Lanarkshire Constabulary’s Prison Van
Officers of the Motor Transport Division at Motherwell Police Office
For Prisoners or Furniture?
In 1926 Lanarkshire Constabulary received delivery of their second official prison van. The vehicle was a ‘Dennis’ 15 foot wheelbase passenger van. The cost was a massive £214.
However, as the van was not required on a full-time basis for the conveyance of prisoners, it had a secondary use.
It was to be used as a furniture removal van when officers were transferred throughout the County.
The van was designed to be the updated version of the ‘Black Maria’. It was 14 feet long inside, with 3 seats. One on each side, running the length of the body and one along the centre. The centre seat was cut short to facilitate entry and exit. The rear door had barred windows and the inside had ventilation controlled from the front cab by use of a hinged wooden flap allowing full circulation. The sides and had slits in the bodywork allowing air to be circulated. The seats could be easily removed to facilitate the house removals!
The drivers cab was modernised to be enclosed with side doors with drop down windows and a hinged front windscreen.
The bodywork was painted a dark shade of blue with white roof and rails.
Inspector Anderson with the old Prison Van – 1926
Excerpt from ‘The Commercial Motor’ September 1926