Birmingham City Council

Steam Engines in Stirchley c1925

Steam Engines in Stirchley c1925

It is impossible to tell where this image was taken as there are no clues to a location. What we can take an educated guess at is an approximate date of around 1925. Traction engines, steam road vehicles and such like, were becoming a less common sight on the roads in the 1930s, before this time vehicles like this were employed in many industries from agricultural to construction to fair ground and many others.

The company name on the side panels of the engines is of a local company based on the Pershore Road in Stirchley. Shephard and Hough are first listed in the Kelly's Directories of Birmingham in 1922, when they traded as 'Haulage Contractors and Motor Engineers-Steam and Petrol' . They were situated in the area between Warwards Lane and Umberslade Road, close to the cinema (now a fitness club, formerly a laser quest and bowling alley) and Bewdley Road. They stayed at the same address throughout the existence of the company and ceased trading or moved on elsewhere about 1949.

The 'FE' number plate on the front of each engine, may suggest that it was a 'Fowler Engine', the name of a prominent manufacturer of steam engines, John Fowler & Co. based in Leeds.

Digital Birmingham Photo Archive
Digital Birmingham Photo Archive - 1920s