Stinkerbell was a three-wheeled industrial truck manufactured by R A Lister & Co of Dursley, England. Over the years I have owned five different versions of the truck. This one was fitted with a JAP single cylinder engine of 600cc, a three speed gearbox and a reverse gear meant a top speed of about 15mph was possible. The clutch was hand operated and is the pull-up bar we see on the handle bars. The throttle and gear lever were on the opposite end of the handle. It was steered by physically rotating the whole engine and gearbox unit which was mounted on a turntable. A handbrake operated by the right hand and a rear wheel foot brake was operated by the right foot. The driving seat was a saddle similar to a bicycle. The left foot operated the warning bell which was barely audible above the clatter of the extremely noisy single cylinder engine.
This truck was originally nick-named Tinkerbell because of the lovely ting-ting sound the bell made and her name was painted on the front panel. The engine was very worn however and emitted lots of smoke during operation; it was my father who said “Cor, Stinkerbell would be more appropriate!” . . and so an extra S was added in a big flourish to the name. In the 1980s Stinkerbell visited many vintage shows and rallies with me and was a great favourite with the rally kids. At the end of the day, when the public had all gone home we would fire her up and go off on a jaunt around the show site.
One such show was Deerhurst Farm Fayre in July 1985. I remember the occasion, we had arrived on the Friday evening and had only just set up camp when a young mother with two young boys strolled up to Stinkerbell and casually mentioned “We used to have one of those”.
I chatted interestingly, hoping that I was just about to go off on a search for another one to add to my collection, but it soon transpired that the truck they owned they had sold to an enthusiast in Gloucester and, yes you’ve guessed, this was one and the same truck! The lad on the saddle is one of the boys whose father used to own Stinkerbell and his older brother is on the extreme right; sorry, no real recollection of their names but think one of them may have been Ben. The other youngsters were all children of friends of mine and well known to me and patiently waiting for me to finish taking photos so they could have a ride around the rally field before bed-time.