National Archives 2003-10-14

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Had a fairly smooth ride into London, and got to the PRO bang on time. Documents were waiting and buckled down to work after a brief, fruitless search for current location of the Maybury papers.

PRO 30/69/450

Photographed this. This is the file dealing with a Liberal allegation to the general effect that Maybury was being dismissed (as a dept consultant, I think) as a reprisal for his having cooperated with the development of Liberal road plans.

MT 95/605

Photographing this. There is a certain document I would like to find: Recommendations for signposting all-purpose roads built to motorway standards and other dual carriageways with hard shoulders, distributed to DREs along with Circular 10/62. (Discovered, later, that it is on this file.) Also: Notes for guidance on motorway sign-posting [etc] referred to in a letter from Ginns.

. . . Finished.

DSIR 27/101

Also finished photographing the two reports I was interested in, RN 116 and RN 129, both of which have to do with the research programme associated with the RAB. There are frequent cites to a series of Road Abstracts which I feel are almost certainly in the Bodleian, and probably also among the MOT government publications in the LSE library. The abstracts of particular interest are from 1936-37 and 1937-38 and deal mainly with the development of geometric design standards, and attempts to correlate vehicle behavior to road design, which ought to be discussed in more depth in the abstracts, in the normative documents they are based on, and on the Die Strasse articles designed to build the case for the normative documents. The RNs on this file also make the interesting point that “planning”—which back then covered what is now called geometric design—was the responsibility of the MOT, and not the RRL, before the war, the RRL being concerned largely with materials issues (road foundations etc). So should look up and order the relevant PRO files on the MOT committee having responsibility for this.

DSIR 27/138

Photographed this as well. Not sure I was scrupulous in photographing the job ticket. Will have to check.

MT 95/709

Got started on this one—almost certainly won’t finish—but will have made a really good, clean start.

Confirmed: won’t finish. But more than half done.