several International K Series tippers and, on the left, a very interesting garage door remote homelink mobile crane unit, which Bart Vanderveen describes as an M2 THEW Shovel MC 6x6 fitted with a Hercules 179 bhp six cylinder motor and a Waukesha four cylinder to operate the Lorain Crane. For a better photo of one of these, refer to the Lewisham Borough Archive collection which reveals that they were used by the London County Council War Debris Survey Unit.