Simon Bishop’s 1925 Singer 10-26 Tourer
Simon’s not sure exactly when he took this picture, but thinks it was in the summer of 1978. The two gentlemen in the car are Jack and Arthur Bennett and the location is opposite their garage in Par, Cornwall.
Jack and Arthur’s father purchaesed the car when it was about a year old from someone in Plymouth, as evidenced by a theatre ticket for the Plymouth Hippodrome dated 1st Jan 1926 found in a door pocket. Mr Bennett senior, who was the local blacksmith, started making his own bicycles in the cycling boom of the 1890s. This progressed to the repair and maintenance of motor cycles and eventually to all sots of motor vehicles, agricultural implements and even steam engines. The 10/26 was his own personal car and was not used for business – they had a cheap old Austin for that! However, Jack and Arthur were allowed to use the car socially, which for two working class teenagers in the 1930s was quite something. The car was used continually until September 1939 (Simon still has the tax disxc), when she was taken off the road to repaint the front wings. This of course coincided with the outbreak of the second world war, so the Singer was put in a shed at the back of their garage premises and forgotten about.
After the war she was considered to be too out f date to be bothered with, so it was not until 1972 that he pushed TT 3490 out of the shed. She was very rusty, due surely to the seea air, her resting place being only a stones throw from the beach. For the record, Simon drove the car down to Par in one day, taking about 10 hours. Jack and Arthur were delighted to see the Singer again, as were a lot of the locals, who kept stopping and saying “is this your old car Jack … do you remember the time we …”
The car was first registered on 23rd April 1925 and was described by the Singer Owner’s Club at the time as ‘Historically Indecent’, due to it having front wheel brakes. However, it later transpired that some time in the 1930s the king pins were found to be very worn, and rather than fit new pins and bushes, Jack and Arthur fitted a whole axle the had lying around, unwittingly updating the spec to late 1925.