National Archives 2004-02-17

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Have returned to the PRO for the first time, after a lapse of some three months. The changes have been considerable. Remodelling of the document research area is complete, and the document pickup counter is now being remodelled. I ordered three files in advance, two BT and one MT (on Anderson committee), and they are being doled out one by one.

BT 31/26776/176801

This file contains the incorporation papers for London and North Western Motor Road Ltd. This is a motorcoach/road transport operator and has NOTHING to do with motorways. It is not even being photographed.

MT 121/72

Photographing this. Expect it to be completed by end of today.

Now not so sure—stalled by the camera battery running low. Evidently my strategy of not using the power cord to feed power to the camera, and instead letting the camera maintain enough charge to be usable by allowing it to recharge during breaks etc., needs to be rethought. And now have to deal with a backup which will allow me to finish only CAB 117/266 and possibly the BT file dealing with the Motor Roads Developments syndicate before closing today. Sigh. Off to order CAB 117/266.

Finished this file.

BT 31/29965/224416

This is the BT file dealing with the Motor Roads Developments Syndicate Ltd. It seems to have been more well-financed than the London & South Coast Motorways Ltd., but still failed, and its capitalization was such that an EGM had to be held to agree the liquidation (in 1929).

Will finish this file—but time is a bit tight, and will have to do a camera download at home. Did order CAB 117/266 and the first of the two major London-Birmingham Motorway files, but have not been able to photograph them thoroughly because of my problems getting the camera to stay powered up.

Okay—finished up—now time to blow the joint, and make arrangements for evening.