ON February 10 on this page, we showed a picture of what we thought was a coal lorry making deliveries at the bottom of Egglescliffe green in September 1963. What kind of the lorry was it, we asked, and received a phenomenal response.

It is only when we enlarge the picture to get a good look at the truck that we notice two things. Firstly, if you’ve got very good eyes, by the lamppost on the right, there is an old lady in a coat peering through her gate as if she is sitting down to paint it. Quite odd.

Secondly, it may not be a coal truck after all. Only Richard Stone spotted this possibility. “There’s some kind of machinery on the load bed,” he said. “Possibly weighing scales for on-board coal measuring or possibly it is not a coal lorry at all? It looks a little too clean to be a coal merchant's transport – they were filthy things.”

Everybody else concentrated on the make of the vehicle. Steve Valender was alone in suggesting a GUY; likewise Tony Tomalin-Reeves of Easingwold when he thought it likely to be a Commer/Karrier because of the Perkins diesel engine badge on the radiator grille.

Derek Noble of Hutton Rudby was also unique in identifying it as a Morris Commercial WF Series. “During school holidays, I worked on one selling and delivering Corona and Tango fizzy drinks, from door to door,” he said. “It had a metal pennant on top of its cab which snapped washing lines as we went down the alleys behind back-to-back houses. The ladies of the houses told us, in interesting language, how dissatisfied they were to find their washing on the floor. I learnt a lot.”

Everybody else, though, swore that it was some kind of Ford – either a Fordson, which was the name on Ford’s trucks and tractors, or a Thames, which seems to have been very similar to a Fordson only built a little later.

Gerald Burnett of Richmond sounded confident when he said: “It’s a Ford Thames ET6. This was the last Ford 'normal control' lorry before the 'forward control', and very ugly, Thames Trader was introduced in 1957, replacing the ET6.”

The identifier “ET6” came up regularly. “It’s an ET6,” said Gary Cunningham of Boltby. “The badge on the grille indicating a later diesel variant, these being offered with a four cylinder Ford diesel, or a Perkins six cylinder in the larger ET7, and they were built from 1949 until 1957 when they were replaced by the most popular Thames Trader.”

Also in the Fordson camp were Peter Snow, Ian Hoseason, Tony Martin, Julien Brown, John Weighell of Neasham, Robert Hughes of Healaugh, Mark Cooper of Darlington, and a bonus mark to Phil Garwood for correctly identifying the author of this column discussing Lewis Carroll with Michael Portillo on his recent Great British Railway Journeys TV programme.

If we had a proper looking glass, we might be able to tell if it were a coal truck or not.